OLD LAUNCESTONIANS Football Club has pulled off a coup for the next NTFA division 2 season, signing highly credentialled former Launceston player Brian Finch as its non- playing coach.
Finch, 32, retired from State League football at the end of last season due to back problems after playing 146 games with the Blues, about 85 with South Launceston and 28 with Clarence.
In a distinguished career, Finch won the 2005 NTFL Baldock Medal as best and fairest player and was part of Launceston's triple NTFL premiership wins and its inaugural State League flag in 2011.
"It's going to be different coaching but exciting, and I did the assistant coaching job at Launceston for about five years," Finch said.
"I learnt a lot off Sando (Adam Sanders) and I'm excited about taking on OLs and seeing where we can go from there and getting back to grassroots footy.
"I don't think my back will let me be playing coach, but they might try to talk me round."
Finch said he hoped to improve the club's prospects and make finals next season and was focused on building stronger ties with Launceston Church Grammar School.
"I've got a couple of mates at the club in Andrew Robinson and Tom Harrison, who I went through Grammar with, and it's more about getting back together at OLs, building the link with the school and pumping up the club.
"We'll have to see who we can sign up, I suppose, and I've had discussions with a few friends who aren't playing footy at the moment that might consider it."
Old Launcestonians president Andrew Brown said the club was rapt to have secured the services of such a high-profile coach.
"It's absolutely fantastic for Brian to come into the club, not only for onfield success but off- field as well, with his professionalism and know-how coming from State League and to be able to pass that on to our players," Brown said.
"It's a major coup for our club, and as Brian said we want to re- establish that link with the school and get it back involved in the club and build from there."We've been middle rung the past few years, and with Brian's expertise we hope we can take the next step."