Change in coach fails to inspire Footscray

PUBLISHED : Monday, 01 July, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 01 July, 1996, 12:00am

New Footscray coach Terry Wallace missed out on a dream Australian Football League debut as the Bulldogs got stuck in the mud against West Coast at Whitten Oval yesterday.

The Eagles kicked three goals in the first nine minutes and were not headed for the remainder of the day.

West Coast won 11.5 (71) to 9.5 (59) on a track soaked by heavy overnight rain.

Wallace, a former Hawthorn champion who has been the Bulldogs' chairman of selectors after ending his playing days there, will have the coaching job until the end of the season.

He replaced two-time Hawthorn premiership coach Alan Joyce who quit last week after the Bulldogs had registered only two wins for the season.

Joyce, who replaced sacked coach Terry Wheeler two rounds into the 1994 season, had offered his resignation earlier this season after Footscray were thrashed by North Melbourne.

Footscray chief executive Dennis Galimberti would not confirm that the Footscray board had attempted to talk Joyce into completing his contract, which expires in November.

The club were expected to replace him at the end of the season.

Joyce will remain at the club until then, employed as a consultant.

Footscray's struggling co-tenants at Whitten Oval, Fitzroy, crumbled under Geelong on Saturday, losing what could be their last game by an embarrassing 127 points.

The Lions scored only three behinds in the second half to go down 25.16 (166) to 6.3 (39).

The fate of Fitzroy - who have been in the league 113 years - will be decided by an AFL Commission meeting today after the Nauru Government's decision on Friday to instal chartered accountant Michael Brennan to manage the club's affairs.

The Nauru Government, which became Fitzroy's guarantor in 1994, is believed to be owed A$1.25 million of the club's total debt of A$4.5 million.

Brennan said the Lions were insolvent with no money in the bank and no assets to repay their debts.


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