Old Scotch Football Club's secret NTCA Ground hideout discovered

Action between Old Scotch and Old Launcestonians at NTCA Ground in June. Picture: Scott Gelston
Action between Old Scotch and Old Launcestonians at NTCA Ground in June. Picture: Scott Gelston

Old Scotch Football Club is in turmoil with a number of players reportedly banned from its NTCA Ground base for anti-social behaviour.

The Northern Tasmania Cricket Association has taken a tough stance after it was revealed a secret hideout had been set up within the roof of its Launceston City Council-owned complex.

It is understood Old Scotch players tapped into the main power source and fitted out the hidey-hole with carpet, lounges and even a sound system.

The four-time reigning NTFA division 2 premiers were undefeated until two weeks ago when a number of players were allegedly caught on CCTV footage entering the disabled toilet and not returning for a lengthy period of time during a club fund-raiser on July 22. 

Sources told The Examiner they were entering the roof cavity for “anti-social behaviour”.

Old Scotch has since lost to St Pats and East Coast after a handful of “ring leaders” – including several key players and leaders – were initially banned from the NTFA Ground until September 2018. However, it is understood negotiations between the stakeholders have re-opened with a final punishment pending.

Old Scotch secretary Fred Lester said players had not been banned by the club.

Lester denied the club was prohibited from using the ground and facilities for one week – two training sessions and a home match – forcing the Thistles to relocate last weekend’s match against the Swans to Rocherlea Oval.

Asked if the reason behind the relocation was due to the accusations Lester replied: “that’s not quite right” and was not forthcoming with reasons why.

“I’m not going to comment on that,” he said.

The NTFA posted on its Facebook page on August 3: “Please be advised that the Old Scotch and East Coast game will be played at Rocherlea and not the NTCA Ground, due to the NTCA Ground being unavailable.”

​NTFA president Paul Reynolds said the association was made aware of the ground’s unavailability and that Old Scotch “had made arrangements to re-locate the game”.

“Other than that I know very little about what actually happened. I have heard a number of rumours but really I think it’s an internal matter for Old Scotch. There hasn’t been anything that has brought the NTFA into disrepute that I’m aware of.”

Launceston City Council general manager Robert Dobrzynski said that despite the council leasing the facility out, “it remains a public facility and we expect users to conduct themselves appropriately”.

"The council is aware of a dispute between the NTCA and a group they license the facility to,” he said.

"Damage to the building has already been rectified by the NTCA, and the matter is one for the NTCA and the group in question."

It is believed Old Scotch has been made to pay costs to dismantle the illegal development within the roof.

Old Scotch president Doug Walker’s recent resignation also understood to be connected to the matter.

The NTCA declined to comment.