Springbank looks set to secure the services of a Warrnambool and District Football League premiership hero to aid its bid for an historic three-peat.
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The Tigers, which are looking to become the first team in the Central Highlands league to claim three successive senior flags, are confident Mitch Couch will join its ranks for 2017.
Couch is the brother of Springbank’s joint-coach of last season Nick, who has also confirmed he will remain at Tigerland next year.
However, Nick has decided to take a back-seat role and will leave the senior coaching job to his offsider in 2016 Michael Searl.
Searl said Mitch Couch is yet to put pen to paper, but is hopeful he will sign with the club after the New Year break.
He said the club’s potential recruit is a hard-at-it defender, who will hopefully help fill the void left by experienced backman Tim Malone. Malone left the Tigers after their grand final victory over Buninyong in September and is set to coach Lake Wendouree in 2017.
“I think him (Mitch) and Nick have never played together,” Searl said.
“He came up a couple of times (last season), watched and stuck around and had a few beers and things like that. So it made sense to try and entice him to play with us.”
Mitch Couch won the Scotty Stewart Medal for his impressive Warrnambool and District league grand final performance, which helped Nirranda to an upset victory over Old Collegians.
That win clinched the club’s first senior premiership in 17 years and capped a fairy tale rise to the top from fifth place on the ladder at the end of the home and away rounds.
The triumph also came on the same day as Springbank’s win over Buninyong, which secured it back-to-back flags.
Paul McMahon was named the Tigers’ best on ground in that game and has since decided to seek clearance to Bellarine league side Torquay for the 2017 campaign.
Springbank has been scheduled to open its new season with a grand final rematch against the Bombers on Saturday, April 1. The Tigers then play their first home game of the year against Carngham-Linton.
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