Round 8 – 20/05/2017

1:00PM – West Park


Burnie Dockers
B: B. Keiselis, D. Brazendale, B. Boag
HB: H. Walters, B. Murray, J. Dowling
C: E.  Jackson, R.  Barrett, B.  Challis
HF: D. Crane, N. McKenna, F. Poke
F: C. Proctor, J. Cox, B. Rubock
R: T. Morrison, N. Walters, S. Kalbfell
Int: E. Smith, B. Miller, J. Murray, T. Charles
Emg: B. Hayes, J. Weller, A. Bates, G. Dowling

B: J. Holmes, J. Bailey, Z. Mastrocola
HB: M. Ling, K. Wylie, T. Castle
C: G.  Chambers, J.  O’Brien, K.  Palmer-Hughes
HF: A. Grace, M. Blackburn, J. Harper
F: T. Standen, L. Murfitt-Cowen, J. Webberley
R: S. Siggins, B. Jones, J. O’Brien
Int: W. Wall, J. Brenner, S. Bradford, M. Fisher
Emg: K. Howlett, N. Douglas, A. Gaul, C. Leek

In: L. Murfitt-Cowen, J. O’Brien, K. Palmer-Hughes, S. Bradford
Out: I. Callinan, Z. Buechner, T. Hanslow


Round 8 – 20/05/2017

2:00PM – North Hobart Oval

Hobart City Demons
B: H. Williams, L. Azzopardi, M. Bidgood
HB: R. Cowie, H. Williams, B. Walker
C: T.  Millhouse, W.  Campbell, C.  Kilpatrick
HF: S. Willis, J. Maple, J. Williamson
F: B. Grant, K. Richter, J. Barwick
R: C. White, R. Matthews, E. Cole
Int: H. Johnstone, S. Caswell, K. Wisniewski, J. Charlton
Emg: M. O’Neill, J. McCulloch, C. Ransom, J. Guesdon

In: S. Caswell, C. White
Out: N. Baker,  N. Hutchinson

B: J. Boyce, S. Vandervelde, M. Hutchinson
HB: C. Savage, J. Nunn, S. Williams
C: J.  Smith, S.  Rundle, T.  Sheppard
HF: R. Kelly-Mansell, A. Wright, S. Lonergan
F: S. Whiting, N. O’Donoghue, J. Harris
R: H. Leedham, J. Blackberry, B. Taylor
Int: C. Sheppard, C. Downie, J. Donnellan, B. Palfreyman
Emg: M. Blazely, L. Gee, G. Holt, M. Hodge

In: J. Donnellan, B. Palfreyman, C. Savage, C. Downie,
Out: C. Brown, R. Tyrrell, C. Jones, J. Hinds


Round 8 – 20/05/2017

KGV – 2:00PM

B: W. Atkin, J. Arnold, J. Arnold
HB: B. Quinn, J. Geard, B. Webb
C: T.  Butterworth, R.  Mott, J.  Webb
HF: J. Millhouse, M. Dilger, M. Joseph
F: T. Morgan, J. Bowden, C. Salter
R: C. Duffy, M. Rainbird, L. Smith
Int: D. Grant, B. Kamaric, J. Farrow, C. Mcknight
Emg: C. Goodsell, A. Brennan, D. Coppleman, A. Roberts.

In: T. Butterworth, M. Joseph, M. Dilger
Out: H. Parker,  M. Hills,  H. Pearce,  H. Gunther

B: S. Hill, M. Kleverkamp, E. Stanley
HB: J. Roberts, A. Hill, J. McGuinness
C: R.  Sutton, P.  Bellchambers, R.  McManus
HF: B. Walsh, E. Whish-Wilson, T. Boscott
F: R. Hill, R. Wiggins, D. Fyfe
R: H. Smith, N. Franklin, T. Havea
Int: D. Johns, B. Newell, A. Hevey, L. Meagher
Emg: C. Laoumtzis, C. Brown, C. Hooker, J. Perkins

