Fletcher to lead Devils

Mercury (Hobart) - - SPORT TSL, AFL - RYAN ROSENDALE

THE state’s first full-time TAC Cup coach is ex­cited about re­turn­ing to his home state and help­ing guide the next gen­er­a­tion of play­ers on their path to the AFL.

Adrian Fletcher beat out a strong field of ap­pli­cants — in­clud­ing Glenorchy pre­mier­ship coach Aaron Cor­nelius, cur­rent Mariners coach Lance Spauld­ing and Launce­s­ton coach Sam Lon­er­gan — for the po­si­tion, which was an­nounced by AFL Tas­ma­nia yes­ter­day.

Fol­low­ing a suc­cess­ful AFL ca­reer with Geelong, St Kilda, Bris­bane and Fre­man­tle af­ter be­ing re­cruited from Glenorchy, Fletcher has been sta­tioned as AFL Queens­land’s academy and high per­for­mance coach.

The 49-year-old also coached the Al­lies, made up of the best play­ers from Tas­ma­nia, the Northern Ter­ri­tory, and the Swans, Gi­ants, Suns and Lions academy teams, in the un­der-18 divi­sion one na­tional cham­pi­onships this year.

Now he will have full reins on Tas­ma­nia’s un­der­age pro­gram, which en­ters the TAC Cup on a full-time ba­sis in 2019 as the Devils.

“I love Tas­ma­nia, I love Tas­ma­nian peo­ple and I look for­ward to get­ting more deeply in­volved in the fu­ture of the game in the state,” Fletcher said.

“Tas­ma­nia has and al­ways will be in my DNA.

“I left as an 18-year-old and now that I’m older it is about giv­ing back what I have learned over the jour­ney.

“I am ex­cited to help young Tas­ma­nian tal­ent de­velop and help them achieve their dreams of play­ing our great game at the high­est level, but also to de­velop these play­ers as lead­ers in the foot­ball and Tas­ma­nian com­mu­nity more broadly.

“It is an ex­cit­ing time for Tas­ma­nian foot­ball, and en­try into the TAC Cup with the Tas­ma­nia Devils is the start of a his­toric new chap­ter.”

Fletcher will of­fi­cially start his new role next month.

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