COLLEGIANS will begin their 2024 premiership defence under new leadership with Jordie McKenzie taking over from outgoing coach Jared Rivers.
In a statement to members the club announced that Rivers would be standing down after the successful 2023 campaign that saw the Lions claim the William Buck Premiership by 85 points over St Kevin’s.
The club has told VAFA Media “It goes without saying that Jared has been terrific for our club and we thank him for everything. What this group have achieved in his three years of leadership at the club has been outstanding.”
Jordie played 79 games for Melbourne in the AFL from 2009 to 2015. He hails from Terang in country Victoria and recently become engaged so he has had a bit going on the last couple of weeks.
He arrived at Collegians three years ago with Jared. He coached our Under 23 side in 2021, and took up the role as assistant Senior coach in 2022 and 2023.
Jordie will bring unwavering enthusiasm to the role and cannot wait to get started. The club sees Jordie as a long term coach of the club and hope he and our young list can be together for many years to come.
Rivers coached the Lions across 51 matches, four of those matches were finals in 2022 and 2023. A 62.7% winning record. In 2022 he guided the Lions into the finals, before the ultimate success in 2023.
Going out on a high Rivers was named the 2023 William Buck Premier Men’s coach of the year when the final was announced last week.
Other coaching changes in William Buck Premier see’s Dan Donati return home to the Old Xaverians to take control ahead of the 2024 season. Donati returned to the VAFA in 2023 as coach of Old Brighton, but the pull back to his roots became too strong during September.
Donati is excited to be back in Red and Black.
“I’ve enjoyed every stop in my time in football and feel very humbled to have experienced what I have so far. The clubs I’ve played with and those I have coached have all tasted success because of the people within them and the amazing work they all do working towards a common goal,” Donati said to the Old Xaverians website.
“I have established and retained strong relationships with many hard-working club servants at every stage. Still, to come home now is pretty special. I am a Xavier person through and through, and the opportunity to help take the Xavs back towards the top of the VAFA was one I found irresistible.” he continued.
This means that Old Brighton are on the lookout for a coach and one is expected to be named in the coming weeks before pre-season begins in mid-November.
For all other coaching opportunities available in the VAFA, click here.