“LET’S just say it’s been a pretty busy week!”
Since stepping into IKON Park at the end of 2019, Daniel O’Keefe has been a development coach, overseen reserves scratch matches in the 2020 hub and the Carlton Reserves’ Senior Coach in its inaugural VFL season.
On Thursday night, he added another string to his bow as stand-in assistant coach at AFL level. Then, 24 hours later, he was back at VFL level.
The end result was a 12-point AFL win against last year’s Grand Finalists in the Western Bulldogs, before a season-opening 42-point victory for the VFL Blues the next night.
So it’s no surprise that he was one happy coach when all was said and done come Friday night.
“Four points is four points generally, but when you take into account what the last week has been for our footy club - particularly from a staff resourcing point of view - it’s been quite inspiring,” O’Keefe said.
“That starts with Michael Voss and Brad Lloyd at the top of our football department, with their empowerment of their staff and ability to hand over and have trust and faith in us. It’s been exceptional.
“To get two wins against really good opposition in two programs, you couldn’t ask for much more. Our club should be really proud — there are certain people that have put in some hard yards.”
O’Keefe was one of a number of people who had an active match-day role on Thursday night, before backing it up at IKON Park on the Friday.
He was joined by Torin Baker, Mathew Buck, Ash Naulty, Jon Stone, Will Tardif and Kara Willand as those doing double duty, and - echoing the sentiments of the likes of Patrick Cripps, Ash Hansen and Sam Walsh - he said the two wins was very much reward for effort.
And what about his experience on Thursday night? Unsurprisingly, O’Keefe was as humble as ever.
“I’m proud of the boys, but I’m proud of the coaches and the whole Club tonight.” - @patrickcripps— Carlton FC (@CarltonFC) March 25, 2022
“We lost a few soldiers, particularly on the footy staff side. It shows the culture in the group we’ve got here." - @DochertySam
“It was a great opportunity,” he saiid.
“It goes back to ‘Vossy’s’ nature to hand over the reins to Ash Hansen and also Timmy Clarke, who I took over from a midfield coaching point of view.
“The way our midfielders played, led by ‘Crippa — I think my grandma could’ve coached that midfield. I was a caretaker more than a coach on Thursday night!”