44. Jack Metherall

36. Gavin LuttrellCoach Inductee

Geelong/North Hobart/Tasmania, 1932-61

> North Hobart captain-coach, 1938-41, 1945, 1947-48
> Cooee captain-coach, 1946
> Tasmanian state coach, 1960-61 (five games)
> Tasmanian National Carnival coach, 1961 (Brisbane)
> North Hobart TANFL premiership coach, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1945, 1947
> North Hobart state premiership coach, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1945
> 65 games, 221 goals for Geelong, 1932-37
> 74 games, 286 goals for North Hobart, 1939-41, 1945, 1947
> Geelong VFL premiership, 1937
> Geelong leading goalkicker, 1934 (45), 1936 (58), 1937 (71)
> TANFL leading goalkicker, 1940 (69), 1941 (64)
> North Hobart leading goalkicker, 1940, 1941
> Coach of North Hobart ‘Team of the Century’

A great player with Geelong in the VFL and later North Hobart in Tasmania, it is for his skill as a coach that Jack Metherell is most widely recognised, especially in the Apple Isle, where he led North Hobart to six premierships and Tasmania itself to its most famous footballing victory of all time.

Originally from Perth, Metherell played junior football with Subiaco before he crossed the country to join Geelong in the VFL in 1932, where his older brother Len had already established himself. Solidly built but surprisingly agile, Metherell became a great goalkicker for Geelong, topping the Cats’ goalkicking table three times. This included their premiership year of 1937, when he booted 71 majors – including four in the grand final – and finished just one goal behind Collingwood legend Gordon Coventry in the race to be the league’s foremost sharpshooter.

After 65 games with the Cats, Metherell was courted by TANFL side North Hobart to join the club as captain-coach. Despite the fact that he did eventually leave, Geelong refused to officially clear him, even after the intervention of Tasmanian premier Albert Ogilvie, meaning that Metherell was forced to sit out the 1938 season and coach from the sidelines. His absence made little difference however, as the Demons overcame Lefroy by 12 points to claim the flag. The following season Metherell was back playing, leading his charges to a hat trick of TANFL flags in 1939, 1940 and 1941, while also leading the TANFL and North Hobart goalkicking tables in the last two of those seasons.

After the Second World War Metherell resumed at North Hobart in 1945 – winning another TANFL-state premiership double – before heading to the north of the state to take on the role of captain-coach of Cooee in the NWFU in 1946. The following season Metherell returned to North Hobart for one final campaign as a player, again leading his side to premiership success in 1947 before retiring at the age of 35. He continued as non-playing coach for one more season in 1948 before departing the club for good, continuing to play in the Southern Districts Football Association for a number of years.

After his playing career ended Metherell turned his hand to umpiring – even officiating as a field umpire in a number of TANFL matches – but coaching was always his first passion, and he was appointed as Tasmania’s coach for interstate matches in 1960. In his first match in charge he oversaw what has gone down as the most famous victory in the history of Tasmanian football: Tasmania’s triumph over the might of the VFL by seven points in Launceston on 13th June 1960. Unfortunately this would be the only win of Metherell’s tenure as state coach, with Tasmania failing to win any of his four subsequent matches in charge, including the three winless games at the 1961 National Carnival in Brisbane. However, Metherell’s legacy as a great of Tasmanian coaching was already secure.