K rock Football

Buddha takes role at Joeys

GFL powerhouse St Joseph’s has landed one of the recruits of the off-season – but he won’t play a game in the red, gold and black.

Geelong great Garry Hocking has joined Joeys as an assistant coach, in a signing senior coach Paul Carson has labelled as “fantastic news” for the club.

Carson says the relationship between Hocking and St Joseph’s came about as a result of the Australian Football Hall of Fame member’s son Lachie playing at Joeys.

“I got a text message from Nick Maxwell saying “maybe reach out to Buddha. I think he’s pretty keen to give you a chop out if and when you need it”,” Carson said.

“I got Buddha’s number phone number, reached out, had some pretty good conversations with Buddha, and by December, he was spending one or two nights with us at training.

“From there, I spent a few days with him at Collingwood, and followed him around a little bit, and our relationship has gone from strength-to-strength to the point where we’re in this position now.”

Hocking spent a decade as an assistant coach in the AFL system, including at Port Adelaide where he was interim coach of the Power for four games following the sacking of Matthew Primus in 2012.

He also coached the Geelong Falcons, Peel Thunder in the WAFL, and Port Adelaide and South Adelaide in the SANFL.

Hocking, who played 274 games for the Cats, was due to lead Collingwood’s VFL team this year before the COVID crisis hit, which eventually cost him his role at the Magpies.

He will oversee the St Joseph’s midfield, but will also play a role as a coaching mentor across the club’s football and netball sections.

“I see myself and the club very fortunate to have someone like Buddha in our corner,” Carson said.

“All our coaches, through juniors, through netball, will be able to tap into Buddha and his philosophies on coaching.

“It’s invaluable for us at local level.”

Carson says he’s looking forward to tapping into Hocking’s knowledge at training and on match days.

“For me, he will be massive for my coaching growth,” Carson said.

Twitter: @tom_king79