MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 15: James Hird, coach of the Essendon Bombers walks through Bombers supporters in the crowd as heads to speak to his players at three quarter time during the round 20 AFL match between the Essendon Bombers and the Adelaide Crows at Etihad Stadium on August 15, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Three clubs have expressed interest in helping James Hird return to coaching at AFL level.

A trio of clubs have sounded out the former Essendon coach, the Herald Sun revealed that Hird has been in discussion with clubs surrounding the potential return to coaching.

Along with a second club, Fremantle began discussing Hird’s return with him last year whilst a third team approached Hird through informal discussions only two months ago.

Hird rejected the Dockers’ offer but remains a genuine chance to return to the coaches’ box soon.

Almost four years after his resignation following the infamous supplement scandal, the Brownlow medalist told clubs he is interested in discussions if the right role is offered.

Many league greats have backed the 46-year-old, with Essendon coaching royalty Kevin Sheedy expressing full support for Hird.

Earlier this week, Sheedy announced in the Herald Sun that Hird was in “a great place”, saying clubs should not put a black line through his name when recruiting for season 2020.

Geelong triple-premiership player Jimmy Bartel backed Sheedy’s comments about Hird still having a lot to offer.

“If he wants to come back, I have no doubt he would make a good assistant coach to start with.” Bartel told Macquarie Sports Radio.

“Sheeds is spot on, he’s one of the smartest minds in football.

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“I think everyone in the football community will be fine with it.”

Hird, who still has a strong interest in game at the elite level, was also backed by former Bulldog ruck Luke Darcy.

“Everyone that I’ve heard play under Hirdy has got nothing but full praise for him,” Darcy said on Triple M radio.

“Everyone has a mistake, everyone has things that don’t work out for them but to welcome James Hird back, to me, is a no-brainer if he wants to.”

While every club has locked in their coaching crew for the 2019 season, there is no doubt Hird will be seeking an opportunity to rejoin the ranks next year and leave the catastrophic scandal behind him.