Meeting lifts TSL hopes
Being called to talks over funding is good news, say clubs
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.