AFL coach Leon Cameron frozen out by GWS Giants boss Dave Matthews

A reported relationship breakdown at the highest level suggests things may be much worse at the Giants than we realise.

Giants coach Leon Cameron is reportedly being “frozen out” by club bosses as his coaching position with the club hangs by a thread.

Cameron this week insisted he can see a light at the end of the tunnel, despite the club slipping to 1-5 for the season — the club’s worst start to a season since 2013.

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The veteran coach has been plagued by speculation surrounding his position all year after it emerged he and the club had delayed contract negotiations. He is not contracted beyond the 2022 season.

The truth of the messy situation was further exposed on Wednesday night with football journalist Caroline Wilson claiming Cameron’s relationship with club bosses is deteriorating.

She told Footy Classified Cameron’s position is becoming untenable.

Cameron has been at the club for nine years alongside long-serving CEO Dave Matthews — but their relationship may now be strained.

Wilson said the Giants were “clearly coming to the end of their time with Leon Cameron”.

“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.”

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.

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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