Essendon has expressed disappointment at Alastair Clarkson's call for reform in the AFL coaching ranks in the wake of the Bombers' supplements scandal, describing his comments as ''inappropriate''.
Bombers chairman Paul Little labelled as ''neither helpful nor informed'' the comments made by the Hawthorn coach in a Fairfax Media report, in which he said the supplements scandal had ''ambushed'' the game and expressed his regret that he and other senior coaches had not communicated their dismay to James Hird when it could have made a difference.
In a blueprint for coaching reform presented to the AFL Commission, Clarkson proposed that prospective coaches should not be allowed to progress to senior coaching without AFL accreditation and at least two years' coaching experience.
''Alastair Clarkson's comments, made after he attended a two-week Harvard Business School course, come at a time when our club and James Hird are making very good progress with rebuilding and moving on,'' Little said on Tuesday on the Bombers' website.
''The comments made by Clarkson relating to James Hird are neither helpful nor informed.
''The club and James have accepted responsibility for the mistakes that were made and received significant sanctions from the AFL.
''We are now committed to moving on and restoring the trust of all stakeholders within the game.
''We have no doubt James Hird is the right person to coach the Essendon Football Club and we look forward to his return to the club later this year,'' Little said.
The Bombers will take on arch-rival Hawthorn in round two.
The story Clarkson comments on Hird 'neither helpful nor informed', says Little first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.