DEVONPORT Football Club is set to continue its discussions with former South Launceston premiership coach Mitch Thorp about a TSL coaching role for next season despite an apparent AFL Tasmania roadblock requiring require him to live in the local area where he coaches.
Thorp is apparently keen to return to the state from Glenelg at the end of the season with his wife and young family to be closer to relatives.
While confirming his interest in the Devonport coaching role yesterday, Thorp said he would want his family to be based in Launceston while commuting to Devonport to coach.
Devonport president Shane Yates said that the club had held preliminary discussions with Thorp regarding a playing-coach position for next season.
‘‘If the Devonport footy club and Mitch eventually decide it is worth furthering discussions then we will go through the required discussions with AFL Tasmania and I’m confident we can work it out,’’ he said.
‘‘Over the past four years we’ve enjoyed support from AFL Tas as one of our business partners and if there are any further discussions with Thorp we will work through the process with AFL Tasmania.’’
AFL Tasmania general manager Shaun Young remained firm in his position that Thorp would need to be based in the region if he coached at Devonport.
‘‘If Mitch wants to go through the process of applying for the Devonport senior coaching appointment we are extremely supportive of that,’’ Young said.
‘‘But if Mitch’s thought process is to reside in Launceston while coaching Devonport then we’re not supportive of that at all.’’
Young said it was his view that the most important person in a club’s structure and program should live in proximity of the club he was appointed to and be fully engaged with the club and its community.
‘‘You need to be accessible at all times to be able to do that and residing an hour away from the club does not allow that to happen on a regular basis,’’ he said.
Thorp said any move back home was based on the premise of putting family support around his wife and two young children which they didn’t have in Adelaide.
‘‘I am contemplating coming home to do that and that would be by living in Launceston so I won’t live on the Coast,’’ he said.
‘‘If that’s not available then that’s fine and I’ll stay in Glenelg.
‘‘I haven’t been into too much detail with them – I haven’t had an offer or anything from Devonport and it’s only early stages.
‘‘But now I know where it sits it has certainly made my decision easier.’’