In: A. Hevey, N. Franklin
Out: J. Williams, R. Hooker


Round 8 – 20/05/2017


North Launceston

B: H. Goss, J. Pearce, C. Young
HB: C. Pearton, A. Richter-Salter, J. Foon
C: K.  Baker, B.  Cox-Goodyer, J.  Lockhart
HF: T. Couch, T. Bennett, K. Wadley
F: J. Avent, B. McCulloch, Z. Burt
R: A. Lee, M. Walsh, T. Whitford
Int: K. Thomas, D. Clayton, J. Singline, K. Curtis
Emg: J. Harris, J. Rowlands, M. Donnelly, B. Denman

In: K. Wadley, K. Thomas, D. Clayton, K. Curtis, J. Singline, H. Goss
Out: T. Mansell,  L. Hollmer,  T. Thomas,  J. Ponting,  R. Mansell,  T. Donnelly

B: T. Carter, T. Peterson, B. Graham
HB: M. Carter, C. Johns, M. Davies
C: B.  McCulloch, W.  Cleeland, M.  Booth
HF: J. Bilson, J. Pearce, C. Nield
F: B. Livingston, M. Walker, E. Brock
R: M. Gardner, S. Rice, L. Watt
Int: A. Webster, O. Burrows-Cheng, C. Rawson, T. Hughes
Emg: C. Woolley, J. Keogh, C. Sawdy, L. Griggs

In: T. Hughes, B. McCulloch, A. Webster, L. Watt, O. Burrows-Cheng, E. Brock,
J. Keogh, M. Booth

Out: T. Cowen, L. Clifford, B. Rees, H. Dixon, T. Gogolin, L. Gadomski, L. Griggs


Sonny day as Launceston go two from two

Written by Matt Hill

Launceston made it two from two to start the season with a convincing 62 point win over Burnie, at Windsor Park.

Launceston’s first home game of the season was an emphatic performance in what saw their slick ball movement and overlapping run dominate the Dockers in slightly wet conditions. A goal to Sonny Whiting within the first minute of the game signalled things to come for Launceston and Whiting, who enjoyed a day out up forward.

The Blues dominated the early stages of the first term to kick away to a 19 point lead mainly due to the dominance of forwards in Sonny Whiting (who kicked three goals in the first term), and Rulla Kelly-Mansell. Burnie did well to fight back in the later stages of the quarter with Jamieson House providing a strong forward target to help the visitors snatch a lead by one point at quarter time.

From there on in the game it was all Launceston with their fantastic quick ball movement and well executed game plan seeing them storm home over the Dockers. A six goal second quarter in the second set up Launceston’s lead as Corey Sheppard, Kelly-Mansell, Whiting, Palfreyman and Rundle all goaled for the Blues. At the other end, Launceston’s defence was rarely troubled in the second as Burnie struggled to get the ball dangerously into their forward fifty and hence only registered one behind for the term.

After the main break Burnie showed glimpses of finding a way back into the game but some crucial disposal errors cost them dearly. As well as an undisciplined act that saw a one hundred metre penalty which gifted the Blues a goal. The Dockers were able to trade goals with Launceston at stages but some inaccurate goal kicking made the score line a lot closer than what it could have been with the Blues booting two goals and five behinds compared to Burnie’s three goals straight for the stanza.

Down by 36 points going into the final term Burnie needed to shut down Launceston’s outside run and ball movement but unfortunately were not up for the challenge, as Launceston put the pedal to the metal and booted five goals to one in the last quarter to run out 62 point winners.

Jack Donnellan’s run and ball movement out of the backline set up a lot of Launceston’s play, teaming up effectively with Jordan Harris and Corey Sheppard the Blues had constant pressure on the Burnie defence. Rulla Kelly-Mansell and Sonny Whiting were extremely dangerous up forward, Kelly-Mansell presented all day and ran the Burnie defence off their feet; he kicked only two goals for the game but could have easily kicked five. Whilst partner in crime Whiting booted a monstrous seven goals in a match winning display. What was even scarier for the Burnie defence was that if the rain had have stayed away and Whiting kicked straight he could have been looking at a haul of more than ten goals. For Burnie, House was a hard battler up front for the Dockers kicking four goals in what was a tough day for the north west side.

Launceston had plenty of positives to take out of the game and with a mouth watering Good Friday clash next week against neighbours  North Launceston atUniversity Of Tasmania stadium, some added confidence will certainly put the Blues in a good mind set for next week’s cross town derby. A game not to be missed.

