Criticism of Geelong Cats coach Chris Scott is outrageous, says Zach Tuohy


“It’s staggering to me. I think he’s the winningest coach in the last decade. You know, you offer any one of Geelong’s worst seasons the last 10 years to most clubs, they’d take it.

“Like people expect Geelong to be there or thereabouts every year – it’s not how footy works.”

Tuohy said the coach was loved within the club.

“It’d be hard work to stay up for that long,” said Tuohy, the Irish recruit who crossed from Carlton to the Cats for the 2017 season.

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“If anyone deserves credit for – hopefully we go all the way this year – if anyone deserves the credit, when all is said and done, I really hope he gets the lion’s share.

“I’m sure he’ll try and divert attention away from him, if that is the case. He’s the best coach in the league, he’s one of the best coaches in the league, absolutely no doubt about it …

“Internally, we love him. I just think he’s a great coach and we love him.”

Tuohy outlined what the Cats had to do to win Saturday’s grand final against the Tigers, whom he called “a phenomenal defensive unit”, explaining that stopping Richmond’s transition and winning the ball at the source were keys to winning.

“It’s going to be a challenge. They’re just relentless with their pressure, and their ability to get out into space and move it quickly from one end to the other is as good as any team we’ve seen.

“I guess obviously winning around the ball has been a strength of ours – keeping doing that and we can sort of stop them from that really quick transition – that’ll go a long way to helping us win the game.

“That’s what every team has tried to do against Richmond for the last three or four years and it rarely happens. But that’s the challenge … just have to win at the source and try and catch them out of position.

“They’re a phenomenal defensive unit … if you let them drop off … Dylan Grimes and these types, they just chop everything off.”

Tuohy, 30, who is out of contract, said he would not be going back to Ireland soon and expected to be playing for the next couple of years with Geelong.

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“Yeah, look, I’m quite comfortable physically and I think the club are happy with how I’m travelling, so I certainly plan on playing on next year … I’m quite content that it’ll all get done.

“And I don’t feel too much pressure about contracts but I certainly intend on playing on hopefully for the next couple of years.”

While a number of Irish players have returned home with years of football left in their bodies, Tuohy said he “probably” would return once his AFL career ended, though he was undecided.

“For a long time I thought I’d stay here. I’m starting to think now we might go back for family. But the truth is, I don’t really know. I love life in Geelong and I love life here in Australia … I could very happily stay here and it may come down to work opportunities post-career.”

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Grand final vindicates move from Carlton Blues to Geelong Cats, says Irishman Zach Tuohy


“And if that’s your criteria, then, to be honest, Geelong is the place to be. I’m very grateful.”

Tuohy’s comments came on the same day Geelong emerged as the frontrunner to snare Giants forward and free agent Jeremy Cameron in another coup for the provincial powerhouse.

In another insight into Geelong’s destination club stature, and how players make such calls, Tuohy said while other clubs had been options for him, once Geelong became a potential destination, his choice was easy.

Tuohy said leaving Carlton, where he spent seven seasons as a defender and established himself, had not been a money issue. The Blues used the Tuohy deal to pick up Caleb Marchbank from Greater Western Sydney following a pick swap.

“There was another structure in the contract that, you know, I wasn’t confident in. I don’t want to talk about that now,” he said.

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Tuohy said when he left Carlton he had been at a stage where the next stage of his career “was going to be the peak”, adding, “I just wanted to spend as much of that time giving myself a shot at a grand final and I said, if that’s your motive, I don’t think you would begrudge a player for getting to Geelong, because it’s just what they do.”

Tuohy, who is out of contract but expects to be playing on next season with the Cats, said while the finals defeats of his time at Geelong – he played in losing preliminary finals in 2017 and 2019 – were difficult to take, he had never felt he had missed out due to Geelong’s consistency of high finishes.

He said “the older you get, the more desperate” to get into a grand final.

“To finally have, it’s bloody good,” said Tuohy. “Clearly the losses are harder to take the later in the season they are.”

Tuohy, who has thrived in his role as a high half-forward this season and in the finals, said he had “never” felt he “wasn’t going to get another shot at it”.

“Geelong’s proven time and time again that they just kind of put themselves in these positions,” he said.

Tuohy pointed out that skipper Joel Selwood had played in 10 preliminary finals, while teammate Harry Taylor had played in nine.

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