IT’S TASSIE TIME
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.