North Launceston is enjoying one of its greatest periods of success in the club’s 125-year history.
Five consecutive State League grand finals and three of the past four premierships – with a chance to add a fourth against Lauderdale at UTAS Stadium on Saturday – is a great effort.
First-year captain Brad Cox-Goodyer, 25, is just one of four players to have played in all of them along with coach Taylor Whitford, Jack Avent and Zach Burt – key pillars of a club that prides itself on culture.
The modern era, which began under Zane Littlejohn and has continued on under Tom Couch and Whitford, is up there with the tenures of Gavin Luttrell (1945-1951) and the Peter Daniel and Chang Young period (1975-1983) during which a combined 10 NTFA and three state flags were yielded.
This weekend is the latest chapter of an incredible feat, and Brad Cox-Goodyer is optimistic his midfield teammates will be too much for the Southern Bombers to handle.
“We have a lot of blokes that can step up when needed,” he said speaking of Whitford, Couch, Josh Ponting, Mark Walsh, Alex Lee, Jordan Cousens, Tarryn Thomas, Dakota Bannister and company.
“This team is right up there with the North Launceston teams of the past few years in terms of age demographic and experience – I would rate this as our best midfield.
“The new mix of people running through our midfield this year has been great.
“There are plenty of blokes with finals experience, a lot of games and mature bodies that can stand up in the big games.”
Cox-Goodyer, who kicked 8.5 with a groin injury in last year’s grand final demolition of Lauderdale, has experienced two hamstring injuries this season.
However, it wasn’t enough to stop arguably the competition’s best player being named captain of the TSL team of the year with 36 goals from just 14 games.
“Since I returned from the first hamstring I have played all on ball and I am feeling pretty fit now and ready to have a crack,” the reigning Darrell Baldock and Alastair Lynch medallist said.
Cousens, a reigning Rocherlea best and fairest and three-time premiership player, has been a great addition to Whitford’s best 22.
He has roamed the wing for a majority of his maiden TSL season - which has not been without challenges.
“I have enjoyed it and hopefully that hard work will pay off [on Saturday],” he said.
“The game is a lot faster by comparison and coming over it was the first time I’ve done a pre-season in about five years, which helped me out to be able to get up to speed with it early on.
“Playing on the bigger grounds is a test and the quality of the opposition and your opponent is a class above.”
Ponting has been North’s most consistent onballer this year said he is keen to add another medallion to his growing collection.
“You want to be playing your best footy this time of the year so I have tried to work my way into it,” he said.