The majority of Tasmanians support their state being truly represented in the AFL with a home grown team.
Tasmania has always contributed players into the AFL system. We have achieved this with limited support from the AFL.
The current review into Tasmanian football led by AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan has the opportunity to recommend Tasmania is offered its own AFL licence commencing as early as 2022.
The AFL has the money available to invest in Tassie footy right now to make us AFL ready. Unfortunately it appears the AFL will reduce the funding for our only talent based competition in Tasmania rather than increasing the standard to make us AFL ready.
Even if the current AFL contribution of $1.3 million was increased immediately to $10 million per annum, with the money invested wisely as per the TSL presidents’ submission, significant improvements and outcomes would flow across the state into all levels of competition.
Without receiving the millions the AFL provides Queensland and New South Wales, you only need to look at the current Tasmanian players in the system to see how we could breed and grow our own AFL players to represent our state. With an injection of investment by the AFL it is inevitable over the following years we could produce even more players than now.
There has to be an end goal and in this case that’s the date our AFL team licence shall commence. The only way the AFL is going to prove it is serious about investing in Tasmania is to nominate the licence commencement.
Tasmania has a number of potential high picks in this year’s AFL draft. The AFL must set a date and invest in a plan where these future AFL draftees don’t automatically have to pack their bags and leave home just to pursue their careers.
The AFL has gifted Tasmania as a development zone to the Kangaroos. It’s time to take our state back with Tasmanians making decisions on how best to provide our talented female and male footballers with opportunities within their own state.
Tasmanians are expecting the AFL to deliver big on June 30 when the steering committee announces its plan.
- Thane Brady is the president of the North Launceston Football Club.