Storm warning

 THE Tasmanian State League has a storm coming in season 2014 with the official launch yesterday of its newest club.

As revealed by The Examiner  last month, the new Prospect-based club will be called Western Storm representing the western side of Launceston and areas surrounded by the Western Tiers.

Club president Michelle Strickland introduced the club's board, coach, captains and some players at Aurora Stadium yesterday.

The club's colours will be blue, charcoal and white with its logo based on Thor, the Viking god of thunder.

``Today is a fantastically exciting day for our club Western Storm - as you can see there is a storm coming in 2014,'' Strickland said.

``We are thrilled it has all come together for us and we can finally make some announcements and tell people our story and where we are at.''

Strickland said an enormous amount of work had gone on behind the scenes to get the club off the ground over the past three or four months and they could not be happier with what they had achieved.

``We're a great team with a great brand and we've got an exciting future in 2014,'' she said.

``We are a club that is bold, focused and united and everyone will soon know there is a storm coming to the TSL in 2014.''

Former South Launceston premiership coach and TSL Tassie medallist winner Mitch Thorp will coach the club after missing out on the AFL draft.

Former Bulldog premiership teammates Braden McGee will be the club's development team coach with Mitchell Hills and Jay Blackberry the senior co-captains.

``We are really pleased (Mitch Thorp) is going to be part of our team, and it is a great achievement for us to have someone of Mitch's experience and capacity to be leading our team,'' Strickland said.

Thorp said 17 of his former South Launceston premiership squad members had signed to play alongside him for the Storm, and the club had good depth on its list of 54 players.

``Hopefully this club will be around in 50 years' time and we are the inaugural members,'' he said.

``We're not after a honeymoon period and we're off and running,  and we are going to win some games in 2014 and hopefully challenge for another premiership.

``We understand it all starts again and is going to be a lot of hard work, but we have a great bunch of guys who are really motivated to succeed in 2014.

``We have a lot or respect for each other as a playing group, and the fact that players like Matty Hanson knocked back offers to go to the VFL to stay in Tassie to try to be drafted is a fantastic thing for us.''

Strickland said the club was not naive about  the task ahead but was confident that   it could be successful financially off the field and attract supporters and members.

``We are committed to presenting ourselves as a professional outfit both on the field and off the field, and in that way we can reassure people of our credibility and commitment and the experience we bring to making the club a success,'' she said.

  The club had received some financial development assistance from AFL Tasmania but   ``it was a very small amount.''

Western Storm will play its home games at Aurora Stadium and will train at Prospect Park.

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