By Danny Buttler
FORMER AFL player Rod Keogh has returned to Devon Meadows to coach the senior team.
Keogh, who played in St Kilda’s losing grand final side of 1997, is fondly remembered after a successful stint as coach in the early 2000s.
He coached the side to consecutive finals appearances and is expected to lift the Panthers back into the final five next season.
Keogh, who spent five years in Tasmania before returning to his home in Carrum Downs, has been keeping a close eye on Devon Meadows since he returned.
He was more than happy to take the helm when senior coach Steve O’Brien unexpectedly left for the Casey Scorpions.
“I’m not there for any other reason except to help the club,” Keogh said.
“The boys had all their plans in place when Steve got the opportunity at Casey.”
President Allan King said securing Keogh was a coup for the club.
“It’s very good news, we were after him and we got him,” he said.
“He brings a lot of experience and a lot of knowledge; he has been around the game for a long time.
“He knows the players and he still has his finger on the pulse.”
Named coach of the past 30 years by the young club, Keogh is hoping he can lead the team toward a new era of success.
To get to the top of the Casey Cardinia league tree, he said he would need the loyalty of the players and an injection of some new talent.
“We definitely need some midfielders and a couple of key position players,” he said.
“It would be lovely to think that the majority of the list would stay together. When you have a good foundation its important to build on it.”
Keogh played a handful of games for Melbourne before being traded to St Kilda in 1994.
The bullocking onballer played his best football for the Saints, where he was part of a brilliant engine-room alongside Robert Harvey, Nathan Burke and Nicky Winmar.
By Danny Buttler