Former North Melbourne star Nick Dal Santo has backed in Essendon’s appointment of his former coach Brad Scott.
Scott was this week appointed Essendon’s senior coach after all board members barring Kevin Sheedy voted to ratify the recommendations of the coaching selection panel.
It marks Scott’s second stint as senior coach of an AFL club, with his first a 10-year, 211-game journey at North Melbourne between 2010 and 2019.
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Dal Santo, who arrived at the Roos from St Kilda at the end of 2013 and spent three years at the club, said Scott was a sound choice.
“I found him extremely approachable. I was 29, 30 years of age when I went there, but I found him extremely understanding,” he told foxfooty.com.au.
“It was a two-way relationship – I obviously used him as a coach to speak about football and contest and leadership and gameplans all that sort of football stuff and then I feel like he used me at times for my experience given I‘d been at a different club and had different experiences and coaches, I feel he asked me as much as I asked him at times about the best way for our group.
“I found him really approachable. I can remember multiple times when I’d walk past his office – and the door was always open – I’d say ‘hey mate, have you got a minute to chat?’ And he’d say ‘I’ve got 15 for you, whatever you need’. I just found him really easy to talk to.
“I found him a fantastic educator in regards to football. We had a handful of young players and he was really good at educating around the game plan and how to be better, rather than just saying go and do it.”
Critics of Scott’s coaching record at North Melbourne would point to the fact his side did not finish in the top four at the end of any season he was at the helm.
Despite this, the Roos featured in two preliminary finals, something Dal Santo said was impressive under the circumstances.
“I was there for three years, the two years we made the prelim, I think on reflection that was about as good as we could do given the team we had,” he said.
“We didn‘t finish in the top four in the regular season but we made two prelims. Does that say we got the best out of our group? I’d say probably.
“Maybe there’s a list management piece in there, did we get the right players at the right time. I always felt we were missing a couple of players to really push Hawthorn, West Coast, Sydney, the really good teams.
“I don’t think we had everything we needed to really win a grand final but I felt we got about as far as we could.”