Burnie also take on rivals Devonport next week at West Park in a must win-game game for both sides. Both teams are coming off consecutive losses after the first two rounds and will desperately be searching for the four points in order to redirect their seasons.

Round 2 – 08/04/2017

Launceston                              4.1,  10.4,  12.9,  17.14  (116)

Burnie Dockers                          4.2,  4.3,  7.3,  8.6  (54)

GOALS, Launceston :
S. Whiting 7, R. Kelly-Mansell 2, C. Sheppard 2, J. Blackberry 1, Z. Griffiths 1, B. Palfreyman 1,
M. Spohn 1, S. Rundle 1, S. Lonergan 1

Burnie Dockers :
J. House 4, H. Walters 1, C. Proctor 1, F. Poke 1, J. Murray 1

BEST, Launceston :
J. Smith, J. Donnellan, S. Rundle, S. Whiting, C. Sheppard, R. Kelly-Mansell

Burnie Dockers :
J. House, C. Proctor, E. Jackson, R. Barrett, J. Cox

Introducing the Mercury Cup

The second tier competition previously known as the ‘Development League’ will now become the Mercury Cup, in an exciting new partnership between the Mercury and AFL Tasmania.

The Mercury Cup is the home of emerging talent across the state and is a showcase of what is to come for the Southern Cross Tasmanian State League (TSL).The Mercury’s support of the competition is part of a transformation of the competition model.

“We are delighted to partner with the Mercury for our statewide second tier competition, it will be an exciting competition to watch,” TSL Manager Carl Saunder said.

“Our best talent will play in the Mercury Cup before long and fruitful careers in our TSL or the AFL, it will be a breeding ground of future stars.”

“Historically the competition has been known as the ‘D’ league and it does not resonate well with what the competition actually is. It is a talent competition and an important stepping stone to senior statewide football.”

In 2018 and 2019 the competition will transform and transition to an age restricted talent competition, with an Under 23 age limit in 2018 and a Under 21 limit in 2019. This will assist the competition to better connect with the talent pathway and make for stronger development and more meaningful competition for young ambitious footballers.

“For a lot of young players it is their first experience of being involved in a TSL club environment and it’s an important breeding ground for players to hone their skills and all round game. 

“We look forward to the Mercury Cup providing a fitting stage for the best emerging young talented footballers,” Saunder explains. 

Mercury General Manager Damon Wise believes the partnership is a fantastic fit.

“Local footy is one of our key passions and we are rapt to be involved with promoting the league which helps develop the stars of the future,” Wise explains.

A new fixture for the Mercury Cup has been released with Burnie Dockers recent inclusion to the competition. CLICK HERE to access the Mercury Cup fixture.

The competition kicks off this Saturday with Tigers hosting Burnie at Twin Ovals from 10:30AM.

2017 TSL Season Preview – Tigers


Written by Alex FitzGerald

TSL Inception: 2014

Home Ground: Twin Ovals, Kingston

Guernsey Colours: Yellow and Black

Head Coach: Aaron Vince

Senior Assistant Coach: Brad Willis

Senior Coaching Staff: Marcus Davies, Jon Lister.

Captain: Tim Peterson

Leadership Group: TBC

Rivals: Hobart City Demons, Lauderdale Bombers

Key Clashes: Round 1 vs Burnie at Twin Ovals on April 1

Round 3 vs Hobart City at Twin Ovals on April 14 (Good Friday)

Round 4 vs Glenorchy at KGV on April 25 (Anzac Day)

2016: Ninth

Ins: Mitchell Carter (Boulder City), Cameron Johns, Cameron Woolley, Hayden Crack, Josh Huizing (Huonville), Toby Cowen (Cygnet), Huw Graham, Ben Graham (Sandy Bay), Michael Booth, Ryan Rinaldi (year off)

Outs: Josh Halton (Cygnet), Daniel Golding, Jarrod Lawler, Ben Bowerman, Bevan Roberts, Luke Graham (Huonville), Jordon Roberts (Lauderdale), Micah Reynolds (Interstate), James Caulfield, Daniel Caulfield (Hobart Tigers)

2016 Recap:

2016 started well for the Tigers, smashing Hobart City in Round 1 and backing it up with a strong win over Clarence at home in Round 3.  From then on it was tough going, with a number of senior players such as Josh Halton, Marcus Davies, Tim Peterson and Jordon Roberts all succumbing to injury, and a number of big losses followed as a result. The young Tigers rallied to challenge Launceston and Lauderdale late in the season, showing glimpses of their potential, but by that stage finals were out of the question.

