147. Tony Young

Overall Contribution Inductee

North Launceston, 1955-2016

Around 50 senior & 350 reserves games for North Launceston 1954-1973
North Launceston senior coach 1983-87
North Launceston Reserves captain 1961, 1963-73
North Launceston reserves coach 1964-65, 1969-82
North Launceston NTFA senior premiership player 1961
North Launceston NTFA reserves premiership player 1962, 1964, 1965, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973
North Launceston NTFA senior premiership coach 1983
North Launceston NTFA reserves premiership coach 1964, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1982
North Launceston reserves Best and Fairest 1960, 1961, 1962, 1966
NTFA representative coach 1983-84
North Launceston Life Member 1974
NTFA Life Member 1978

 

Every club can name that one individual who is the essence of what makes the club great – Richmond had Jack Dyer, Collingwood had Bob Rose; North Launceston has Tony ‘Chang’ Young. A tough no-nonsense footballer both on and off the ground, Young is seen as the epitome of the North Launceston spirit.

Young first appeared at York Park in 1954 as a 15-year old, and over the next 19 years he would play more than 250 club games for the Robins, including the 1961 premiership win over Longford. While his time in the seniors was certainly not without merit, it was without question in the reserves that Young made his most substantial impact at the club. A four-time Best and Fairest winner at reserves level, Young took over the captaincy of the reserves side in 1961 and then again in 1963, holding the position for a total of 12 seasons until his playing retirement in 1973, in which time the reserves won a phenomenal eight premierships. After a one season stint as reserves coach in 1964, Young took on that role permanently in 1969 and would carry on in that capacity until 1982, guiding the Robins to an unbelievable 11 premierships in his 15 seasons in charge – a record that must surely be close to unmatched anywhere in the country. During his tenure he had the joy of watching four of his sons come through the ranks of the club just as he had once done, with Ricky (193 senior games) and Shane (178) proving champions of the club during their own careers. As well as with North Launceston, Young also enjoyed great success coaching the NTFA reserves representative side against country leagues such as the Oatlands District FA and Fingal Valley FA, losing only a single match – his very first, against the ODFA.

When senior coach Peter Daniel departed to coach Subiaco in the Western Australian league at the end of 1982, Young was the obvious choice as his replacement. Young started his senior coaching career in the best possible way, guiding the Robins to the NTFA flag in 1983, however his next four seasons would bring no more premierships. Young had the honour of being North Launceston’s inaugural coach upon the club joining the TFL Statewide League, however the Robins only managed a total of six wins in their first two seasons of Statewide football, and Young resigned as coach at the end of 1987. After a short stint as a bench coach, Young ended his coaching career with amateur club Old Launcestonians.

Since the end of his coaching days, Young has remained a permanent part of the furniture at North Launceston, serving in a variety of roles including Chairman of Selectors selector and club representative to the league. His contribution of more than 60 years to the club has been honoured with Life Membership of both North Launceston (1974) and the NTFA (1978), but the greatest legacy he leaves is undoubtedly the influence and guidance he gave to the countless young men to have passed through the ranks of North Launceston and made the club the powerhouse it still finds itself to this day.