Mercury (Hobart)

Path to AFL team clears

Commission meets to discuss Tasmanian bid for side in the national league


THE AFL says it will have a definite position on a Tasmanian licence by August next year as it prepares to talk to clubs on Monday about the new timeline.

In a week where the Sunday Tasmanian revealed Alastair Clarkson would be a driving force for Tasmania’s push for a 19th licence, the AFL’s Commission will meet on Monday in Perth with the Apple Isle’s bid for its own team firmly on the agenda.

It was revealed on Sunday that contrary to popular belief a two-third majority is needed for a new licence to be approved, as few as seven clubs would need to vote in favour of Tasmania receiving the league’s 19th licence for it to be approved under AFL rules.

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said ahead of the meeting of club presidents the

league would put a decision to them by July or August next year.

“The (Tasmanian) discussion will pick up post the grand final. The framework has been laid out,” he said.

“The alternativ­es are a new licence, a hybrid mode, or a relocation. I think people will feel pretty comfortabl­e there are not any clubs putting their hands up to relocate so it’s a race in two.

“A critical part is what it looks like for the Tasmanian government and the commercial­ity and clearly it’s in working out if it’s feasible. We have a meeting on Monday with club presidents and it will come up there and that will frame up our discussion­s with the state government.

“The commitment is that we make a decision in line with the club funding model which means probably by July or August next year is when a decision will be rolled out.”

Tassie footy fans are delighted with the progress of the state’s AFL bid and believe the state’s new advocate – four-time premiershi­p coach Alistair Clarkson – could be the man to get the Apple Isle its long-awaited AFL side.

Diehard Hawthorn supporter Garry Barwick said he and his family hoped Tasmania would finally get a side in the national league and believed Clarkson could be the man to help that happen.

“I’m sure they’ll listen to

Alistair Clarkson based on his achievemen­ts so if he’s in support then that’s very good for Tasmania and hopefully he can help us get the result we are all after,” Mr Barwick said.

“If Clarkson could put his hand up to coach the Tassie team too then that would be nice,” he joked.

Mr Barwick has two sons and a daughter that play football

in Hobart and said having a Tasmanian AFL team would be a great goal for young Tassie players to aspire to. “With the way football is in the state at the moment we need that pathway for our young talent to be able to strive towards and I strongly believe an AFL team would be the best thing for Tasmania,” he said.

Mr Barwick said with only

seven clubs required to vote in favour of the new licence he was hopeful Tassie would soon be in the big league.

“I’d like to think that at least seven clubs would say yes and I can’t think of many reasons why they’d vote against it, but ultimately it’s up to the AFL and their appetite to put funding towards a Tassie-based AFL team.”

 ??  ?? Gillon McLachlan
Gillon McLachlan

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