Werribee Football Club is continuing its busy off season, securing former Richmond star Nick Daffy for its coaching panel for the 2019 season.

The former Tigers midfielder and forward spent 2018 working as the forward coach with Essendon’s VFL side and will take on the same role with Werribee next year.

Daffy said the opportunity to work alongside AFL premiership coach Mark Williams at a stand-alone VFL club was exciting.

“I felt it was going to be a good fit for me,” Daffy said. “I’m from Geelong, so it’s obviously close to home.

“The opportunity to work with ‘Choco’ [Williams] on a full-time basis with a stand-alone side was something I thought I really needed.”

The move continues an impressive coaching career for Daffy.

Prior to joining Essendon, he spent 2014 as an assistant coach with the Northern Blues and 2017 as midfield and stoppage coach with North Ballarat, also working closely with star Werribee midfielder Matt Hanson as midfield coach of the VFL state team that same year.

Outside the VFL, he has served as director of coaching for Bellarine Football League side Torquay (2013-14) and senior coach of Geelong Football League club St Albans (2015-16).

As a player, Daffy registered 166 games with Richmond and one game with Sydney. He kicked 182 goals from 1992 to 2002, during which he also represented South Australia in state of origin on three occasions.

He began his career as a dangerous half-forward and was the Tigers’ leading goalkicker in 1995, later developing into a prolific midfielder and going on to win the club’s best and fairest in 1998.

Werribee football operations manager Stuart Balloch said Daffy was an exciting addition to the club’s coaching ranks.

“Nick’s football journey through the Geelong Football League with St Albans and then North Ballarat and in a VFL/AFL alignment with Essendon means he has a really good cross section of coaching experience,” Balloch said.

“He’s come in wanting to learn from Mark and we think he’s going to be terrific for our forward-line group.”

Werribee has also been active on the player front, re-securing standout first-year players Joel Bennett and Keegan Gray.

Part of a long line of graduates from the Geelong Falcons’ TAC Cup program to find their way to Avalon Airport Oval, Bennett debuted for Werribee against Collingwood in round five and went on to play 10 games in his maiden VFL season. His 16 goals placed him third in the 2018 club goalkicking and included six goals against Frankston in round 12.

Gray joined Werribee by way of the Greater Western Victoria Rebels’ TAC Cup program and Hampden Football League side Portland, playing seven games and kicking two goals in his first season.

The youngest member of the 2018 playing group, the 19-year-old produced a break-out performance in his second game, collecting 23 disposals in a losing effort to cement his spot on the wing and establish himself as a pivotal link-up figure in the middle of the ground.