Launceston boss Sandra Boland is “suspicious” of the AFL’s commitment to keep the Tasmanian State League alive until at least 2023.
Boland said the AFL-led steering committee intends to re-brand the TSL as the State Premier League from next season for reasons yet to be fully divulged.
Committee member Robert Auld informed the seven TSL presidents in Launceston on Tuesday that existing competition licences would be honoured, however, they must devise key performance indicators around junior development, management and community zone engagement to receive their annual $100,000 AFL grant.
Presidents have been given two weeks to supply AFL House with “achievable” clauses. Boland has echoed North Launceston counterpart Thane Brady’s concerns, saying the AFL is more interested in redistributing its funds into other pathways rather than on making the state’s top talent pathway more viable.
She said the TSL name change coincided with the Northern Tasmanian Football Association restructure whereby it will split into three divisions from next year – including a premier league.
“I’m concerned about why they want to change the name and then you find out they are putting a premier league in the NTFA, well, they will be able to align them if they are called the same thing in the future,” Boland said.
“I’m hesitant to change a lot of things because I believe they’ve got other ideas already in place that they are not sharing yet.
“They are looking at calling the TSL the State Premier League… and I’m suspicious of why they want to use the same name as the NTFA’s top division.
“Are they looking at having Northern and Southern premier leagues and then a state final? I’m not too sure but it’s a possibility that they could.”
RELATED:TSL presidents consulted
The steering committee held its final meeting in Melbourne on Wednesday with AFL Tasmania chief executive Trisha Squires in attendance.
“We focused in on some of the recommendations to be tabled at the next AFL Commission meeting,” she said.
The AFL will fund three regional full-time development managers from the TSL’s $1.3 million budget.
Mathew Armstrong has been anointed the South’s go-to man, while North and North-West’s equivalents will be announced on the June 30 deadline day.
AFL boss Gillon McLachlan will hand down the committee’s full findings in Tasmania next week, once they have been signed off by the AFL commission.
RELATED:When Brady met McLachlan
However, Boland said all parties were still not “on the same page at this stage” and that she does not feel any love from the AFL towards making the TSL a long-term success story. “You just can’t put KPIs out there and say if it doesn’t work, then it’s gone – you have to find a way to make it work,” she said.
“If you read the current licence agreement it does state that they’ll do everything they can to keep it going so they need to be seen to negotiate with us. Discussions I feel were left up in the air.
“They’re definitely not willing to invest any more money in the TSL and are putting us back to where we were last year, where we weren’t as viable. We’ve got a lot of talking to do as seven TSL presidents about what is important to fight for and what we can let go of.”
She said North-West TSL involvement was still on the table, but “not for next year”.