AFL 360 co-hosts Gerard Whateley and Mark Robinson have defended Greater Western Sydney caretaker coach Mark McVeigh’s passionate post-match press conference.
McVeigh drew criticism from some within the AFL world for his withering take on many players’ performance during the 73-point Sydney derby loss, which he labeled “embarrassing” and accused players of “checking out”.
The interim coach interviewed for the position on Tuesday, but Whateley was puzzled by those who took issue with McVeigh’s post-match comments.
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“I’ve been really surprised by the reaction to his condemnation of a pitiful performance by a team in a big game,” he said.
“If you’re going to be the coach, if you’re going to live the role of the coach, you have to impose these standards and be prepared to tell these home truths.
“As I understand it, this was all said behind closed doors before it was said publicly and the real feedback was player-to-player; they drilled each other. Then he gave public voice to that.”
Robinson was of the view that, if anything, McVeigh’s honesty publicly could help him in his bid to become the side’s permanent senior coach, saying “I would’ve put that in my offering of ‘I want to coach, here it is, what have you got? I’ve got that.’”
McVeigh, 41, has been an assistant coach at the Giants since 2015.
His longevity at the club, Whateley said, meant his comments were within reason.
“He’s got long-term relationships with these players, I don’t think any of that would’ve been damaged,” he said.
“If he’d gone ‘Do you know what? This is the end of the season, I’m the interim coach, lets just leave that’, I’d be going ‘mate, you can’t be a coach’.”