One of the longest-running feuds in Australian Rules Football is over, with Derek Kickett and Kevin Sheedy meeting to bury the hatchet.
Kickett was omitted from Kevin Sheedy’s Essendon team for the 1993 AFL grand final despite having played every game for the Bombers that season.
The West Australian then left Essendon and had refused to meet with his former coach ever since, having on several occasions referred to his disgust about the situation.
Speaking on NITV’s The Marngrook Footy Show on Wednesday night, a program Kickett is co-host of, he detailed how the fiery meeting played out.
“After 25 years you could imagine what it would have been like,” Kickett said.
“It’s not going to be a nice conversation is it? It started off pretty rough and had a few high words.
“At the end of the day we got past that. Like I said I’ve got past that stage and I’m happy with the result and Sheeds is happy with the result.
“It was good to get it out of the way.
“I had to thank the (Essendon) CEO Xavier Campbell for organising that arrangement but at the end of the day it was my decision whether I wanted to do it.
“And I did it because 25 years is a long time and I’m over that stage now and the media hopefully can get off my back or whatever, but I don’t really care.
“But the thing is that we got over it and shook hands and that was it.”
The meeting had been back-page news in Melbourne and on Wednesday night, off the top of The Marngrook Footy Show, panellist Ronnie Burns was keen to rib Kickett about the feud.
“I went and got a coffee this morning down at Bay Street in Port Melbourne, I turned the paper over and there’s his big head on the back page,” Burns said.
“Dominating photo. My coffee actually started to curdle. And with the hair, it was nice to see you dominating the paper. I thought they put you there because you were missing,” Burns joked.
Sheedy himself dialled into the Marngrook Footy Show by phone to speak about the meeting with Kickett.
“It was a good meeting. Derek really wanted to tell me how he felt about it all and that was fair enough,” Sheedy said.
“I’m sorry how it all panned out 25 years ago but it was a very awkward situation.”
Sheedy accepted an invitation to join the show in person later in the year, before Burns chimed in with another tongue-in-cheek jab at Kickett.
“I could actually feel the love there. It’s a really riveting interview and it seems like you’re really building your relationship, like you’re going to the Maldives next week,” Burns said.
“Did you really resolve everything? It didn’t sound like it?”
After laughing off Burns’s jibes, Kickett said it was hard development to come to terms with but a coach’s decision has to be respected by athletes at every level, regardless of whether you agree with it.
“End of the day I just said, well you’re the coach, that’s the decision you make so I have to accept it, which I finally did, even though I have my views on it,” Kickett said.
“So for all you audience out there, next year, wait for my book.”
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