Tasmania’s top female football players are getting closer to joining the sport at an elite level.
On Friday, Tassie’s two adopted teams, North Melbourne and Hawthorn, put forward their plans for Australian Football League Women’s side.
Both teams included Tasmania in their plans to grow, develop and support emerging talent.
In outlining its proposal, Hawthorn pledged to play at least one home game in Launceston.
It also detailed its commitment to including Tasmania in its talent pre-listing.
North Melbourne has tendered stronger words, saying its proposed model “has a strong focus on Tasmania”.
“A critical success factor for our proposal is the development of female football talent in Tasmania and sustained growth of the national AFLW talent pool,” a statement from the club said.
“Over the past two years we have worked closely with AFL Tasmania to improve Tasmanian football talent pathways, particularly for females. Our Next Generation Academies in Tasmania currently boast an incredible 29 per cent of all participants across the entire AFL.”
With both AFL teams amassing strong support from the home-away-from-home support base, it would be hoped that the Tasmanian footy community would get behind its own women’s AFL club, no matter what colour their stripes are.
However, the state government has made it clear that its preference is a stand-alone, Tasmanian women’s team.
A government statement, from the office of Premier Will Hodgman, said the government had made its wants clear to the AFL in that it would prefer a Tasmanian team, but would also support a Hawthorn or North Melbourne team.
It is a hard position to be in.
We do not seem to be any closer to getting an AFL team to call our own, but with such a strong base of female talent, do we have the strength behind us to leverage for a women’s team?
Or, do we take what is being offered, and hope that in some time down the track, we will be able to break out on our own?
There are so many possibilities for Tasmania's future within the AFL, and so many voices ready to cheer for us no matter what path we take.
And we’ve definitely got the talent to go straight to the top.