K rock Football

Dok to lead Blues twos

New Carlton reserves coach Daniel O’Keefe. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

GEELONG Falcons premiership mentor Daniel O’Keefe has been appointed coach of Carlton’s reserves team.

The Blues will enter a standalone team in the yet-t0-be-named East Coast second-tier competition featuring former VFL and NEAFL teams having previously been aligned with the Northern Bullants.

O’Keefe, who played locally in Geelong with Geelong West-St Peter’s and Newtown & Chilwell after injury curtailed his AFL career, joined the Blues late last year as a development coach after a season as an assistant with Geelong’s VFL team.

“Having coached our reserves side this year during the scratch matches, I can see how hungry our emerging talent is for their opportunity,” O’Keefe said.

“What this second-tier competition gives them is the chance to push their case for selection directly within the Carlton system, which will only enhance their development.

“The pathway for our players is now really clear if they want to play seniors. Train hard, play well at reserve level and use your consistent performances to break into the AFL side.”

Carlton football boss Brad Lloyd says O’Keefe, who guided the Falcons to the 2017 TAC Cup flag, was the ideal person for the role.

“Since arriving at the Club 12 months ago, Dan has shown his exceptional quality as a development coach and this role will help him utilise his skill set to help take our development program to the next level,” Lloyd said.

“During our time away in the hubs this year, Dan went above and beyond to build really strong relationships with our emerging players.

“This has ensured our emerging group will take great momentum into the start of pre-season and into 2021.

“As a club, we have been working incredibly hard to make sure our reserves side fit seamlessly into our development program.

“We are confident the structure we have now put in place makes the pathway to the AFL really clear for our emerging players and gives them all the motivation they need to push hard for senior selection.”

Twitter: @tom_king79