Jacob Tiernan (left) pictured playing for East Wagga Kooringal.

The chance to take on an assisting coaching role working alongside former East Wagga premiership winning team mate Joe Scott, aswell as stepping onto Clarke Oval for the first time since he was 12 years old had Jacob Tiernan champing at the bit for season 2020. Scott had agreed to take over from Luke Webb as coach of the Cootamundra Blues and that appointment fitted in perfectly with Tiernan’s desire to play back ‘home’ after spending the past 11 seasons playing for East Wagga Kooringal (EWK) in the Farrer League competitions.

As is the case with all winter sports codes, AFL Canberra has had to push back a starting date as they await an announcement on May 11 when it is believed a road map for the elite game will be outlined as they eye a potential date to return to train and play. Plans regarding community football will then follow shortly after Blues President Todd Basham has advised. This has meant Jacob and his Blues team mates are yet to take the field in a competition game together, although some of the squad took part in a round-robin trial match in early March, the Blues defeating both Molonglo and Bathurst.

The name Tiernan is familiar in the Navy Blue jersey, Jacob’s father Sean, part of the 1989 side which won the Farrer League Premiership flag under the coaching of club great Don Oliver. The chance to replicate that feat will no doubt spur Jacob on, albeit in a different competition. The 24 year old already has plenty of big game experience after playing over 140 first grade games, including four senior grand finals during his time with EWK. Unfortunately a 2016 victory over Colleambally being the only success.

Speaking to the Cootamundra Times over the weekend, Tiernan said “I was really looking forward to the role of assistant coach after being able to learn from old team-mates and coaches such as Chris Jackson, Gavin McMahon and Matty Hard. I feel that there was and still is a buzz around the group here in Coota and you can tell that all the boys want success. I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with Joe (Scott) who I’ve played with at East Wagga and won a flag with, aswell as Zaccy (Oliver) who I played all my junior footy with. I think if or when things start up again, our young group will have a fair crack this year and depending on how far we can go, it can act as a benchmark for an un-interrupted 2021.”

As eager as the man they call ‘JT’ is about running around in the famous Cootamundra Blues colours, you can bet the loyal supporter base that follows the club will match that excitement and then some, should the season commence.

Todd Basham meanwhile fears a potential July start to footy may impact player numbers with cold nights and a short preparation, along with a reduced length of the season, all possible factors in a lack of interest outside of the core playing group. He, like many other volunteers of local sport, has dedicated a lot of time and effort into not only seeing the club succeed off the field but ensuring the Blues had a more than competitive squad on it, in an attempt to go one better than the runner-up result of 2019. With that being said, he said he was also not entirely convinced a season of any nature would be made bend to fit a limited time frame and that it would benefit the club. Basham also informed the Times that Stage 1 of the new clubhouse is completed, and quotes are now being gathered for the commencement of Stage 2.