Bailey 'more than a coach'

THERE'S one piece of advice that Dean Bailey gave Brad Green as he was entering the world of coaching that will stay with him forever.

``Dean's advice was don't go into it thinking you're a coach, you're actually a teacher,'' Green told  The Examiner  yesterday.

``You're out there to teach players to play the game as it should be played, and communicate it in the way that you are not a dictator. I will always take that advice with me.''

Bailey, 47, died on Tuesday morning after a short battle with lung cancer.

He was the man who gave Green, originally from George Town, the captaincy of the oldest football club in Australia in 2011, and a man who Green will always regard as one of the key figures in his life, both from a football and a personal point of view.

Green said it would be tough not having Bailey as a port of call as he entered his second year in the AFL coaching system, looking after the forward line at Carlton.

``He won't be there to pick up the phone and have a conversation with anymore, but I know he'll be upstairs thinking about how I'm going about it, and probably up there cursing what I'm doing.''

The Tasmanian said there was more to Bailey then just coaching, hoping he would also be remembered for being a ``down-to-earth family man who cared about his family''.

Bailey's quick wit and dry sense of humour were two of his defining characteristics.

``He was my senior coach, but he became more than a coach to me as we got very close with me being a senior player and a leader of the place, so we talked about a lot of things.''

``He took time out to talk to you about things on a personal level, be it your family, your wife or your kids.

``We were very close and his door was always open, not only to me, but to everyone.

``When he went to Adelaide [as its senior assistant coach] after his departure from Melbourne, we kept in contact regularly.

``We spoke about footy and each other's families and he always asked about his boys at the footy club.

``He called them his boys, as he really believed they were his boys, as he developed them, and he was really interested in how they were going, not only as players, but as people.''

Bailey played 53 games for Essendon from 1986-92, and coached the Demons in 83 games from 2008-11, before joining the Crows.

He was also on the Bombers' coaching staff when they won the 2000 premiership, and was at Port Adelaide when it won the 2004 flag.

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