MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 06: Joe Daniher of the Bombers gets his leg stuck when trying to stop Jared Rivers of the Cats during the round 10 AFL match between the Essendon Bombers and the Geelong Cats at Etihad Stadium on June 6, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Jared Rivers appointed Collingwood VFL coach

Former Geelong and Melbourne defender Jared Rivers has been appointed coach of Collingwood’s VFL side.

Rivers, the 2004 Rising Star winner, played 150 games for Melbourne and 44 games for Geelong, before retiring at the end of 2015.

The 32-year-old joined the Magpies as a development coach for season 2016, impressive in first year in the coaching ranks. Hi appointment follows the departure of VFL coach Dale Tapping, who has joined the Brisbane Lions.

“Jared has been with us for 12 months and in that time has made a really strong impact with his football intellect and feel for coaching,” senior coach Nathan Buckley said.

“He knows our program, he is ready for the next stage of his development and has committed himself to coaching; to teaching the game and helping to develop players and great teams.”

Rivers said his promotion to head coach of the VFL side came earlier than expected, but he is excited to take on the role.

“Joining Collingwood 12 months ago was about immersing myself in coaching, working in a strong program, putting to use the things that I learned over my 13 years as a player and knowing whether it was for me or not,” Rivers said.

“The answer came to me pretty quickly, actually. I loved the environment, the work of teaching the game and the collaborative nature of working with players, coaches and the dynamics at play in a high performance environment.

“To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to be coaching a team in my own right in my second year but I was very fortunate to work by Dale Tapping’s side this year and learn from some other fantastic football people in the Collingwood program.”