Smart play: Wodonga Raiders young gun backs Cresswell push

FORMER Wodonga Raiders best and fairest winner Todd Bryant believes former AFL star Daryn Cresswell would be a perfect fit for the Ovens and Murray club.

Although Bryant said he was unsure where negotiations stood between his Palm Beach-Currumbin coach and the Raiders, the midfielder said Cresswell could make a huge impact at Birallee Park.

Bryant went as far to say that Cresswell had been the best coach he had played under during his senior career.

“I had originally planned to move to Perth this year but Daryn convinced me otherwise,” Bryant said.

“It’s the best thing I have ever done. He’s one of the best coaches I have played under, along with Corey Lambert.

“He’s not long out of the game and his structures and game plan are second to none.

“If Wodonga Raiders can get hold of him I think he would do good things for the club.

“It could be what the Raiders need.”

Wodonga Raiders president Nic Conway confirmed yesterday the club was in discussions with Cresswell but said “there was still some water to go under the bridge” before the deal was completed.

He was a spectator at recent Ovens and Murray matches between Wodonga Raiders and North Albury and Lavington and Albury.

Wodonga Raiders co-coach Simon Bone said last month he was happy to step down from the helm if the club could find a suitable replacement.

Cresswell, who played 244 matches with the Sydney Swans, is in his third season as coach of Palm Beach-Currumbin in the South East Queensland Football League division one competition.

He guided it to last year’s premiership and has the club third on the ladder.

Bryant said Cresswell had been upfront about the 10 months he spent in jail for fraud in 2010.

“Obviously Darryn has done things in the past that he regrets, but he has never hidden from that,” he said.

“He even told me to read his book before I signed.

“You can’t get any more honest than that.

“It’s all behind him and he’s moved on.”

Cresswell was an ass-istant coach at Geelong and Brisbane and coached Tasmania in the VFL.