The AFL has officially invited former Essendon coach James Hird to present this year’s Norm Smith Medal to continue a run of former winners who take the stage.
It is understood the League is yet to hear from the Bombers’ great, who won the medal in 2000 but has slipped out of the public eye in the fallout of the club’s disastrous supplements saga.
An AFL spokesman confirmed the League’s invitation.
“Since 2004, the AFL has been inviting previous medallists to present the medal, starting with Wayne Harmes, who had not had the opportunity to present the Norm Smith Medal. Working through them in year order, James is the next eligible medallist,” he said.
In recent years Adelaide Crows star Andrew McLeod, who won the medal in 1997-98, presented the medal to Hawthorn’s Cyril Rioli in 2015.
Last year, 1999 winner Shannon Grant handed it to Western Bulldogs runner Jason Johannisen.
The AFL has not yet been notified if Hird will take up the opportunity.
Hird is considered Essendon’s greatest living player, having featured in two premierships, won the 1996 Brownlow Medal and played 253 games for the club.
Source: Essendon FC’s website