K rock Football

Scarlett joins coach exodus

Geelong assistant coach Matthew Scarlett quit the club. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

MATTHEW Scarlett has become the latest departure from Geelong’s coaching staff.

The club great, who has been the Cats’ defensive assistant coach since 2016, joins Matthew Knights and Corey Enright in departing GMHBA Stadium since the club’s season was ended by Melbourne in a preliminary final.

Knights has joined West Coast, while Enright has headed to St Kilda.

Scarlett says he is taking a break from the game.

“It has been an incredible journey, much more than I could ever have hoped for when I joined the club,” Scarlett said in a statement.

“I have enjoyed coaching, but the time is right to take a break. The relationships I have formed over my time at the club will remain with me forever.

I would like to thank the club, the coaches I have worked with and the players for making it such an enjoyable experience. I will really miss the ‘misfits’ – a great group to work with.”

A product of St Joseph’s, Scarlett was drafted as a father-son selection in 1997 from Geelong Falcons and went on to play 284 games in 15 seasons, playing a key role at full-back in the club’s three premierships between 2007-11.

Following his retirement at the end of 2012, he joined GFL club South Barwon, where he played three seasons and was co-coach in 2014-15.

During that period, he spent time as a part-time assistant at the Western Bulldogs under Brendan McCartney.

In 2016, he returned to Kardinia Park as an assistant coach, helping mould the Cats into one of the AFL’s best defensive units.

“Matthew has enjoyed huge success as both a player and as coach at the club, and we wish he and his family well in his future,” football Simon Lloyd said.

“Matthew has always sought to make the Geelong Football Club better, both as a player and in his role as a member of the coaching staff.  There is no doubt that many players improved greatly under his guidance.

“Matthew has barely had any time outside the game over the past 23 years, most of which have been here at GMHBA Stadium.

“His contribution to the club has been enormous.”

Twitter: @tom_king79