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AFL boss Gil McLachlan says only the ‘most ANGRY alpha males in Australia’ make it as AFL coaches

AFL boss Gillon McLachlan says only ‘Australia’s most ANGRY alpha males’ make it as footy coaches in a scathing assessment of what it takes to lead a club in modern day footy

  • His comments came from an investigation of Goodwin and the Demons in ’21
  • Goodwin faced claims of bullying and inappropriate behavior at the club
  • He was nearly fired ahead of the 2021 AFL premiership season
  • Goodwin insists playgroup remains united despite recent incidents

AFL boss Gil McLachlan gave a damning assessment of the qualities needed to make it as a first-class coach when he was involved in the Melbourne Demons’ investigation into Simon Goodwin’s behavior last year, it has been revealed.

The internal review almost resulted in the 2021 award-winning coach who won the premiership being fired after allegations that he had bullied staff and had serious problems with his management style.

McLachlan said only 'angry, alpha males' can make it as AFL coaches

McLachlan said only ‘angry, alpha males’ can make it as AFL coaches

McLachlan intervened in February 2021 to address the crisis directly. The meeting took place between McLachlan, AFL committee chairman Richard Goyder, the now-deceased Demons chairman Glen Bartlett and club vice chairman Mohan Jesudason on February 2, 2021.

In notes of the meeting obtained by the Herald SunMcLachlan commented that only a rare breed of alpha males can cut it at the AFL coaching level.

“They’re binary aggressive people…maybe 1,200 people in the country are qualified to be coaches and the most alpha black and white angry men are the 18 people who make it…that’s the way it is unfortunately,” McLachlan said.

Demons head coach Simon Goodwin (R) congratulates Daniel Turner of the Demons after announcing Turner will make his debut against Collingwood on Monday

Demons head coach Simon Goodwin (R) congratulates Daniel Turner of the Demons after announcing Turner will make his debut against Collingwood on Monday

He added that managing coaches is one of the ‘hardest’ things clubs have to do.

His comments came to light the same week that the Demons came under fire for a physical altercation between players.

Jake Melksham punched teammate Steven May outside a restaurant in Prahran on Sunday. May was given a one-match internal suspension, while both players must complete community service.

It has been suggested that the sentences were too lenient and that an AFL investigation, including viewing CCTV footage, could lead to longer bans.

Goodwin denied that the club had been too gentle with the players, especially Melksham, who will also miss the Queen’s Birthday game against Collingwood after undergoing surgery on his hand after it became infected from the blow in May.

“I don’t tolerate violence of any kind and I don’t think anyone does and that’s why the sanctions are in effect, but we’ve worked very hard to build respect for each other in our environment, how we talk to each other, how we recognize each other.” “How we celebrate each other is really important,” he said.

“So if that’s how the conversation in and around that topic started, then it’s a worthy conversation to have and a worthy topic to talk about.”

The incident with May and Melksham is said to have been caused by comments about Melksham not playing in the 2021 grand final.

Suspended Demon May talks to Jack Viney and Christian Petracca during a training session at Casey Fields on June 10

Suspended Demon May talks to Jack Viney and Christian Petracca during a training session at Casey Fields on June 10

There are claims that there is a gap in the club between the players who were in the premier league team and those who didn’t. Goodwin flatly denied that there is any such rift at the club.

“There is no gap, they are united and will go ahead and try to do something special,” he said.

“This incident will not define our playgroup. They are united. They are committed to the cause, they know they made a mistake. Hopefully over time people will see this as a real galvanizing time for us

‘I think Max’ [Gawn] summed it up well when he said it was embarrassing for everyone involved with our football club. We have worked very hard to build what we have built internally and of course that can be seen externally on the field as well.’

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