ART OF COACHING: Tigers’ mentor back for another title tilt
ADI Campbell's memories of the 2012 North Coast AFL decider will stay with him forever. It's a permanent reminder of his side's grand final victory over Sawtell-Toormina.
That is unless he opts for laser surgery down the track to remove a tiger's head tattoo that takes pride and place just above his right ankle.
The popular Grafton Tigers coach decided to get some artwork to celebrate his side's come-from-behind victory that year, and he is hoping to add a touch more ink after this Saturday's grand final.
It will be a case of deja vu for Campbell when the Tigers once again face-off against Sawtell at the Coffs International Stadium.
"Yeah, we're up against the same club we defeated in 2012," Campbell said at training during the week.
"We were behind for most of the game and we came back thanks to Lee Anderson kicking six or seven goals."
Campbell admits his coaching style hasn't changed much, if at all, it's all about the one-on-one battles and the backline getting the job done defensively.
"I still coach the same way and try and win the one-on-one battles. I think we have the ability to beat any side with one-on-one footy," he said.
"We use the ball really well so it gives us a good connection from the backline to the forward line.
"Most people say games are won in the middle, but for me, if the backline holds up and stops the opposition from scoring it then gives our forwards a chance to score."
The Tigers were the first team into the grand final but unfortunately playing at home in front of their loyal supporters is not to be.
"We've had a lot of success at Ellem Oval this season but the grand final will be played in Coffs," he said.
"The Coffs Stadium is a lot larger ground. We're a very fit side, which I think will actually give us a slight advantage on a bigger ground," Campbell said.
It's no secret the Club has gone through some tough times in recent seasons but thanks to the return of Campbell and several experienced players a grand final victory is well within their grasp.
"It would be a massive achievement from the Club. We've come from cellar dwellers in the past three seasons back to the top," he said.
"We want to continue to build the club for the next five-seasons and remain competitive."
It has been eight-long years since the Tigers won the premiership flag, and if they do, expect their coach to celebrate by adding more artwork below the club's iconic logo.