The new leader at the Twin Ovals, Aaron Vince!

2017 Pre-Season:

With the shock departure of newly appointed Head Coach Scott Matheson announced just a fortnight prior to the season opener against Burnie, it could be argued that the Tigers are heading into 2017 in less than ideal fashion.  President Steve Old has been quick to throw his support behind the young playing group and the board’s decision, with a replacement from inside the club in Aaron Vince, installed as new head honcho.  Senior Assistant Coach Brad Willis has already seen the positive effects that the off-season break has had on his charges, with all players eager to impress at training and putting their hands up to play Round 1.  The Tigers’ coaching group are pleased with how the whole list is developing over the pre-season, and believe every single player on the list is capable of playing senior football in 2017.  The professional approach shown by 2016 Best and Fairest winner Will Cleeland has impressed, with a club insider describing him as “at another level with his preparation.”

While the club are focused on team performance over that of individuals, the word from inside the Tiger camp is that Cameron Johns, Oliver Farid, Jack Pearce, Hugh Dixon and Jakob Lister have the potential to be break-out players this season.

The Season Ahead:

The Tigers will go into the season with a focus on improvement on last year’s scorelines and structures, and how they handle themselves both on and off the field.  Willis believes that Strength and Conditioning Coach Alistair De Winter has prepared his players to be more competitive physically against the bigger bodies in the TSL in 2017.  Off-season issues are believed to have brought the young Tigers closer together, a united front that cannot be underestimated when they take to the field this season.  Having a group of players recently surpassing the 50 games mark and the resultant experience and  maturity will also assist the Tigers throughout the 18 home and away matches.

The leadership group is still to be confirmed, but according to Willis it will consist of some younger players and those who have displayed leadership qualities across the pre-season.  If the Tigers stay fit and enthusiastic, play consistent football, and beat the teams they match up well on, such as Lauderdale, they have every chance to improve on last year’s ninth-place finish in 2017.

2017 Prediction: 7th-8th.

2017 TSL Preview – North Launceston

Written by Andrew Johnston.

Nickname: Bombers

Colours: Red and Black

Coach: Tom Couch

Captain: Taylor Whitford

Home Ground: University of Tasmania Stadium

Biggest Rival: Launceston

2016 Review: After premierships in 2014 and 2015, the Bombers had a strong season, getting through to a third successive Grand Final, where the club fell to Glenorchy

Ins: Tom Couch, Bart McCulloch

Outs: Daniel Roozendal

2017 Preview: The Bombers have lost Coach Zane Littlejohn to the role of the Brisbane Lions development coach. However, the club has gained an experienced head as their new coach, with Tom Couch joining the club. Last year, he was the strength and conditioning coach with Richmond, and has played at AFL level with Melbourne.

The club will be aiming to return to the top of the table, and to remain the benchmark of the competition this season. The club are looking incredibly fit, and early pre-season results show the club is tracking well towards another finals tilt.

Watch out for Launceston derby’s in rounds 3, 12 and 21, as well as Grand Final rematches with Glenorchy in rounds 7 and 16.

Solstice Digital: the former Melbourne Demon Tom Couch will lead North Launceston in 2017


The Coaches say on…

2017 Aspirations: “We want to be competitive in every game, and to play finals at the end of the year.”

Key Focus Areas of Improvement: “It’s not so much what we needed to work on, but more things that I felt are important. I brought in a few things I see as important, and put my spin on it. They’ve had a great pre-season. They attack every session, they care for each other and they push each other.”

Most Impressive Off-Season: Mark Walsh.

Who will have a breakout 2017: Mark Walsh, Jack Avent, Arion Rickter-Salter Jock White.

