NTFA pulls pin on clash with NTFL

RELATIONSHIPS between the NTFA and NTFL have soured following the NTFA's decision to scrap an intra-state representative game planned for May.

The NTFA made the decision after it feared it would not be able to field its best players in the game on May 17.

``It was a difficult decision to make, but we had to do what is best for the NTFA,'' president Geoff Lyons said.

Lyons said many of the association's best young players would instead be playing for the Tasmanian under-23 team in a trial game in Hobart the following day.

``It costs us $13,000 to put a team on the ground and we want to be fair dinkum.''

The move has angered the NTFL which had already started planning its team for the clash in Launceston.

``Our attitude is the Tasmanian under-23s take precedence and we were still quite happy to go ahead with the game,'' NTFL president Andrew Richardson said.

``This is a real kick in the guts for your footballers who look forward each year to playing representative football.''

The NTFL had re-appointed Kent Jackson as representative team coach and was looking forward to building on its record over the past three years.

In that time the NTFL has beaten the NTFA, the SFL and the Tasmanian under-23s to regain its mantle as the top regional competition in the state.

Richardson said that last year the NTFL had provided the Tasmanian under-23s with 11 players, but still went ahead with its representative game.

He said the NTFL would now explore other options for a representative game although given the season was so close it wasn't a certainty.

He didn't discount the possibility of the NTFL playing the SFL.

During its discussion on the representative game Lyons said the NTFA had floated the idea of the three regional bodies playing each other in a one-day round-robin series.

Former Burnie premiership coach Nick Probert has given his time to the Tasmanian Football Council to prepare the state under-23 team for its clash with Victoria in Hobart in June.

Former Hobart coach Anthony McConnon is the front runner to coach the team which last year defeated Western Australia.

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