Relaxed Coughlan firms AFL Draft chances

NSW/ACT RAM Nick Coughlan missed out on selection in last year’s draft but a change in attitude for 2015 may yet see him keep his AFL dream alive.

The versatile tall said he felt like he put too much pressure on himself in the past and it impacted his performances.

“This year I’ve decided to be a bit more relaxed,” the 19-year-old said.

“It becomes a bit serious – everyone running around – so it’s best to just come in, be relaxed and just enjoy yourself because you don’t get many opportunities to come do this.”

Coughlan recently took part in the National Draft Combine, an experience the former Albury local relished this time around.

“It’s been a great experience again. Obviously the second time I’ve been here and it’s just been good to be around the best players in the country trying to show your stuff.”

With the second highest score of the combine in the kicking test Coughlan’s new approach appears to have paid dividends.

2015 saw the youngster not only change his attitude to football but also his role.

“This year I’ve spent most of my time down back. Obviously last year I played as a key forward and did a couple of good things but we thought the move down back would be the best way to go this year.”

As a member of the PM Capital GIANTS Academy the 195cm Coughlan was able to line up against one of the game’s greats in a NEAFL match.

“I was lucky enough to play against Adam Goodes. It was the day he came back and played in the NEAFL and it was just great to match up against someone of his calibre. It was great to get the experience of playing against men and playing at that higher level.”

As well as playing as an overage player with the Murray Bushrangers at TAC Cup level, Coughlan also appeared in seven VFL games with Footscray.

With the November 24 draft night in Adelaide looming  Coughlan remains philosophical about his chances.

“I’m a lot more relaxed about it all. You sort of take what you can get and if it doesn’t happen so be it and you work even harder next year to try and get drafted.”