The Teams to Beat in 2017: “Glenorchy obviously being the reigning premiers. I think teams are quick to write off the previous champs in any league, but I think they’re still the team to beat.”

Prediction: 1st


2017 TSL Season Preview – Lauderdale

Written by Anthony Osborn.

Nickname: Bombers

Colours: Red and Black

Coach: Darren Winter

Captain: Bryce Walsh

Home Ground: Lauderdale Oval

Biggest Rival: Clarence

2016 Review: Lauderdale’s finished 4th in the regular season, but lost in the first semi-final against Burnie, marking a third successive year of semi-final heartbreak.

Ins: Jordan Roberts, Josh McGuinness

Outs: Jack Siggins, Kaine Waller, Michael Cassidy, Nick Dodge, Ryan Sweet, Ryan Wiggins, Adam Duggan, Weston Tate-Turvey, Alex Sweet, Jamie DiIenno, Josh Roberts, Zac Plant

2017 will see a new-look Lauderdale side continue to push for an elusive premiership after three successive semi-final losses. The departure of several key players, including Nick Dodge, Jack Siggins and former captain Michael Cassidy, has resulted in the southern Bombers having a strong focus on the continued development of a younger crop of players this off-season; while the addition of former Brisbane Lion Josh McGuinness looks set to strengthen the experience and skill of the squad significantly.

Keep an eye out for grudge matches against Eastern Shore rivals, Clarence, in rounds 3, 12 and 20.


The Coaches say on…

2017 Aspirations: “We have set our sights on playing finals footy

Key Focus Areas of Improvement: “Our key focus is to build on our team defensive pressure as well as developing the younger group of players we have coming through”

Most Impressive Off-Season: “Josh McGuinness has been our most impressive performer over the offseason. It’s been great having a player come back from the AFL who is prepared to put the team first band continue to help guys get better”

Who will have a breakout 2017: “Nat Franklin- a former captain of the Mariners. He had an injury interrupted season last year, but we are really looking forward to seeing this talented young man play”.

The Teams to Beat in 2017: “I think the two Launceston based teams will be very hard to combat this year”

Prediction: 4th – 6th 


2017 Season Preview – Hobart City Demons

Written by Andrew Johnston.

Nickname: Demons

Colours: Blue, Red and White

Coach: Kane Richter

Captain: Hugh Williams

Home Ground: North Hobart Oval

Biggest Rival: Clarence

2016 Review: Hobart City competed well throughout the 2016 season, especially in the back half of the season, but ended up two wins outside of the five and missed the finals.

The Demons will be out to improve on 2016’s six win season. In the latter half of the season there was a noticeable improvement in form, with the team being able to hold up to the pressure and skill level of the clubs who played in the finals. With a big pre-season and some early practice match form showing good signs, Hobart City should majorly improve on their win record from 2016, and if a few results can go their way, there is a real chance to see the Dees take a spot in the finals this year.

It is interesting to see Head Honcho Kane Richter is pulling on the boots in 2017, with the veteran midfielders’ looking to impart his leadership and wisdom onto a young group.

The season starts with a big test for Hobart City, up against the reigning Premiers in the season opener.

Keep an eye out for games against city rivals Clarence in round 7 and 16.


Solstice Digital: Coach Kane Richter will be pulling on the boots again in 2017

The Coaches say on…

2017 Aspirations: “Our aim is to play in September. We are pretty keen to continue our improvement from the back end of last year and play in September, which we haven’t done in a few years.”

Key Focus Areas of Improvement: “Our consistency within games, we want to withstand pressure from the big teams. We got better in the back half of 2016 and were able to match it with the top five clubs, and we are keen to set standards to increase our ability to withstand the pressure from those teams.”

Most Impressive Off-Season: “A lot of the boys have been looking good across the pre-season, but especially in the practice games Will Campbell and Eddie Cole have shown the benefits of a big pre-season.”

Who will have a breakout 2017: “Along with Will and Eddie, quite a few of the players. The group have been training well together and should have a strong season.”

The Teams to Beat in 2017: “I think North Launceston will be up there again. The culture that has been established over the last few years will hold them in good stead for a couple of years. I also think Clarence are going that way too and that will be good for them.”

