K rock Football

Scott “committed” to Cats

Geelong coach Chris Scott. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

STEVE Hocking has labelled Geelong coach Chris Scott among the “top three or four coaches across the competition” as the news Cats CEO confirmed a contract extension was on the table for the long-serving mentor.

And Hocking has also confirmed reports two-time premiership defender Harry Taylor will return to the club in an off-field position.

Hocking says Scott is committed to what the club views as a “reset” of the football department.

“He wants to see this period through, and I compliment him on that,” Hocking said.

“He could walk away, right here, right now, and be one of the most successful coaches at Geelong; an incredible win-loss ratio.

“But, he’s committed to Geelong and wants to work through it, as are many other people.

“It’s one of the reasons I’ve taken the (CEO) role; I’m committed to Geelong’s future as well.

“There’s a lot that’s been achieved – there’s a lot more than can be achieved.

“We just need to point our nose into the future a bit more and get some innovation back into the place.”

The reappointment of Scott, who is contracted for next year, follows the departures of assistants Corey Enright (St Kilda), Matthew Knights (West Coast) and Matthew Scarlett.

Triple-premiership Cat James Kelly has returned to the club as an assistant coach. Former Carlton and Adelaide star Eddie Betts has taken on a part-time development role, with further appointments expected in the coming weeks.

However, Hocking says the structure may not follow the recent tradition of line coaches overseeing a specific part of the ground.

“As soon as you do announce someone, they say, ‘righto, what part of the field are they actually going to be looking after?’,” he said.

“Chris and (football boss) Simon Lloyd are currently working through what our coaching model will look like and whether we actually have line coaches.

“There’s some consideration going on around that.”

Nigel Lappin will continue as a key member of the coaching staff, Shane O’Bree is expected to maintain the reins of the VFL team, and Shaun Grigg will take on a bigger role.

“We’re currently in the market for a senior person to head up development,” Hocking said.

“We’re going to do a lot of work in development to make sure we’ve got strong programs there.

“That will be announced early-to-mid next week. Shane O’Bree will sit in underneath there, and Eddie Betts is part of that as well.”

Taylor, who retired at the end of 2020 after 280 games, will return to Geelong after living in his native Western Australia this year.

He will oversee the Cats’ high-performance department.

“He’s going to sit across the top of the medical and fitness team and help them through systems and accountability and processes, which he’s highly driven and highly engaged around,” Hocking said.

“He will develop the right modelling to feedback into the coaching group and support what we want to do on field.

“He’ll sit in under Simon Lloyd to support Simon.

“How can we make sure our people are being supported … how do you make sure they aren’t exhausted from COVID?

“We can get them up out of that, and bounce them out of that and support them accordingly.

“That’s what we’re committed to.”

Hocking also revealed the appointment of Chloe Wagener as the club’s first Indigenous liaison officer

“That role will sit within our player development team,” he said.

“We’re also in the market for another role there, so we’re going to make sure that we boost that area and look after the health and wellbeing of our playing group and development of our playing group – both men and women.”

Twitter: @tom_king79