Meet­ing lifts TSL hopes

Be­ing called to talks over fund­ing is good news, say clubs

Sunday Tasmanian - - News - BRETT STUBBS Sports Edi­tor

TAS­MA­NIAN State League clubs be­lieve the com­pe­ti­tion’s fu­ture is as­sured with AFL Tas­ma­nia or­gan­is­ing a planning meet­ing for the league.

The AFL’s steer­ing committee is look­ing at the fu­ture of the TSL and the state’s tal­ent path­way, with it ini­tially be­liev­ing the state league was on the chop­ping block.

But AFL Tas­ma­nia chief ex­ec­u­tive Tr­isha Squires has called the seven club pres­i­dents to a June 19 meet­ing in Launce­s­ton to dis­cuss key per­for­mance in­di­ca­tors around club fund­ing.

North Ho­bart pres­i­dent Craig Martin said that could only be read as pos­i­tive news for the league’s sta­tus as Tas­ma­nia’s top-tier com­pe­ti­tion.

The per­for­mance in­di­ca­tors will be based around ju­nior de­vel­op­ment and en­gage­ment with lower-tier clubs (SFL and Old Schol­ars clubs, for ex­am­ple) in each re­spec­tive TSL zone.

“It is a re­ally, re­ally good out­come,” Mr Martin said.

“We can deduct from that we have been in­vited to a meet­ing to talk about KPIs go­ing for­ward then I think the fu­ture of the TSL is pretty much as­sured. They wouldn’t have asked us to a meet­ing if it wasn’t go­ing to go ahead.”

Laud­erdale pres­i­dent Julie Kay agreed that it looked op­ti­mistic for the league’s fu­ture.

“It does look more pos­i­tive than be­fore, and I am hope­ful that the meet­ing is about how the TSL can con­trib­ute to the fu­ture of Tas­ma­nian foot­ball, but I reckon there will be some pa­ram­e­ters put around ev­ery­thing,” Ms Kay said.

Mr Martin said ex­tend­ing the li­cences with AFL Tas­ma­nia past their cur­rent ex­piry date at the end of the 2023 sea­son or ad­di­tional fund­ing had not been dis­cussed.

“But we all agreed at the meet­ing that the clubs should be ac­count­able for the money we get,” he said.

“Of course we should, we should be all the time. It is cer­tainly the im­pres­sion I got was that was where it was head­ing.

“The [li­cence] add-ons for the AFL with the TSL clubs is more of a role in de­vel­op­ing ju­niors in their area and also greater en­gage­ment with the other clubs in our zones.

“That’s great. We are per­fectly fine with that.”

He said af­ter some trep­i­da­tion about the di­rec­tion of the steer­ing committee, the TSL clubs were con­fi­dent their mes­sage was get­ting through.

“We are re­ally pleased they have lis­tened, they un­der­stand the TSL is a very im­por­tant part of the footy land­scape in Tassie and all the clubs are very happy to play more of a role at ju­nior de­vel­op­ment and in­crease en­gage­ment with the clubs in our zone,” he said.

The steer­ing committee, chaired by AFL chief Gil­lon McLachlan, has set it­self a deadline of the end of this month to an­nounce so­lu­tions to the code’s Tas­ma­nian cri­sis.

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