AFL Tasmania have announced at a special meeting in Campbell Town on Thursday that all board members and the chairman will be resigning at the AFL Tasmania AGM in April. All ten Tasmanian State League presidents were on hand at the meeting: it is believed the move will be a significant step toward the AFL taking a bigger interest in Tasmania.
Tasmanian football will now be under AFL House control with AFL Tasmania’s chief executive Scott Wade being joined by Shaun Young (TSL general manager) and Nick Probert (general manager of community football) as his key colleagues and only survivors of the current AFL Tasmania administration.
Wade will report directly to the national body. This means Tasmania has now joined Queensland, New South Wales and Victorian football, which are already controlled by the AFL. It’s believed that the transition plan has been in place for the last three years; however, none of the ten TSL presidents were informed of the plans to disband AFL Tasmania.
The administration of Tasmanian football from April will be directly answerable to AFL House. After being put through the ringer for the last two seasons, this move may see Tasmanian football start to turnaround.
In the last couple of seasons AFL Tasmania has endured immense criticism over such handlings of the Hobart and North Hobart merger decision. In the end, it saw one leave the competition while forming two new Southern Tasmanian clubs as well as a new Northern side. They also had to weather the storm from a parliamentary committee hearing into how it spends its annual $500,000 in government funding.
The Tasmanian State League will kick off on April 5th with the newly formed Western Storm battling Devonport at Aurora Stadium. There are talks that outgoing AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou will be in Hobart when the announcement is made.
Clarence president, Richard Mulligan does not believe the change will have much impact on things. Meanwhile Northern Launceston president, Than Brady is awaiting more details on how the changeover will be handled and how Tasmanian football will be structured after this move.
Tassie footy fans see it as something that’s been long overdue, though many are still not happy that Scott Wade will still be employed as the face of Tasmanian football at AFL House.
The new football administration could see clubs able to afford to sign players from interstate and pay them better as well. It could also include the wiping of many teams’ debts that see a few teetering dangerously on the edge of going into recess.
AFL Tasmania have been inept for decades; failed ideas to turn the league around has seen the deterioration of the league almost hit critical. While Tasmanian football fans remain sceptical of the new AFL Tasmania structure, it’s just a matter of patience to see how the new administration will fully work going forward.
The new AFL Tasmania could also see the dream of a Tasmanian AFL side move in the right direction. This comes after the media created buzz with suggestions the new AFL CEO could be the man to grant Tasmania their side.
However, their first order of business would be to work out how they’re going to get the media coverage of the TSL back to what it was, along with a brand new broadcast deal to bring the game back onto the TV screens.