Neil Craig is happy to move on, Paul Roos says

New Melbourne coach Paul Roos says he does not expect Neil Craig to remain at the club next season.
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Craig, the club’s director of sports performance, took over as caretaker coach after Mark Neeld’s sacking before round 13 this year and spoke to the Demons’ selection panel about the position.

However, now that Roos has won the job, it appears Craig will walk away and its assumed the club will have to pay out the final year of the three-year contract he signed in 2012.

Asked if he planned to keep Craig on in any specific role next year, Roos responded: “I don’t think so”.

“I think the circumstances that Neil found himself in, he was told that – if he didn’t get the job – my understanding is that he would happily move on,” Roos told Fox Footy.

It was reported by Fairfax Media that the Brisbane Lions were planning to interview Craig for the vacant senior job.

The appointment of Roos at Melbourne was officially announced last Friday and the former Sydney premiership coach’s first day on Monday involved list management and reviewing the structure of the football department.

He has agreed to a two-year deal, with an option for a third, and will work in partnership with a senior assistant who will be groomed for the senior position and then take over once Roos’ contract expires.

Roos revealed on Monday night that Melbourne had already sounded out Hawthorn assistant coach Adam Simpson and West Coast assistant Scott Burns, who is also in the running for the Eagles’ job.

“I believe they have spoken to Adam Simpson and I believe they have spoken to Scotty Burns,” Roos said.

“But I will certainly give them a call and suss them out, while being respectful to their clubs as well … but I suspect the first conversation will be with [Melbourne football manager] Josh Mahoney to find out where those two guys sit,” he said.

Roos is very confident a succession plan is the right path for embattled Melbourne to take after finishing 17th this season and winning just six matches in the past two seasons.

“I have lived it and breathed it. I know it works,” Roos said, pointing to his coaching handover to John Longmire at Sydney.

Roos shot down suggestions he was only taking the job for the massive salary Melbourne is believed to be paying him, disclosing that he had rejected previous coaching offers for the same type of money.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

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