K rock Football

Timing not right for Daffy

Geelong Falcons coach Luke Daffy speaks to his players early in the 2019 season. (Geelong Falcons Image/Brian Bartlett)

LUKE Daffy has made the tough call not to apply for the full-time position as a coach of the Geelong Falcons.

Daffy, who led the NAB League club in 2019 and was due to have a second season in charge, revealed to krockfootball.com.au he wouldn’t be putting his hand up for the role in 2021.

“It was definitely a really difficult decision,” Daffy said. “I probably wrestled with it for a little bit of time leading into when it was presented to us.

“The last couple of days, I’ve really taken some time to consider what that would look like applying for that position.

“But, the timing is not quite right.”

“As disappointing as it is to finish with the situation that we have, I still feel like I’ve had a great opportunity to be involved in such a great program for such a long time.”

“I also feel extremely grateful for the opportunity to be head coach, albeit for a couple of years.”

After informing Falcons Talent Manager Michael Turner of his decision, Daffy has spent the day speaking with the 2020 squad.

However, it was telling his coaching staff that was the most challenging part for the well-liked mentor, who has been involved at Highton Reserve for seven years.

“I’ve built some really strong relationships and friendships in the last couple of years with those people,” Daffy said.

“There’s a sense of unfinished business with the playing group – we had a fantastic summer.

“But, in the end, things happen – things out of our control.

“I feel thankful for the opportunities that have come about, and I know I’ll walk away from the program with lots of really strong friendships with players and staff.”

Following a tough first season in charge, in which the Falcons finished last of the full-time NAB League teams with just three wins and a draw, there was optimism this year’s group would make a mark on the competition.

“I learnt a lot about myself as a coach in that first year, and as a whole coaching group we really reassessed a little bit of our philosophy about how we wanted to go about things,” Daffy said.

“We felt like we had the group in a really good space to go into this year.

“But I’m still hopeful that will support them in their footy; whether that’s AFL next year, or another year in the NAB League, or, for some, if that opportunity’s not there, back at community level or in a VFL program.”

A highly-respected educator in the region, Daffy is currently serving as deputy principal of Nazareth Primary School in Grovedale.

“Footy’s a true love, and it’s a passion as well, but at the moment it just didn’t piece together for me at this point,” he said.

“It’s a bit of journey we’ve started there (at Nazareth), and we’d like to keep going on that path and doing some great work we have been doing as a school and as a community, particularly through some tough times at the moment.”

Daffy is keen to stay in football, especially in the development area.

“There’s been a few things spoken about what the NAB League might look like and players potentially playing some community footy at the start of the season before they transition into a restructured competition,” he said.

“So, I’ll give myself some time to think about what that might look like – whether that is at a community level or something else.”

Twitter: @tom_king79