Hird ‘shocked’ by son’s decision to join Bombers
Essendon great James Hird says he was "shocked" by his son Tom's decision to join the Bombers as a category B rookie.
The younger Hird had focused on soccer throughout his teens, including playing for Port Melbourne in Victoria's NPL and also having a trial in the Netherlands, before joining the Bombers on a two-year deal in March.
"I think (Tom's mother) Tania and I were both pretty shocked actually that he chose to go down this path," former Essendon coach Hird told the Working Through It podcast.
"He'd been going very well in his soccer, both here and overseas so we were a bit taken aback that he wanted to go down that path but he and (general manager of list and recruiting) Adrian Dodoro must have been concocting some plan without us knowing.
"Obviously now he's down that path, we're fully supportive and he's training very hard."
Relive classic AFL matches from the 60s to today on KAYO SPORTS. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly
Hird said he'd been impressed by how the Bombers were supporting their players during the AFL shutdown period.
"The club's been very good in setting up a structure for him," he said.
"What I've been very impressed with is not only the physical side of things but the psychologist has sort of been in touch with (Tom) a fair bit and also with Tania a fair bit."
Tom is the fourth generation of the Hird family at Essendon, following Allan Snr, Allan Jnr and James. His sister Stephanie has also been involved in the Bombers' VFLW program.
"He's got a long way to go and hopefully he does well but obviously there's a lot of hard work in front of him," Hird said.
"I just think he's enjoying being part of a footy club. It's a great place to be and the one thing you have to admire football clubs for is that they do put a lot of time into players and genuinely care."
Originally published as Hird 'shocked' by son's decision to join Bombers