The GWS boss lashed out at “nasty” comments after the Giants manager’s decision to step down shocked the AFL.
GWS Giants boss Dave Matthews criticized a “nasty” comment about outgoing coach Leon Cameron.
Cameron announced Thursday that it was resigning as coach of the Giants mid-season and would oversee his last game against Carlton this weekend before leaving.
Watch every AFL blockbuster game this weekend Live & Ad-Break Free In-Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try now 14 days for free>
The 49-year-old said the time was to put away his notes, calling it a “mutual decision” between the manager and the club.
The rare move to step down when the mid-season manager took the AFL world by surprise and the talk quickly shifted to potential Cameron replacements.
But Matthews accused the media of not giving Cameron and the Giants the respect they reserve and labeled the AFL industry as “death drives coaches”.
“I think we deserve more credit and credibility than you sometimes give us, but this is the position you want to take,” Giants CEO told reporter Sam McClure in a passionate 3AW interview.
Matthews lashed out at criticism that Cameron didn’t get the best of the talented squad of players he had at his disposal.
“This is an area where death drives coaches,” he said.
“This is what they do, the industry, and I don’t like it. I think it’s unpleasant.
“I actually don’t like what I’ve had to tell people about Leon and Leon’s defense for a while.
“He’s probably tired with that kind of comment: ‘The keys to Ferrari and why you didn’t reach it.’
“He did an outstanding job. He is a terrible person in football. It’s a long assignment that he’s had in a variety of roles and I think he’s done an outstanding job.
“He was a brilliant player, he was an excellent assistant coach and in very difficult circumstances he trained us very well.”
Matthews was clearly not impressed with speculation as to why Cameron stepped down as manager and said the decision to part ways with the Giants was “friendly”.
“Leon Cameron reached a conclusion today,” he said.
“There’s nothing too dramatic about what’s behind it. He’s been here for a long time.
“He did a great job. It is a friendly discussion that has taken place and we are looking forward to it now.
It reached a point where he felt it was in the club’s best interest to have a breath of fresh air and a fresh start and we were of the same vision. It was a really, really friendly and enjoyable conversation.
“Today it’s really about thanking him and congratulating him. I think it was really well managed today. He is a very decent person. ”
Matthews’ comments came after the great Richmond Matthew Richardson said Cameron’s time at the Giants should have been celebrated more before speculations began about his potential successor.
“Why not the day Leon Cameron walks away, we celebrate a manager who has won the last 5 of the last 6 years,” tweeted Richardson.
“Just for the day. Surely we can look to his successors … shall we say tomorrow?”
Originally published as “Death Ride”: GWS Giants boss blows “nasty” comment about departing coach