The State League may have secured a lifeline as the Tasmanian football review’s June 30 deadline approaches.
Many have feared for the TSL’s future in the wake of Devonport and Burnie dropping out of the league, which led to an AFL review being announced on March 21.
With less than two weeks until the steering committee’s findings are released to the public, it is believed an in-principle agreement to continue the TSL – though not necessarily under that name – has been reached.
However, there is expected to be plenty more discussion before such a development is signed off.
North Launceston president Thane Brady has been one of the State League’s most vocal supporters, but was far from pleased by the latest developments.
The outspoken Bombers boss said the committee’s plans as they stood were far from satisfactory.
“The messages I took out of our meeting (on Tuesday) with steering committee representative Rob Auld is they are likely to redistribute funds rather than take up the opportunity to invest in all programs across the state,” Brady said.
“No surprise is the self-serving additional investment in the talent program to deliver AFL draft picks.
“When all the details are released on June 30 and the spin doctor fog rises it will be obvious to all Tasmanians who care for a better deal that we are no closer to achieving our own AFL team or to be AFL ready.
“And with the redistribution of funds our talented players who graduate out of the Mariner program will have no chance of ever being drafted playing senior football in Tasmania.”
The review has coincided with a Northern Tasmanian Football Association restructure, which seeks to address a growing shortage of junior players in the North.
The restructure will see the association split into three divisions, including a six-team premier league which could be expanded to include Launceston and North Launceston should the TSL be axed in the future.
The steering committee includes AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan and AFL Tasmania boss Trisha Squires.