Prediction: 6th

2017 TSL Season Preview – Glenorchy

Written by Alex FitzGerald.

TSL Inception: 2009 (Founding Team)

TSL Premierships: 2016 (17 Premierships across other competition formats)

Alastair Lynch Medals: Jaye Bowden (2016, 2015, 2012)

Hudson Medallists: Jaye Bowden (2016, 2015), Aaron Cornelius (2014)

Home Ground: KGV Oval, Glenorchy

Guernsey Colours: Black and White stripes

Head Coach: Aaron Cornelius

Captain: Brayden Webb

Rivals: North Launceston, Lauderdale

Key Clashes:  Round 4 vs Tigers at KGV on April 25 (Anzac Day)

Round 7 vs North Launceston at KGV on May 13

Round 8 vs Lauderdale at KGV on May 20

2016: Premiers




















Ins: Zac Webster (Hawthorn), Harry Parker, Dylan Grant, Chris McKnight, Josh Davie (Brighton), Adrian Peach (Burnie NWFL), Lachie Barwick, Nate Newman.

Outs: Ben Reynolds (retired), Tom Cleary, Clinton French, Jordan Hayden, Daniel Joseph, Tim Butterworth, Daniel Muir, Scott Bennetts, Simon Spencer, Luke Webb, Liam Grace, Alex Blair, Matt Rainbird, Kobey Phillips, Michael Badcock.

2016 Recap:

Glenorchy went into 2016 with a fierce determination to redeem themselves after narrowly losing the 2015 Grand Final to North Launceston.  The Magpies sat at 2-2 after Round 4, but then put together a 14 match winning streak, with seven of those victories being decided by more than 100 points.  Glenorchy was defeated by North Launceston in the Semi-Final, but bounced back to smash Burnie in the Preliminary Final, setting up a Grand Final rematch with their Northern rivals.  The Magpies claimed the decider by 20 points, putting the icing on one of the most dominant seasons played by a club in the TSL.

Individually, Glenorchy had many standout performers in 2016.  Jaye Bowden made it back to back Alastair Lynch Medals as the TSL’s best and fairest player, also reclaiming the Hudson Medal he won in 2015 as the league’s leading goal kicker.  Aaron Cornelius was named as TSL Coach of the Year, and the Magpies also had six players named in the TSL Team of the Year: Jordon Arnold, Tom Cleary, Ben Reynolds (captain), Daniel Joseph, Jaye Bowden and Rhys Mott.

2017 Pre-Season:

The main focus of the pre-season at Glenorchy has been on developing player fitness and skills, according to Cornelius.  Time trial results have shown improvement across the list, not just in younger players but club veterans.  A recent weekend camp and intra-club practice matches have given Development League and fringe players the chance to put their hand up for senior selection, displaying that the player pathway program at the Magpies is thriving.

Former Hawthorn player Zac Webster has set an elite standard over the summer, and Captain Brayden Webb is reaping the rewards of an injury-free pre-season.  Other players to impress at training have been Jordon and Josh Arnold, Cameron Duffy, Mitch Hills, and the formidable Jaye Bowden.

Solstice Digital: Hes the Premiership Coach but he says everyone is chasing North Launceston

The Season Ahead:

Undefeated at KGV Oval in 2016, the Magpies look set to continue their stronghold on the TSL in 2017.  While one third of last season’s Premiership side have departed the club, many experienced players and developing juniors ready to play senior football remain, keen to add another trophy to the Glenorchy cabinet.  North Launceston looks to be the strongest challenger, with all four match ups between the two sides decided by four goals or less last season.  A fast start to the year would set the Magpies up for another tilt at the cup, and with five of their first seven matches scheduled to be played at KGV, they are every chance to assert their dominance early and maintain that form throughout the 2017 season.

2017 Prediction: 1-4.

2017 TSL Season Preview – Devonport

Written by Anthony Osborn.

Nickname: Magpies

Colours: Teal, Black and White

Coach: Mitch Thorp

Captain: Beau Sharman, Dylan Riley

Home Ground: Devonport Oval

Biggest Rival: Burnie Dockers


2016 Review: Devonport finished fifth in the regular season, but were bundled out of the finals series in the first week, falling to Lauderdale for a second year in a row.

