Leon Cameron contract, situation untenable at GWS Giants says Caroline Wilson, Dave Matthews, Jason McCartney

Leon Cameron’s position at the Giants is “becoming untenable”, according to veteran football journalist Caroline Wilson, who reports the relationship between the club and other senior officials isn’t “what it could be”.

Both the off-contract Cameron, who’s in his ninth year at the club, and the Giants, who are 1-5, have publicly stated negotiations between the two parties over a new deal have been put on hold.

Giants chief executive David Matthews on Friday night said Cameron had overall been a “successful coach” over a “long career” with the Giants amid ample scrutiny.

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Matthews told 3AW Football there’d been “a real mature discussion” between Cameron and club, while Giants football director Jimmy Bartel added on the same radio station the next day that the “pragmatic” approach from both parties was “unusual, but that doesn ‘t mean it’s wrong”.

But Speaking on Channel 9’s Footy Classified on Wednesday night, Wilson said the Giants were “clearly coming to the end of their time with Leon Cameron”, claiming the situation was “becoming untenable”.

Giants coach Leon Cameron with football manager Jason McCartney in late 2019. Picture: Phil HillyardSource: News Corp Australia

“You’ve got a CEO in Dave Matthews, who I think has lost faith in Leon Cameron,” Wilson told Footy Classified.

“It was put to me by somebody very close to the club that Leon has been frozen out.”

Wilson later added: “I don’t think the relationship between Leon Cameron and Jason McCartney, the footy boss, is what it could be.

“It’s been put to me by other senior coaches … that when the CEO stops being your mate and talking to you, you know the writing is on the wall. That’s where it’s at.

“Do they want Alastair Clarkson? If they do, something has to happen quickly.”

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Ex-Saints and Dockers coach Ross Lyon said Wilson’s report had him concerned for Cameron’s wellbeing as it’s already “a lonely job” to be a senior coach.

“What I would like to (see) happen if that’s the case — and I think Leon’s mature enough — behind closed doors (the Giants say): ‘Clarkson’s available, you’ve been here (nearly) 10 years, Grand Final, prelim and been incredible as an expansion team, but we are going after him if we can get him, but we want to give you the respect and courtesy’. I think he would appreciate that,” Lyon told Footy Classified. “That’s realistic.

“If what you’re saying (is true), it’s an indictment (on the Giants). The leaders need to get to him and support him. It’s hard enough being an AFL coach, let alone thinking your CEO and your footy ops (manager are against you). I’d be devastated if that was the case.”

The Giants this week travel to Adelaide to face the Crows, who’ve won three of their past four games.

‘He’s not going to have a job’ | 00:51

Cameron on Wednesday told reporters he “absolutely” wants to continue as Giants coach next year.

“I understand the speculation, but we’re all about Adelaide this weekend,” Cameron said.

Cameron said he’d been encouraged by the Giants’ ability to stick with three top-six sides in their last three hit-outs.

“You’ve got to put things in perspective, where we’re sitting,” he said.

“There’s always going to be ups and downs in footy. In the last three weeks, we’ve had some positive stuff.

“Our team is evolving but equally it’s frustrating because we’re not getting that result at the end.

“Last week I thought we were hard to play against, against St Kilda, we were hard to play against Melbourne for three quarters, we were hard to play against the Dockers for three-and-a-half quarters. It’s trying to find that final 15 or 20 minutes in the game where you don’t relent on anything.”

— with NCA Newswire


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