Suspended Essendon coach James Hird remains adamant he will return to the AFL club, saying he is counting down the days to August.
Hird is now overseas with his family while he serves a 12-month AFL ban because of the Bombers’ supplements scandal.
Essendon remain under ASADA suspension, with no firm indication on when the anti-doping agency will decide whether to issue infraction notices.
In an interview with the club’s Hangar program to be aired on Tuesday night, Hird said he wants to reward Bombers fans for their support and loyalty.
“My passion for coaching? I can’t wait to come back,” he said.
“(I’m) obviously counting down the days, I think it’s less than six months now to come back.
“I can’t wait to come back and coach … this football club again.
“Coach the players and reward the supporters for all the faith they’ve put in our football club.”
Hird also predicted that Essendon will have a strong season under caretaker coach Mark Thompson.
“We’ll win plenty of games and we’ll see why we are a very good football club,” he said.
“The players are fantastic – the players and supporters, that’s what the lifeblood of a football club (is).
“The players (got) behind the club, re-committed to the club at the end of last year, trained their backsides off.
“Obviously I haven’t been around the club, but just hearing the enthusiasm … for season 2014, you wish them all the best.”
While Hird has been under massive pressure since the supplements scandal started in February last year, he has received support from a large number of Essendon supporters.
“The Essendon fans throughout the last two and a half years have been incredible,” he said.
“When we walked back to the club at the end of 2010 to now, they’ve been amazing.
“Obviously the Essendon fans want to know what’s going on and we’ve been able to talk to them at some stages about that.
“But really in terms of Essendon fans, you couldn’t ask for anything more and … it speaks for what we are, a great club, and why we’ll continue to be a great club.”