K rock Football

DOK takes role with VFL Cats

New Geelong VFL assistant coach Daniel O’Keefe. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

DANIEL O’Keefe says his two years in charge of the Geelong Falcons’ TAC Cup program has “fast-tracked” his coaching development.

On Monday afternoon the Falcons confirmed O’Keefe was stepping down from the role, with the 30-year-old revealing on later in the day he would be joining Geelong’s VFL program as an assistant coach where he will work with the Cats’ forwards.

During his tenure at the Falcons, O’Keefe guided the club to its third TAC Cup premiership in 2017 and a finals berth this year.

“If you look at the two years I’ve had as head coach, they’ve been so contrasting in terms of depth and talent and structures and all sorts of things,” he said.

“It’s like there have been four or five years wrapped into two.

“So, I feel like I’ve been fast-tracked as a coach, in terms of development, and that’s part of the reason why I think it’s a great time now to jump on board and grow and learn even further.

“And what better place to do it than at one of the best programs in the country.”

O’Keefe is no stranger to the Cats, having spent time at GMHBA Stadium during his Falcons’ stint as part of his own professional development.

“I’ve been lucky enough to have some mentors down there, and some really good people like Nige Lappin and Matty Knights and ‘Rahls’ (James Rahilly) and these type of guys down at the Cats that have certainly helped me out,” he said.

“Paul Hood’s been a huge support whenever I’ve needed it.

“There’s an abundance of great minds and great people to learn from and grow ever further from down there, so I’m looking forward to being that little bit closer to those guys.”

Despite taking another step in his coaching journey, O’Keefe isn’t looking beyond his role at the Cats.

“I know it’s a cliché, but, honestly, I’ve taken my coaching year-by-year,” he said. “If there’s been opportunities pop-up, I’ve looked at them.

“But, at the same time, I weigh what’s best for me.

“In this particular decision, I’ve got a boy (son Mahli) who’s nearly one, and I don’t see him awake four days a week.

“I think even though I get to grow and learn as a coach, I feel like I can have a little bit more time with my family, too, which is really important to me.”

Twitter: @tom_king79

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