Hocking leaves Panthers, joins Pies

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After just one season with the Panthers, the former Geelong star will join Nathan Buckley’s new-look coaching panel at Collingwood focusing on stoppages.

This puts Hocking back in the AFL system after three years in SANFL ranks with the Port Adelaide Magpies (2015-16) and South Adelaide (this year). He was previously in the AFL as an assistant coach at Port Adelaide where he was interim coach for the Power at the end of 2012 following Matthew Primus’ dismissal.

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Hocking issued a statement saying: “The decision to leave South Adelaide is not one I made lightly, but I am confident the club is well placed for success in the near future. I hope the success the club craves comes in the near future. It is certainly deserved.

“Meanwhile, I am excited by the chance to coach within the AFL ranks again and am looking forward to the next challenge in my coaching career.”

South Adelaide chief executive Neil Sharpe recognised Hocking could not pass up a return to the AFL.

“While it is disappointing to lose Garry, it is the reality of the environment we are in that when people get great opportunities at AFL level that they will take them and go with our best wishes,” he said.

“Garry’s level of professionalism and wealth of experience from his time within the AFL environment has been a welcome addition to our club over the past year.

“The club has clearly benefited from having highly talented coaches in recent years that are in demand throughout the industry. We will immediately start the process to find the next one.”

michelangelo.rucci@news.com.au

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