Club Statement: Max Bailey

The Box Hill Hawks wish to advise that Max Bailey has stood down from his role as Senior Coach.

Bailey notified the Club of his decision over the weekend, having made the difficult choice to leave City Oval to pursue opportunities outside of football.

“It is with a mixed emotions that we announce Max’s decision to leave our Club at this time,” said Ed Sill, President.

“Whilst upset he will be moving on, we fully understand and support his position. Simply, the realities and challenges of COVID–19 have affected each of us individually and collectively.

“And it’s that reality that means we say goodbye to not only a terrific coach and leader of our football club, but a man of outstanding character who is compassionate, caring and universally admired by everyone as a result.

“We wholeheartedly wish him and his family the best in every future endeavor and remind him that as a much-loved member of the Box Hill family he is always welcome at City Oval.”

The departing Bailey addressed staff and players on Monday night.

“The last four or five months have been about reflection and thinking about what’s next for me and my family,” Bailey said.

“I look back at the last 10-15 years of my life in football and it’s been a relentless time, so the opportunity to take stock, spend time with those close to me and weigh up the future has been a welcome one.

“And in this case the takeaways have been that the direction we’re going doesn’t involve football.

“I’d like to extend a big thank you to Ed and the board for having me. It’s been a fantastic experience and one I’m so grateful for.

“To our coaches and leaders, all the work you’ve done, particularly this year, to pull the group together like you have is nothing short of remarkable and has been a joy to witness.

“I’d also like to acknowledge everyone who has been involved with Box Hill during my association with the Club. I arrived as a skinny kid straight off the farm back in 2005 and quickly found a home.

“I’ll always look back on my time and experiences at Box Hill with great fondness, but now it’s time for me to be a fan. That’s something I’m very much looking forward to.”

Recruited by Hawthorn with pick 18 in the 2005 AFL National Draft, West Australian Bailey spent eight seasons on the Hawks’ list, enduring and enjoying every up and down the game has to offer.

In a 43-game career the resilient and talented ruckman overcame three knee reconstructions to ultimately retire a premiership player and fan favourite.

It was on his paths of development and recovery that he would spend time at the Hawks’ VFL affiliate, Box Hill, firstly to build towards a senior career and then for a return to one.

Following retirement in 2013 Bailey spent a brief time volunteering in Tanzania, but the call of footy lured him back to Melbourne.

He would hold a specialist skills role with Richmond for seasons 2014-15, before returning to the Brown and Gold in 2016, where he would serve as assistant to Chris Newman for the 2017 and 2018 VFL seasons.

He would take the reins at City Oval for the 2019 VFL season, leading the Club to another finals series, it’s tenth September appearance in eleven previous seasons.

The board, staff and playing group of the Box Hill Hawks thank Max for his service to the Club as a player and coach and extend its best wishes to the Bailey family.

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