Mark McVeigh’s brutally honest assessment that his players “checked out” in the 73-point Sydney derby loss could cost him the Giants’ senior coaching job, Fox Footy’s Nick Riewoldt has warned.
McVeigh did not hold back in his post-match criticism, as he labeled the performance “embarrassing” and “extremely disappointing”, while stating only eight players “went to the wall” for four quarters.
Speaking about McVeigh’s stunning statement, Riewoldt said he feared the comments could cost the caretaker coach the full-time gig in 2023.
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“I think it puts a line through it (his coaching aspirations at GWS),” he said on Best on Ground.
“If that’s the concession that you’re making as a coach, that you think some of your players have checked out and you are responsible for getting the players up every week, I think it becomes very difficult for the club to say: ‘You ‘re the man going forward’.”
McVeigh remains in the running for the full-time job next season, reportedly alongside four-time premiership coach Alastair Clarkson, Melbourne’s Adem Yze and Richmond’s Adam Kingsley.
Fellow panelist and former Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley said he admired McVeigh’s honesty.
“That’s the first time I’ve heard those comments,” he said.
“That’s as honest as you can get.
“That comment… I love to see that because that is absolutely honest. If that’s his opinion of him, and you’ve got to take that at face value, it’s a real challenge.
The Giants were smashed in all the stats that mattered, down -117 in disposals, -33 in inside 50s and -24 in tackles – including laying just six inside 50 for the match.
Riewoldt said the result isn’t a direct reflection on McVeigh’s ability as a coach, but raised questions about his connection with the players.
“It doesn’t mean that he can’t coach. But the ability to get this group up … how can the Giants, if they think the players have checked out under his coaching, how can they have confidence to make that appointment?” Riewoldt said.
“I think it puts them in a really difficult position to go and appoint him after that.”
Buckley said he now wanted to see what sort of response the Giants players had in the clash with Essendon.
“The next couple of weeks will be what tells you about Mark McVeigh’s bona fides as a coach and his connection with those players because they will respond to that? Because there’s always something to play for,” he said.
“The response is going to say more than the comment.”
Earlier this month, McVeigh confirmed he would enter the race to become the Giants coach for 2023 and beyond.
(The club hierarchy) have been very open with me and terrific, they’ve been amazing and they’ve supported me,” he said.
“There are other coaches that they’ll be talking to, which is absolutely right (to do), and I’m just another one of those that are trying to win the role.
“I certainly know where it sits and I’m very clear on the approach going forward.”
GWS will face Essendon, the Western Bulldogs and Fremantle in the final three rounds.