Sunday Herald Sun - - News -

AS play­ing coach of North Launce­s­ton, is well placed to make a judg­ment call on the suit­abil­ity of an AFL team based in Tas­ma­nia.

For Couch, 29, the an­swer is a no­brainer.

“Had you asked me last year, my an­swer might have been dif­fer­ent, but hav­ing spent a year with North Launce­s­ton, it’s ob­vi­ous there should be an AFL team in this state,” he said.

“You would call them the Tassie Devils based in Ho­bart, play eight games there and three in Launce­s­ton and play in their green state jumper, which is the old­est in Aus­tralia. “I can tell you this, it would work bet­ter than the Gold Coast Suns.” Two weeks ago, Couch led North Launce­s­ton to a stun­ning 97-point win over Laud­erdale in the Tas­ma­nian State Foot­ball League grand fi­nal. It was an emo­tional day for Couch, given his Brown­low Medal­win­ning fa­ther wasn’t there af­ter his shock death from a heart at­tack last year. “It was very spe­cial hav­ing Mum there, my cousin there, even if Dad wasn’t,” he said. “He would have been proud of the way we played, the way we at­tacked and the way we stayed dis­ci­plined af­ter they came for a cou­ple of our younger play­ers. “It’s hard to com­pare with the thrill of my first AFL game with Mel­bourne. But maybe the TSL pre­mier­ship was my best foot­ball feel­ing, al­though it was al­most re­lief as much as any­thing.”

North Launce­s­ton coach Tom Couch before the TSL grand fi­nal last month; and (left) in 2011 with his late fa­ther, Brown­low medal­list Paul Couch.

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