Tasmanian AFL team gains support as Suns sink
Pressure is mounting on the AFL to support a Tasmanian team entering the competition, as the Gold Coast Suns’ decline continues.
AFL Tasmania CEO Trisha Squires is working with League boss Gillon McLachlan to prepare the state for a bid, by first ensuring its state competition is up to standard.
“I think everyone in Australia would like to see Tasmania have its own AFL team,” Ms Squires told Macquarie Sports Radio’s Cam Reddin.
While agreeing a Tasmanian side has been on the agenda for decades, Ms Squires maintains the foundation of the sport at grassroots level still requires further work.
“I still think there’s a lot of work we could do at that community level,” she said.
“There is a lot of work we still need to do at that level, but certainly if there was an opportunity where Tasmania could enter the AFL men’s competition, it would be very much welcomed in Tasmania,” Ms Squires said.
Tasmanian football great Nick Riewoldt, Carlton’s Tasmania-born coach Brendan Bolton and AFL icon Leigh Matthews have all backed the introduction of an Australian side. All they need is for the AFL to give the green light.
“All I know is that the competition isn’t expanding, but that could change tomorrow. That could change in five years, that could change in ten years. But currently, today, we’re saying the competition isn’t expanding. What I want to do is to make sure if ever there was that day that it does expand, we could put our hands up for it. Right now, we’ve got a lot of work to do,” Ms Squires said.
This latest push for an AFL side in Tasmania comes as the Gold Coast Suns capitulated to a humiliating loss against the competition’s newest side GWS.
The Suns, who entered the AFL in 2011, have kicked full time scores of 26 and 36 in their past two games while their opponents, GWS and Geelong respectively, both kicked well over 100 points.
Combined, they have kicked just 62 points in their two latest outings to their opponents’ 255 points.
Is it time the AFL commissions a team to represent Tasmania? Should another side be relocated down south?
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