Tough nut midfielder Andrew Cox-Goodyer has been charged with leading Rocherlea into a new era after Lyndon Stubbs stepped down as coach last month.
After winning four of the past eight NTFA premierships, the Suburban Tigers missed finals for the first time in more than a decade this year but Cox-Goodyer is confident his side can return to playing September footy in 2019.
“It’s a really exciting young group,” Cox-Goodyer said.
“If we can get them all to commit and probably add one or two players to our list with a bit of experience then I don’t think we're far away from where we need to be to match the best teams.
“There’s a few young guys that have played their first year of seniors so they’re all going to step up, but I think Brayden Claridge will be one to keep an eye on in the next few years.
“If he hangs around and we put a bit of time into him he’ll be a very hard forward to stop in the competition.”
RELATED: NTFA division 1 grand final wash-up
Cox-Goodyer was a consistent performer for Rocherlea this season, playing 15 games for a return of 16 goals.
His efforts were enough to finish nine votes clear of star forward Ben Elmer in the Suburban Tigers’ best and fairest award.
“That was a bit of a shock - I played injured for a chunk of the year and I wasn’t expecting to win,” he said.
“It’s obviously not what I look to do as a footballer - you’d rather get team success and win grand finals and head in the right direction in that way.
“Individual success is good but I’m more after team success.”
Cox-Goodyer’s appointment comes after another big year for younger brother Brad, who won his second consecutive Darrel Baldock Medal in his first season as North Launceston captain.
The two brothers played in the same Northern Bombers team in 2014 and 2015 before Cox-Goodyer returned as an assistant coach for Rocherlea’s 2016 flag.
“Our younger brother Kaiden has been playing a bit of senior footy up at Rocherlea as well and is starting to step up to a leadership role, so I think all three of us have done really well in our football.”
Rocherlea finished in seventh spot this year with six wins and 10 losses.
Pearce takes Hillwood gong
Hillwood skipper Nathan Pearce has ended Dan Withers’ stranglehold on the Sharks’ best and fairest award.
The midfielder was one of only five Sharks to play every game this season, and is in contention for the NTFA’s top award after being named in the division’s top 10 shortlist for the second year running.
Pearce was a regular contributor up forward, kicking 24 majors to be the Sharks’ third-most prolific goalkicker behind Andrew Whitmore (60) and Jake King (33), who finished equal second with winger Isaac Thompson.
WINNERS TO DATE
- Bracknell – Will Fisher
- Bridgenorth – Nick McElwee
- Deloraine – Oliver Smith
- Longford – Brad Symmons
- Hillwood – Nathan Pearce
- Rocherlea - Andrew Cox-Goodyer
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