Kevin Sheedy stands by James Hird's character but says he would be annoyed if any of his children had been injected as part of Essendon's controversial supplements program, which he described as the ''worst decision'' in the club's history.
Sheedy, a father of four and grandfather of one, is concerned Essendon's players still do not know what they were given by sports scientist Stephen Dank, who has refused to co-operate with the AFL and the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority.
''I'd be annoyed if I thought that somebody injected my son, definitely would be annoyed if what was in the supplements was incorrect,'' Sheedy said on Wednesday.
''No one ever knows about this mixture of supplements — is it true, is it innuendo? I don't think the public even know yet, and I don't think the AFL knows and there's only one person who does. The whole lot of us have been 'Danked', and I keep saying that.''
Sheedy maintained Hird, his captain from the 2000 premiership team, was a ''very, very good'' person whose only fault had been not carrying out due diligence on Essendon's supplements program.
Hird has accepted a one-year suspension and will be free to coach Essendon in next year's finals series should the Bombers qualify. The besieged former golden boy of the AFL is also set to sign a contract extension despite his role in arguably one of the greatest scandals to hit the game.
''He's a good person and didn't carry out what he wanted to do correctly,'' Sheedy said. ''Hird's got an opportunity to coach in 12months which is very, very lucky and very, very good he's been allowed to do that, [by] both the AFL and the club.''
Sheedy said the sanctions handed down by the league, which included non-participation in this year's finals, a $2 million fine and heavy draft penalties, were a "decent wallop".
"[The punishments were] a knockout from Muhammad Ali, one of the greatest and biggest hits you'll ever get in AFL, not only that but in sport in general," Sheedy said.
"I'm not saying the Bombers didn't deserve some severe penalties. Let's face it, when you walk in and say you're going to give kids an opportunity to get bigger and stronger and we're going to put you in a supplement program, what the hell does that mean? I don't know.
"When you think back on it all, it wasn't that smart.
"I'm glad [club doctor] Bruce Reid disagreed with the whole lot. He's a great doctor, I know he's going to challenge some of the charges, I hope he does and I hope he wins.
Sheedy confirmed he was approached by Essendon chairman Paul Little last week at a fundraising function for the late Merv Neagle to return to the club next year but said he did not expect he would be asked to coach the Bombers, nor would he put his hand up for the role.
Greater Western Sydney remain confident Sheedy will accept a role at the fledgling club next year, though the veteran coach has
repeatedly stated his desire to spend more time with his family.
Meanwhile, the Giants remain interested in dealing with the Bombers during the trade period despite the possibility Essendon’s players could still be issued with infraction notices by ASADA.