Former Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy says James Hird should get the chance to coach again.

Sheedy, speaking at the launch of Dustin Fletcher’s autobiography, Fletch, said Hird showed during his tenure that he can be a talented coach.

“He is a very resilient young man, he showed that when he finished last week, and I hope he comes back and coaches again,” Sheedy said on Tuesday.

“Everybody forgets how courageous that young man was. He had a terrible foot injury at the start of his career then got his face smashed in Perth and had that serious operation.

“He’s always had courage and persistence.

“People forget that Norm Smith, probably the greatest coach ever, I think, started at Fitzroy for three years and then went to Melbourne and became a great coach, so you never know.

“After you do your three years you (can) get another chance and you can always have another career. Hopefully that happens with the young man.

“He has been a marvellous player at this club, rated the third greatest ever, and it is very important we have James Hird and his whole family still with Essendon as an Essendon person for the rest of his life, just as John Coleman and Dick Reynolds were — the three greatest players in the history of this club.

“It’s been a tough period. Everybody has taken supplements in the whole of the AFL and in nearly every sport, so we wait for the WADA decision and we’ll see how it all pans out.

“All I know is James Hird is one of the very decent people I’ve met in football.”