The state’s talent pathway overhaul is starting to take shape with several key appointments.
Craig Notman has won the race to become Tasmania’s football manager – a position recommended by the steering committee in July – and will work with regional managers Mathew Armstrong (South), Darren Trevena (North) and the North-West’s inaugural watchdog Jamie Hayward.
Notman, originally from Wangaratta in Victoria, previously served as the North’s development officer early in the century before going on to hold talent manager roles with TAC Cup set-up Oakleigh Chargers, the AFL and Melbourne Football Club.
The partner of former Tasmanian cyclist Belinda Goss officially starts next month and will be based in Launceston alongside Trevena.
He will oversee the state’s talent pathway from under 12s through the re-established TAC Cup program.
AFL Tasmania chief executive Trisha Squires said Notman would help recruit a coach for the TAC Cup, which expected to be given a makeover and become an under-19s competition next year, and assist Tasmania fulfil its obligations for a VFL licence in 2021.
It is a job he is most looking forward to.
“Being based in the North, which is central, is really important in being able to spend time and immerse myself in each of the three regions,” Notman said.
“Having been involved in the TAC Cup program for a period of time, it gives young players in Tassie an opportunity to prepare themselves with what it described as the best under-18 competition in the country.
“We had a meeting this morning about where the competition is moving and it’s a really exiting time for us to be involved in that competition full-time again [for the first time since 2002] to compare apples with apples.”
Notman said it was vital that everyone in Tasmanian football worked together to provide players with the best chance of getting drafted.
“I want to build a really strong foundation in terms of where we want to get to and make sure that base builds a sustainable model so that we’re not just working for now, we’re working for down the track that can prosper,” he said.
“That is something that’s in the Chargers program I’d like to bring over as it’s something that delivers very good outcomes on a year-to-year basis.
“This a Tasmanian football community venture to benefit football as a whole… the ultimate outcome is everyone is working together to get the best outcomes for the kids, and not losing sight of that.”
Notman said he his keen to engage with clubs, leagues and schools.
Meanwhile, Hayward – who was also unveiled on Tuesday – has proven his coaching wares with Ulverstone and North West Football League representative squads.
He won the NWFL premiership last year and was recognised as Tasmania's coach of the year.