Legendary little forward Eddie Betts is expected to join Geelong’s coaching staff after recently putting time into his stellar 350-game AFL career.
Most important points:
- Former Adelaide and Carlton little forward Eddie Betts retired this season
- Geelong list manager Stephen Wells says club is looking at Tyson Stengle
- Bulldogs assistant Ash Hansen moves to Carlton to connect with Michael Voss
After losing key assistant coaches Matthew Knights, Corey Enright and Matthew Scarlett this off-season, the Cats have staged a real coup by securing one of the most influential players of modern times.
Former Essendon champion Matthew Lloyd, brother of Geelong football boss Simon, broke the news on AFL Trade Radio, but the Cats have yet to confirm the appointment.
Betts retired in August with 640 goals after 17 seasons with Carlton and Adelaide, and is widely recognized as one of the most popular figures in AFL history.
But his impact has not only been felt on the pitch. In recent years he has been a powerful voice in speaking on race issues in Australia.
The 34-year-old has been a key mentor to young players in Adelaide for the past ten years and the last two with Carlton, the club that appointed him in 2004.
Betts’ move means former Adelaide and Richmond forward Tyson Stengle could earn a third chance in the AFL with the Cats.
“We have some interest in Tyson and he is very lucky to have a man like Eddie in his corner,” Geelong list manager Stephen Wells told SEN.
Betts is the second Indigenous person to be appointed as coach in as many days, after former Melbourne defender Neville Jetta was added to Collingwood’s support staff on Tuesday.
Former Magpies and Geelong star Travis Varcoe, who is now a development coach with the Western Bulldogs, asked last month why there weren’t more native coaches at AFL clubs.
In other coaching news, veteran Bulldogs assistant Ash Hansen moves on after nine seasons at the Whitten Oval to connect with new Carlton coach Michael Voss.
A West Coast Premiership player, Hansen coached Footscray to a VFL flag in 2016 and led the Bulldogs forward in the AFL for the past five seasons.
“[Hansen] has coached his own side to a premiership in the VFL and delivered impressive results as a line coach – to be able to bring someone of his quality, skills and experience to our football club is another significant step forward,” Blues football boss Brad Brad said Lloyd .