Tasmania could have its own team in the AFL by 2023, according to prominent commentator Dwayne Russell.
Speaking to Tasmanian football legend Matthew Richardson on 3AW's Sportsday program, Russell said the state would be stripped of AFL content in 2022 before welcoming its own team a year later.
"I'm hearing no Hawthorn and no North Melbourne in Tassie after 2021," he said.
"I'm hearing no games at all in Tassie in 2022 with the idea that Tassie would get its 19th team into the AFL in 2023. It's a pencilled plan, it's a plan being investigated, but it's nothing new - we've been talking about a Tassie team for a while."
Russell said the AFL had no plans to remove perennial strugglers Gold Coast, and would begin planning for a 19-team 2023 competition which would still see Launceston hosting around four games a season.
"The team will be in Hobart and they'll play four, maybe five games, but four probably in Launceston, that's the way the planning is," he said.
"Hobart's a bigger city, they've got a great venue Bellerive as it stands right now. Even though the venue Launceston is immaculate, there'll only be three or four games down there."
Richardson welcomed the comments.
"That's good news for Tasmania," the ex-Tiger said.
"I think the 2023 is a bit quicker than a lot of people thought, I thought it was looking about 2025 but I think 2023 would be a good result for Tassie."
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