SOUTH Launceston Football Club president Rod Patterson has slammed AFL Tasmania's decision to allow the yet-to-be-launched Prospect TSL club to represent the competition in next year's Foxtel Cup.
AFL Tasmania general manager Shaun Young announced yesterday that the Prospect State Football Club would be the TSL representative in the national competition that pits state league premiers against each other.
AFL Tasmania had faced a dilemma after this year's TSL premier South Launceston was not offered a continuation of its licence for next season.
It was faced with a choice between Prospect or this year's TSL runner-up, Burnie.
The new Prospect TSL club is yet to be officially launched with no details released yet about its name, brand or colours.
But Young said the fact that 14 players from the South Launceston premiership side had signed for the new club tipped the decision in its balance.
``The decision this year is unique in that the reigning TSL premiers South Launceston, will no longer participate in the TSL in 2014,'' he said.
``Given the fact that 14 players from the 2013 premiership team will make the transition to the new club, it has been determined by AFL Tasmania's leadership team, with the support of the AFL, that the team to represent Tasmania in the Foxtel Cup will be Prospect State Football Club.
``Historically, the players have earned this right by winning the premiership, and are given the opportunity to showcase their ability on the national stage.
``We are confident that the Prospect State Football Club will represent the TSL very well in the Foxtel Cup in 2014.''
Patterson said he was astounded by the decision.
``These are the premiers of the highest state leagues throughout Australia being represented and our state governing body has decided in its wisdom to let a club that has not officially been formed yet represent our premier league in this representative format,'' he said.
``How would our grand final runner-up (Burnie) feel, that they have been less valued to represent the TSL with the governing body having decided for it to be represented by a club not formed yet?''
Former South Launceston premiership captain and Prospect recruit Mitch Hills said he was excited about the opportunity of taking part in the Foxtel Cup.
``It's a good feeling and the majority of the players who are going to be playing at the new club played in the premiership side so it is a reward for them,'' he said.
``In an ideal world you'd love to have every player from the South Launceston team playing in the Foxtel Cup.
``But in the circumstances, we've done a pretty good job to get the 14 players across.''