Couch breaks in to VFL club Northern Blues

WARRNAMBOOL footballer Will Couch says he will grasp an opportunity to play VFL with both hands.

Couch, 18, has committed to Northern Blues for the 2014 season, joining fellow south-west products Daniel Watson (Cobden) and Hayden Drew (Koroit) at Princes Park.

The half-forward said he was grateful to make the list and wanted to establish himself in the Blues’ under 23 development team and then push for a senior debut.

Couch was on Geelong Falcons’ list last season but found it tough to break into its talent-laden squad which included eventual south-west draftees Lewis Taylor and Nick Bourke, who landed at Brisbane and Geelong respectively via the November drafts. The nephew of former Brownlow medallist Paul Couch said he was eager to prove his worth at VFL level after a disappointing TAC Cup season. “It was hard for them to put me in the team because it was so good,” Couch said of the Falcons.

“I didn’t have a great season there but I don’t think they saw much of me. 

“I only played one game so I didn’t get to prove myself.”

Couch, who played one senior game for Warrnambool in 2013, spent the past four years at Geelong College. 

He played a key role for the school’s football team which plays in the APS competition. 

A desire to take his football further landed Couch at Northern Blues’ pre-season training in November.

The 184-centimetre forward travelled from Warrnambool to Melbourne three days a week for training before settling in the city for university last week.

Couch said he had already noticed the difference to his training since moving to Melbourne.

“It is unbelievable. The body is holding up so well and I have the energy for training because I wasn’t buggered from the drive,” he said.

Couch said the “great environment and culture around the club” and the fact a few south-west players were involved encouraged him to try out for the Blues’ list.

“My goal is to get the best out of myself I can and play the way I can,” he said. 

“Hopefully I can get three games as the 23rd man in the VFL side. That is my ultimate goal.” Northern Blues general manager Garry O’Sullivan said Couch’s efforts on the training track had stood out. 

“He found it hard to crack it into the Geelong Falcons who were a red-hot side last year,” O’Sullivan told northernblues.com.au. 

“I spoke to his regional manager Michael Turner (who) spoke very highly of him and liked what he’d bring to VFL footy. 

“He’s got a great physique and is extremely dedicated to his football,” he said.

justine.mc@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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