North Launceston boost for TSLW, status quo remains

Women’s regional and state league football will remain as is despite the impending arrival of Tasmanian-based AFLW and TAC Cup sides. 

A meeting of AFL Tasmania, North Melbourne, TSLW clubs and regional football representatives in Campbell Town on Tuesday decided the state’s football stocks were growing enough to cope with the loss of its top talent to other leagues.

Tasmania will wait until 2020 to field a TAC Cup side, while the number of Apple Islanders playing AFLW could approach double figures in 2019. 

AFL Tasmania female talent manager Leigh Elder said it was likely that TAC Cup and AFLW players would be able able to return to State League football during the second half of the TSLW season.

“Through the discussions it was pretty clear through the clubs’ perspectives that the massive growth we’ve had means the depth is coming through,” Elder said.

“So although there’ll be periods of the year where they’ll miss the AFLW players who need to have a break after their season and the TAC Cup players, (the clubs are) comfortable they can continue business as usual.”

AFL Tasmania will begin discussions with North Launceston in the coming weeks regarding the Bombers’ provisional TSLW licence for 2019, with list management, expectations and junior pathways on the agenda.

Elder said he believed there was sufficient talent in the state’s North to warrant a second State League team.

“The talent level in the past two or three years has been heavily weighted to the North, so when we went through the original process of planning North Launceston was the first target to go.

“Obviously we don’t expect miracles from the start, we need to get that link between the right players filtering through.

“If I was to predict anything I would say they might be a bit thin on the ground at the start of the season … but with the potential to drag some of the high quality out of (TWL North) when they finish, I think the second half of the year will look a lot healthier than the first.”

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