One of the Launceston Football Club’s most respected characters will earn life membership when he runs out in his 150th match on Saturday.
Versatile Joe Boyce will reach the significant milestone against Tigers at Kingston’s Twin Ovals; and coach Sam Lonergan said there is not a more deserving player among the playing group.
“He is truly a bloke that deserves life membership as his commitment to the footy club has been over a long period of time,” Lonergan said.
“He is courageous and just gets in and gets the job done for us every week with no questions.
“He is a leader on the field by his actions and then around the club and off the field he is a leader by his sense and understanding about life’s balances.”
The Blues are not only looking to atone for losing to the lowly-ranked Tigers in round 13, but Boyce wants to celebrate his occasion in positive fashion.
“The club means the world to me – it’s done a lot for me over the years,” the 29-year-old said.
“I played all my junior footy at Scottsdale and senior footy when Anthony Taylor was coach; and I crossed over with him to challenge myself.
“The 2011 premiership is easily my greatest highlight.
“There have been some low times but it’s been great how the club has managed everything in those times.”
Boyce, a builder by trade, said Lonergan and former coach-turned vice-president Chris Hills helped him regain passion for the game after stepping back in 2016 for a short period.
He played half a season with NTFA division 2 club Old Scotch before returning home to Windsor Park refreshed.
“Sam has a different outlook on football. Work and family comes first and enjoy yourself on the weekends, which has helped me a lot,” Boyce said.
“My role varies week to week. I’m very comfortable in my game be it going forward and kicking a few goals or through the middle.”
Launceston must win its final two matches if it is any chance of clinching a top-three spot, with Tigers and Glenorchy the obstacles.
“Tigers set up heavily defensively behind the ball, which in windy conditions down there can make it very difficult to score,” Lonergan said.
“We’ll have to be a bit more calculated with our inside-50 entries and make sure we tactically try and spread and isolate as many players as possible so our players get one-on-one looks at the footy.”
Tigers boss Trent Baumeler said the Blues were a different side to the one they last faced.
“A lot has changed… they have flipped a few things around. Timmy Auckland comes into the side, Hamish Leedham rolls forward,” he said.
“Jake Hinds is playing a different role, Jamieson House played on ball last week and then you add Chayce Jones into it. They’re a totally different team and their confidence is up now.”
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