Kyabram Free Press
Forging own path
As for Mick Lovison I still remember the Dermott Brereton-like strut and the strength with which he generalled the defence of those flag-winning teams.
It’s his coach from that era, Campbell, that best describes his almost Clark Kent persona off the field, which was a polar opposite over the white line.
“When Bruce (Mcneill, club president) and I went up to Echuca to recruit him he was working at an Echuca car yard. We walked straight past him, I didn’t have a clue who he was with the darkrimmed glasses and outfit,” Campbell said.
“He was very different to the wild man I had seen on the footy field.”
Lovison’s prowess followed him from Tongala, with a decorated coaching and playing career, which included Echuca and Kyabram.
The comparison between he and son Adam is probably the closest of the three, though an argument could be made should Jordan Souter choose to play as a stay-athome forward.
Lovison’s son, Adam, is captain of the senior side and is often compared favourably to his father, as both are centre half-backs.
They are natural leaders, Lovison Sr was assistant coach of the backto-back Tongala premiership teams of 1983-84 and was regularly lauded for his no-nonsense defensive style.
“Adam is big and strong. He is very popular with the boys,” Mick, who lives in Kyabram and works in construction at Melbourne Airport, said.
Lovison Sr coached Echuca in 1982, taking it from a two-win season the year prior to 10 wins and just outside the five. He coached Kyabram for two years and had three years at Tongala.
“We lost Bruce Mcneill, he moved to Brisbane, in 1985. Des and I got too caught up in off-field things and we finished third. If he had of been there maybe it would have been different,” Lovison Sr said.
Lovison Sr followed Mcneill to Brisbane and played with Brisbane team, Sherwood Magpies under 336-game VFL star John “Mopsy” Rantall in 1986.
Of the 2021 Blues, Lovison Sr said he had a very good feeling and was “really hopeful”.
“I’ve only seen three or four games; I’m not much of a watcher. But I talk to Adam after every game.
“They are the best team Tonny has had since the ’80s,” he said.
Lovison Jr, now 30 years old, has played eight seasons at Tongala and is regularly reminded of his father’s exploits in the same position he is currently playing with the senior team.
“I’ve been told a few times we play alike,” Lovison Jr said.
Lovison Jr was more often umpired than coached by his father at junior level.
“He has been an unofficial coach for my entire career, he probably only coached me in three or four games.”
Lovison Jr has played in four senior grand finals, losing them all. Something he plans to change, with his only win in a 2017 reserves grand final.
As for the Blues in 2021 he said they had really grown as a group, the year off probably helping and there was a strong understanding between the group as to its strengths and weaknesses.
“A few of us are around the 30 mark, only a couple are older than that. Most are under 25, so good signs for Tonny teams to come,” he said.
Off field it has been busy as well, married in November last year to Jacqui and with an eight-month-old daughter, Delilah.