GWS chief executive Dave Matthews and footy journalist Sam McClure have clashed over a heated debate on the radio following the resignation of Leon Cameron as giants coach.
After introducing Matthews with a brief spill about the Giants on McClure 3AW radio, the GWS boss took the opportunity to express his frustration with McClure’s comments about the club for several months.
Matthews said the AFL industry called the “death-ride coach” and some of Cameron’s comments “ugly.”
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“For whatever reason, people like to go to the Giants,” McClure said in his introduction.
“It simply came to our notice then.
“The Sun has at least performed less. The GWS has been a performing club like no other for the last six seasons. The difference between them and Richmond is that they have the Richmond flag. The GWS doesn’t.
“Now, I know we’ve all won the flag, but it’s hard to win the flag.
“I think what Leon Cameron and GWS have achieved over the last half-decade is amazing … so I’m not surprised that Leon Cameron is no longer the coach, I’m fascinated with where I’m going now for this football club.”
Mathews quickly set fire to the opportunity to speak.
“I know it’s not exciting for you, but it’s a friendly decision,” Matthews said.
Leon Cameron has resigned
McClure: “It’s not that it’s not exciting, Dave, but I don’t think it’s fair to say that it’s not dramatic when it happened just before the turning point of the season’s half-way mark.”
Matthews: “Okay, I just heard you say just a minute ago, ‘At least the Gold Coast has gotten low.’
McClure: “It was actually a positive for GWS. I was saying people can’t …”.
Matthews went in.
“Wait. But the irony of such a comment is that I think we have become a successful club under the leadership and coaching of Leon Cameron,” Mathews said.
“We got to the finals. I think we deserve more credit and credibility than what you sometimes give us. But you want to take that position.
“I think he’s managed really well today. He’s a very, very decent person, his values are embedded in our club, and that’s what we highlighted when we interviewed him. Not for more than 10 years, I think. The resilience and culture of our club is a reflection of Leon Cameron.
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“I think he deserves more respect than you sometimes give him or give to the club.”
McClure continued to defend himself.
“Dave, I think you totally misunderstood or misunderstood my role. I just spent the best part of 90 seconds talking about how successful GWS was and how they somehow didn’t get the credit they deserved,” McClure said.
“I said the only difference between you and Richmond over the last six years is the premiere. Other than that, the way you performed in the final, you’re both the same.
“I’m not sure if you misunderstood or misrepresented what I said, but I didn’t compare you to the Gold Coast at all.”
Matthews did not back down.
“I’ve been taking a line through your descriptions in recent weeks and months. You yourself have said that we have become an easy goal and that is an easy goal for people like you,” Matthews said.
“It’s a club that’s a real football club in competition. It’s us and it’s multiple people. One person is the focus of attention today, and he’s a very good person and he’s done a great job and there are others who are, as well.
“I sometimes feel like you have 50 cents in each way.”
McClure: “Okay, okay, if you want to deepen that conversation, Dave, I’m glad. But at the moment we’re talking …”.
Mathews continues to support his proud club.
“No, I don’t need to, man. I don’t need to have a conversation with you. I’m just answering questions,” Matthews said.
“I heard your introduction, and I’m saying that I think today was a very good moment for our club and play, actually.
“The Giants have been accused of a difficult task: actually building a fanbase in an area that is not AFL in terms of history.
“I think we’ve made some good decisions. We’ve got Kevin Shady who’s handed over to Leon Cameron. Leon Cameron has reached a decision today and there’s nothing too dramatic about what’s behind it. Great job, this is a friendly discussion that was held and we are waiting now.
“It’s an art where death-ride trainers. That’s what they do, art. I don’t like it. I think it’s unhealthy.
“I don’t really like the fact that I’ve been defending Leon for a while and (in) it. He’s probably tired of this kind of comment. ‘
“He’s done an outstanding job (and) he’s a great person at football.”
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