DANIEL Batson has made the switch from Nhill Tigers in the Wimmera league to Jeparit-Rainbow in the Horsham district league, joining the club as an assistant coach.
Batson said he was looking forward to the challenge of taking on the new role and being exposed to the Horsham District league for the first time.
“I’m getting into my later stages of my playing career so definitely looking to develop my coaching game,” he said.
“This is my third season as an assistant and hopefully one day I will be a head coach. It’s another step in the direction I want to go.
“It will be good to see a lot of new players and venues. I don’t know a heap about a lot of the teams and we have a lot of good players at the Storm so I think we will have a pretty handy team.”
Batson, who used to be on Carlton’s rookie list in the AFL, said he was looking forward to working alongside Jeparit-Rainbow’s new head coach Tim Inkster.
“I have a lot of respect for Tim and we have a lot of the same ideas with football, so I think we will work well together going forward,” he said.
“I’ll bring a new set of eyes to the group, and trying to get the gel together in the team and see if we can make a deep run into the finals.”
Storm president Jason Hutson said Batson brings plenty of experience to the club.
After leaving Carlton at the end of 2006, Batson moved to South Australia where he spent three years at the Port Adelaide Magpies in the South Australian National Football League.
“He has played under a few coaches and played football in South Australia. He has quite a bit of experience and he wants to get more time into coaching,” Hutson said.
Batson returned to his home club Nhill for the 2010 season, and kicked 17 goals for the club last season.
He will be a playing-coach and will add some more height to the Storm’s list.
“He played in the ruck a bit for Nhill last year. He will probably be playing a fair bit forward for us and maybe in the odd occasion jump in the ruck,” Hutson said.
Batson joins the club alongside his brother Wayne, who last played for Nhill in the 2016 season.
Hutson said Jeparit-Rainbow were still looking at making some more signings before their season starts on April 7 against Taylors Lake.
“We still have some more signings in the pipeline,” he said.
A key focus for Hutson and Jeparit-Rainbow is to bring players from the area to the club to help boost numbers at training and consistency within the squad.
“We are trying to sign a few more locals from the area to try and bolster numbers at training,” he said.
“Last year we had a few that travelled so they couldn’t train on Thursday nights.
“We want to build that up so we get some more on the track at training.”