One of Tasmanian football’s most beloved and respected figures is set to write his name in the history books when he runs out for his 238th senior match this weekend.
Glenorchy playing-coach Josh Arnold will surpass the 237-game TSL record held by former Launceston and South Launceston superstar Jay Blackberry this Saturday when his Magpies take on Lauderdale at SkyBus Oval.
Arnold made his debut in round one of the inaugural 2009 TSL season, when the ‘Pies met Launceston at KGV. Arnold concedes it wasn’t the smoothest of starts to his senior career as a 16-year-old, having snapped his collarbone after just two senior games.
“This week has been a good time to reflect. In the early days I had to do it the hard way, which makes this so special.
“It wasn’t just handed on a platter. I had to work really hard and was in and out of the side and played some reserves games early on.
“It took me about 18 minutes to get off the pine in my debut, but I did get an early touch and got into the game early which was nice.”
Arnold returned from injury that season via the reserves and found his feet at senior level the following year, going on to become a key figure in Glenorchy’s build that resulted in a 2015 Grand Final appearance and the 2016 Premiership.
“To play with a group of blokes I’d been on a fair journey with, including Jordon (Josh’s brother), it (the 2016 TSL Premiership) was even more special.
“There were a lot of guys I’d played underage football with at Claremont, so to grow up with those guys and then win a premiership at the highest level with them was really special.”
Arnold’s name sits comfortably amongst the likes of Jay Blackberry and Jaye Bowden on the TSL games-record list, but the man himself is humbled by the company he now enjoys.
“I’m a little embarrassed by the players I’m surrounded by like Jay Blackberry, Jaye Bowden and Brad Cox-Goodyer and what they’ve given their clubs and Tassie footy.
“I’m enormously proud of this achievement and it’s something I’ll definitely look back on.”
Arnold has relished the chance to coach the side in 2023, with his young group showing signs of development while he has thrown himself into different spots on the ground.
“Traditionally I’ve been down back, but I’ve enjoyed getting up the field into the middle and up forward as well. It gives the younger guys an opportunity to fill in that role and create a bit of their own history and start their career.”
Arnold may only hold the record for a number of weeks, with North Launceston coach Brad Cox-Goodyer just one game behind and set to feature in the 2023 TSL Finals Series.
Arnold’s Magpies take on Lauderdale at SkyBus Oval from 2pm Saturday, with the game to be live-streamed via the AFLTAS YouTube channel.
TSL – GAMES RECORD LEADERBOARD
Josh Arnold (Glenorchy) – 237*
Jay Blackberry (Launceston / South Launceston / Western Storm) – 237
Brad Cox-Goodyer (North Launceston) – 236*
Jaye Bowden (Glenorchy) – 212
Jack Avent (North Launceston) – 206*
Alex Hevey (Lauderdale) – 203
Hugh Williams (North Hobart) – 201