Former AFL player Adrian Fletcher has signed on as Head Coach of the Tasmanian Devils TAC Cup team.
The 49-year-old has had a successful 13-year AFL career after being recruited from Glenorchy - playing for Geelong, St Kilda, Brisbane and Fremantle.
He has spent time as an assistant coach under the likes of Mick Malthouse at Collingwood, as well as for Geelong and Brisbane.
“I’m hoping to bring some experience and some passion because I am a Tassie homeboy and I left there as an 18-year-old who had the opportunity to live my dream and play AFL football and then went into coaching," Incoming Head Coach of the Tasmanian Devils TAC Cup team Adrian Fletcher said.
"I’ve learnt a lot in my time, so hopefully I can give back to our young people coming through the talent pathways,” Mr Fletcher said.
Fletcher is a member of the Tasmanian Football Hall of Fame and is now keen to give back to the footy community in his home state.
“I know what the AFL recruiters are looking for, I know the sort of players that are required to play at the top level. I’ve studied as well, a little bit of psychology and welfare - all the things you need to make sure you give our talent the best opportunity,” he said.
Fletcher believes Tasmania’s talent has the opportunity to step up and excel at the top level.
“Tassie is a place that has a great opportunity to really excel and be relevant in the marketplace. A lot of our kids are passionate about the game and you’ve got to be passionate about the game to be able to live the lifestyle of an AFL footballer now. I know that I can bring that experience to push the kids to have that intensity,” he said.
He said Tasmania needs to be preparing our talent from a younger age.
“You’ve got to have intensity to play at the top level, we’ve got to start that at an earlier age. That needs to start in our 14-year-old's. You’ve got to be able to kick the ball at the top level and you’ve got to be able to make good decisions,” he said.
“You’ve got to have fun because when you get to the top level you’ve got to deal with pressure and we’ll create that, you’ve got to be able to deal with chaos in your lifestyle and be able to cope with that, you’ve got to have self-awareness and you’ve got have a dream and live your dream.”
AFL Tasmania CEO Trisha Squires said the appointment of Fletcher is a big win for the new era in Tasmanian football.
“Adrian is an outstanding football person and is renowned as being one of the best development coaches in the business,” AFL Tasmania CEO Trisha Squires said.
“With such rich football experience as a player, coach and talent manager, Adrian emerged as the ideal candidate and will provide invaluable leadership and tutelage to our emerging Tasmanian football stars,” she said.
He'll commence in the role next month.
Image supplied: AFL Tasmania.