K rock Football

Ego happy to be parked at Cats

Geelong player development manager Matt Egan. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

MATTHEW Egan is looking forward to working with Geelong’s younger cohort following his appointment as the club’s head of development.

The 38-year-0ld has returned to the Cats after a decade in similar roles at Essendon, where he also served three games as interim coach in 2015 following James Hird’s resignation, and Melbourne.

“There’s a really big mix of players who have got some opportunity, like (Gryan) Miers and Esava (Ratugolea), who are still learning their craft,” Egan said.

“But, then there’s some guys coming through that haven’t had much opportunity recently; Cooper Stephens, Nick Stevens, Max Holmes, who’s played some games last year.

“I watched him in his draft year, and he’s an elite runner, and I think he showed his improvement over the year.

There’s a really broad mix. There’s some raw ruckmen types coming through. And we’re going to have a big draft this year with five picks.

We get (Tyson) Stengle in, and maybe another rookie. It’s going to be a big group of players, and in the Academy group, there’s 17-18 players.

“It’s a big part of the list that’s still developing.”

Egan, who played 59 games in the Hoops before a foot injury suffered in the final round of 2007 prematurely ended his career, said he was keen to get back in the AFL system.

The All-Australian spent 2021 as head of football at Melbourne’s Xavier College after stepping down from the Demons at the end of last year.

“Towards the end of my time at Xavier, I realised how much I missed being in the AFL industry,” Egan said.

“I spoke to a few clubs, and Geelong were one of them. I spoke with Simon Lloyd, and then Steve Hocking, and Chris Scott and the broader staff.

“I chose Geelong because it’s a great fit. I believe in the list and the staff here and some connection to some former teammates who have come back as well. I feel it’s a great place to be.

“I’m passionate about the club. When you’ve played here … I want to see them do really well and have success again.”

Egan will work closely with fellow off-season additions Eddie Betts and Shannon Byrnes, as well as assistant coach Nigel Lappin, VFL coach Shane O’Bree, player development manager Mark Worthington, and sports psychologist Dave Williams.

There will also be a chance to play a role in list management.

“I’m only one week in, so we’re still refining all the finer details around match day and who’s doing what,” Egan said.

“I’m sure I’ll be across the VFL and AFL programs and work where the club needs me to.

“If it’s more VFL on a certain day with certain players or working with the AFL, I’ll do what I’m asked.

“I’m a collaborator, I work together, and I’ll do whatever the clubs needs me to do.”

Twitter: @tom_king79