The NTFA will move towards its restructure, extend its Northern women’s competition and look to grow player, administrator and volunteer numbers in 2019.
The league won’t transition to three tiers until 2020 but will adopt new terminology from next season, with division 1 to be known as the premier league and division 2 to be renamed division 1.
TWL North, which has been managed by AFL Tasmania since it began in 2017, will also come onto the NTFA’s books for the first time and will expand by 50 per cent.
Three new clubs have won licences to compete in 2019 following the inclusion of George Town and South Launceston in 2018.
“Letters went out (on Monday) to all the clubs who were successful for a licence,” NTFA vice-president Scott Rigby said.
“We’re overwhelmed with the interest and player numbers in the women’s … our original thinking was for an eight-team competition, but we’re actually going to push to a nine-team competition.
“(The three new clubs) will come out in due course and I reckon all the clubs will be quite excited about it, and we’ll have more information on the women’s competition in a couple of weeks’ time.”
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The 2019 premier league will consist of the same nine teams that contested for the 2018 division 1 flag, while the exit of Tamar Cats is expected to be the sole change to the 2019 division 1 competition.
“We’re still working through the division 1 competition with a couple of clubs,” Rigby said.
“In theory, other than the Tamar Cats unfortunately going into recess, there’ll be no other changes as long as those clubs meet their commitments.”
The NTFA is yet to elect a new leader following the death of highly-respected president Paul Reynolds earlier this year, but will do so at its general meeting on December 4.
Rigby said the NTFA would look to continue Reynolds’ legacy in delivering the restructure and tackling dwindling player numbers.
“The formal restructure is on schedule for 2020 and we’re just doing preliminary works with the clubs in consultation to enable that to happen in a seamless way.
“I think one of the things that we’ve learned in the last couple of years is that we do it together and for what’s going to be the better outcome for our footy community.
“We want to provide an opportunity for everyone to get involved – it’s not just about players, it’s about volunteering, it’s about administration, it’s about umpires.
“That’s the beauty of footy, it provides opportunities for so many people and for communities to grow together.”