Cats assistant coach joins Gold Coast - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cats assistant coach joins Gold Coast

29/09/2009 04:29:47 PM Comments (0)

Geelong's success has come at a cost, with a key member of the coaching staff that guided the Cats to the AFL premiership lured to the Gold Coast.

Geelong's senior assistant coach Ken Hinkley will join the Gold Coast in October, to help prepare their young list for a 2011 AFL debut.

Head coach Guy McKenna said Hinkley's part in shaping a team that has won two of the past three premierships was attractive.

"To have that sort of experience join your coaching panel it's exciting," McKenna said.

"... It also says a lot about the person being involved in the AFL system right now at the highest level, to step back and jump on (a club) in the early days when it's a bit tough."

The recruitment of Hinkley could also give the fledgling club an edge in their attempt to lure one of the Cats' superstar young midfielders Gary Ablett and Joel Selwood.

Hinkley was one of the final two candidates for Richmond's head coaching job, won by former Hawthorn assistant Damien Hardwick.

It is the second straight season a Cats' grand final appearance has been quickly followed by a rival club snaring a member of their coaching panel.

Last year, St Kilda pounced on Geelong assistant Leigh Tudor, who has been credited with a significant role in the Saints' improvement.

Hinkley, a Geelong assistant since 2004, said he could not ignore the unprecedented opportunity to mould a large group of talented youngsters.

"In the current system a club gets about two or three young players a year to work with," he said.

"So it's a coach's dream to be able to work with such a large group."

Meanwhile, Cats dual premiership captain Tom Harley says he needs more time to decide whether to retire.

"It's really just exhale for a couple of weeks and talk to the right people," Harley said on Tuesday, after parading with the team through the Geelong streets, cheered by thousands of fans.

"I haven't really spent any time with the coach since the game, so I'm looking forward to just sitting down and talking about all of that."

Harley said while there was a temptation to try to win another flag, it was important to "pick your times with certain things".

Geelong coach Mark Thompson said on Monday he would be willing to keep the 31-year-old on the list, even if it was just to notch the two more matches he needs to reach the 200-game milestone.

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