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Mark Thompson on list to coach Dees, says Paul Roos

Canberra Times logo Canberra Times 26/05/2014 Matt Murnane
Is it Melbourne next for Mark Thompson? © Pat Scala Is it Melbourne next for Mark Thompson?

Essendon coach Mark Thompson has been thrust onto the list of candidates to become Melbourne's next senior coach by an unexpected source - current coach Paul Roos.

In a surprise development in Melbourne's search for a replacement for Roos, the two former premiership coaches spoke candidly about the prospect of Thompson taking over from Roos as they appeared as guests on Fox Footy's AFL 360 on Monday.

Roos, who could have a major say in who will be his successor, said the Demons would initially cast a wide net looking for potential candidates to replace him when he steps out of the coaches' box, possibly as early as 2016, but no later than 2017.

Asked whether Thompson would be on that first list of candidates, Roos replied: "absolutely".

"We have not spoken to anyone, what we'll do is put a list together and then cull the list to who is interested and then we'll start to make some inquiries," Roos said.

Thompson, who is scheduled to step aside for James Hird to return as senior coach of the Bombers next year, was then asked if he would consider going to Melbourne.

He responded: "I've got no idea ... we can't ... he doesn't need me".

Roos has committed to two years as Melbourne coach - with an optional third year - with the understanding that he will help groom his replacement.

On Monday he again ruled out staying beyond two or three years as senior coach, although he revealed he had spoken to the club, as recently as Monday, about his desire to stay on in some other position to help.

"To be the senior coach, you have to want to be the senior coach," Roos said. "Part of me coming back was in a role that involved succession, I believe in that, and I've seen it work.

"It's not going to be as senior coach.... but I'd like to be involved in some capacity.

"I'm enjoying the club, there's great people around the club, and hopefully everyone sees us heading in the right direction. I like seeing things out."

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