“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.
“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.
“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.”
Real Footy newsletter
Get your finals’ fix delivered straight to your inbox with our Real Footy newsletter. We’ll have a preview of the matches and expert tips each Friday afternoon and on Mondays, chief AFL writer Jake Niall will wrap up the weekend’s play. Sign up to The Age‘s newsletter here, The Sydney Morning Herald‘s here, WAtoday‘s here, and Brisbane Times‘ here.
Jake Niall is a Walkley award-winning sports journalist and chief AFL writer for The Age.