By Todd Whelan
Bacchus Marsh has appointed highly respected football journeyman Tom German to fill the vacant senior coaching role ahead of the 2020 BFNL season.
The signature is a welcomed change of luck on the recruiting front for the Cobras after an indifferent and otherwise disappointing 2019.
While German is essentially untried off-field, you can expect the 29-year old to be starring on it in his dual role as playing coach.
The former Essendon listed player has spent time with Williamstown and the Northern Blues in the VFL, Oak Park in the Essendon District Football League and more recently with Mansfield in the Goulburn Valley Football League.
But the stat that would raise an eyebrow or two and have the Cobras faithful rubbing their hands is that German has won or finished runners up in the club best and fairest in seven of his last 10 seasons as a player and led the GVFL Medal Count after Round 7 this year before missing five weeks with a broken hand.
According to Cobras Football Manager Adam Sutherland, they’re very fortunate to have landed a playing coach of German’s ilk.
“While the coaching side is a bit of an unknown, the leadership, preparedness and experience Tom will bring to the group is very exciting,” he said.
“He’s been through all of the footy systems and has performed well at every level.
“Tom will most certainly fill the void that has been in our midfield.
“He’s ‘top shelf’,” Sutherland said.
The acquisition of German to the football club has been a work in progress.
“I phoned Tom 12-months ago, inquiring about his availability just as a player,” Sutherland said.
The coup came to fruition when German (a chartered accountant) left his position at the family pub in Mansfield to pursue employment closer to home.
“If Bacchus Marsh had been an hour and a half away, I wouldn’t have taken the job given I work and live in Melbourne and have a young family,” German said.
“I pride myself on my effort inside the contest and with my running ability.
“My message to the players, the non-negotiables you say will be with our intensity, tackling and improving our skill set,” he said.
Sutherland likened German’s player type to a former star and Best and Fairest of the club.
“Scott Sherlock springs to mind of players I would align with Tom,” he said.
“At 178cm and 82kg, German looks a ready-made fit to go around this week if he had to.”
German was reluctant to elaborate on any other potentials he had in line to bring to the club.
“There’s a few I’m chatting to at the moment but I’m not prepared to give anything away at this stage,” he said with a wry grin.
Things are looking up at Cobra land.
* Tom is the nephew of Peter German who played 185 games with North Melbourne between 1984 and 1994.