NTFL punts for eight teams

THE NTFL is getting closer to becoming an eight-team competition, according to president Andrew Richardson.

Richardson told last night's NTFL annual meeting that an eight-team competition on the North-West was the ideal scenario.

He said Devonport had already applied to rejoin the competition in 2015 and discussions were ongoing with AFL Tasmania regarding an eighth team.

``We are in discussion with AFL Tasmania about reducing the State League representation on the North-West to just two senior teams with one based at the western end and the other at the eastern end and if this becomes achievable it would be possible to have both Burnie and Devonport clubs back into the NTFL,'' he said.

Richardson said 2013 had been a challenge to the NTFL executive with many people continually challenging its decisions.

``This was particularly around the proposed eastern end State League team,'' he said.

``It should be remembered that the executive members are independent and as such have only the best interests of the NTFL in mind when making decisions,'' he said.

He said the six-club format had again proved successful with all teams having some good patches of form.

``Latrobe was the standout going through all season undefeated.''

Attendance figures dropped slightly on the previous year with an extremely wet winter being the major contributing factor.

New to the NTFL season was Wynyard's decision to play some games under its new lighting system, Smithton playing a game on Good Friday at Stanley and the appearances of former AFL stars Matthew Lloyd, Micky O'Loughlin and Anthony Koutoufides.

``It shows that our clubs are looking outside the square in an endeavour to attract people to the games.''

He said the Tasmanian Football Council and AFL Tasmania continued to working together on a plan for all football below the State League.

``This is a partnership between the TFC and AFL Tasmania and can only be good for community football within Tasmania as we are able to influence the direction of the sport.

``The TFC was established initially to unite the three regional competitions and organise representative football and has developed into much more and has the capacity to provide regional football with a very strong voice.''

The TFC provided the opportunity for 23 players to travel to Perth and play a Western Australian under-23 amateur side in June.

``Their triumph by 21 points was a fantastic effort by all involved,'' he said.

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