Bombers reshuffle: New boss makes his mark to defuse football department tension
Essendon CEO Craig Vozzo has stamped his authority on his new club restructuring the football department for its three most important figures.
Long-time list manager Adrian Dodoro will now report directly to Vozzo instead of football boss Josh Mahoney, after the new chief executive became aware of growing tension between the pair.
Football chief Josh Mahoney and recruiting boss Adrian DodoroCredit:Getty Images
Vozzo’s first three months in the job have allowed him to closely analyse the club and its inner workings, with a particularly close eye on the football department.
It’s no secret across the competition that Mahoney and Dodoro have endured a frosty relationship in their short time at Tullamarine together.
So much so that Vozzo has executed a mini-restructure that will see Dodoro report directly to him instead of Mahoney, which had previously been the case. According to a club source, who was not authorised to speak publicly, the decision was made at least in part to alleviate tension between the pair.
In a further change, new coach Brad Scott will also answer directly to Vozzo. Under previous chief executive Xavier Campbell, ex-coach Ben Rutten reported to Mahoney. It is rare for a senior coach to report directly to the CEO and not to the head of football.
Mahoney will remain in the list management and total player payment groups as part of his executive role.
A club spokesperson confirmed the restructure of the football department to The Age but declined to comment further.
The Age also put questions to Dodoro and Mahoney about the restructure and their relationship but Dodoro declined to comment and Mahoney did not respond.
Brad Scott has had a big impact as he reshapes Essendon.Credit:Artwork: Jamie Brown
Club insiders suggest Mahoney is once again considering putting his hand up for the vacant head of football role at the AFL. Mahoney went for the same role two years ago, which was eventually given to his now coach Brad Scott.
The AFL will hold off on finding a replacement for Scott until a successor for league CEO Gillon McLachlan is appointed, which league sources believe will happen before round five.
Essendon’s recruiting has drawn mixed reviews with the Essendon faithful during 18 seasons without a finals win, with the club’s decisions to trade first round draft picks for the likes of Dylan Shiel and Devon Smith a point of contention.
But the recently revamped list has given Essendon fans something to smile about. The addition of elite talent – like Archie Perkins, Harrison Jones and Nik Cox – through the draft has Bombers insiders hopeful the list in solid shape for the long term.
Essendon have also had six Rising Star nominees in the last two seasons, which is an impressive haul.
As for Scott, it’s been an interesting beginning.
Within weeks of getting the job, Scott’s football director Kevin Sheedy, who is still on the board, stated that he’d voted for James Hird.
Next, Scott had to watch on as the club’s new chief executive Andrew Thorburn arrived and departed within a 24-hour period.
BACK THE TRUCK UP
We know from the latest figures from the AFL that the average player salary is now a tick over $400k. We also know that there’s no one better at bending a dollar than a professional athlete. But extra points should be awarded to the players over summer who opted to get a bit more internal support when they moved houses.
You see, most clubs have their own truck that they use to store and transport equipment to training and games. But some players figure it can double as a moving van. So, which Carlton player was recently spotted behind the wheel of the club truck? And no, it wasn’t Patrick Cripps.
With more than 85,000 people expected to pack into the MCG for Thursday night’s season-opener between Carlton and Richmond, the AFL is expecting bumper crowds across round one.
That is, except for Saturday night’s clash between flag fancies Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs. According to senior people at the MCC, a crowd of about 50,000 is being forecast for the game between two teams likely to be fighting for top-four positions come season’s end. That’s fewer than the 55,000 expected for Sunday afternoon’s game between Essendon and Hawthorn, who most expert tipsters have finishing at the other end of the ladder.
Has the snow season come early?
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