Ins: Brodie Connelly, Mitchell Perry, Liam Williams, Kurt Byard, Harry Barker, Ryan Kelly, Dylan Schnoor, Giacomo Millucci, Levi Creedon, Sherrin Egger, Brayden Scott, Ty Auton

Outs: Kurt Heazlewood, Phil Crowden, Klay Griffiths, Sam Douglas, Beau Thorp, Jarrod Watling

Fresh faces and vibrant energy – this is is what we can expect from Devonport this year as they look to take that next step and make a significant impact upon the TSL finals series. After having one of the oldest lists in the competition last year, the Magpies have made a clear effort to rejig their list, and as a result, will be a team to watch in season 2017. The recruitment of Brodie Connelly and Mitch Perry has had the club buzzing over the offseason as the club hope to not just reinvigorate their playing list, but also push to become a genuine flag contender after being knocked out of the finals in the first week in both 2015 and 2016.

Keep an eye out for grudge matches against coastal neighbour Burnie in rounds 3, 12 and 21.

The Coaches say on…

Solstice Digital: Thorp talks through 2017 at Devonport

2017 Aspirations: “We aren’t putting a ceiling on our aspirations for this year. It’s been disappointing to be knocked out in the first week of finals the past two years, but our key goal for this year is to continue our improvement by getting games into new players. We have a really young list, but so does the rest of the competition, so we will be definitely be going along with the old footy cliché of approaching things ‘one week at a time’.”

Key Focus Areas of Improvement/Development: “After having the second oldest in the competition last year, we have made refreshing our list with a different age group our biggest priority. We have probably lacked a bit of fitness in previous seasons, so we have invested heavily in working on our overall fitness, and the injection of youth has really lifted the energy, attitude and work rate of our entire list, including the older guys”

Most Impressive Off-Season: “I’ve been impressed with all of our guys over the offseason, but new recruits Brodie Connelly and Mitch Perry have both been definite standouts with their work rate, good habits and energy. I’ve also been really impressed by Harry Barker, who played one game for us last year- he is one of the best young players I’ve seen”.

Who will have a breakout 2017:Quade Byard, a former captain has been hampered by injuries in recent years, but now at 25 and hopefully injury-free, he looks set to be that big, solid midfielder that we probably missed last year”

The Teams to Beat in 2017: “North Launceston will definitely be right up there, as will Glenorchy again, but I also think Clarence will probably be the biggest movers in the competition”

My Prediction: 4th– 6th



Burnie join Development League

AFL Tasmania has accepted an application from the Burnie Football Club to join the Tasmanian State League (TSL) Development League for the 2017 season.

Burnie FC made the application to the TSL following the club’s withdrawal from the North West Football League (NWFL), due to lack of player numbers and the inability to field senior and reserves teams in the NWFL competition.

Since their NWFL withdrawal, AFL Tasmania has been working with Burnie FC to explore all options to find an appropriate competition for Burnie’s under 18 team. After exhausting all other options, Burnie’s Under 18 team will now play in the Development League.

“Once the issue came to light over the last 14 days we have been in regular contact with Burnie FC and have been exploring all options to make sure the players effected could find an appropriate competition to compete in this year,” TSL State Manager Carl Saunder said.

“The NWFL did consider options including playing the Under 18’s on a Sunday alongside other junior footy. Unfortunately due to logistics and ground availability this wasn’t possible.”

It was only once all other options were eliminated that the TSL considered a Development League entry as an option for Burnie’s existing Under 18 team.

“We appreciate that the situation and its timing is complex for all, it is not a situation we desired to confront. We have had tremendous support from all of our TSL clubs to do whatever we can to assure Burnie FC and the affected players have a competition to play in come April 1,” said Saunder.

“We are currently working on a revised Development League fixture which may have to be a modified draw in terms of the number of games Burnie FC will play. However, this could work favourably as it would reduce travel demands.

“It just may mean we have to consider a percentage of win/loss to work out finals qualification, but that is manageable.

“Our priority over the last 14 days has been finding an appropriate competition for the Burnie Under 18 players to play in 2017 in the Burnie FC jumper.”

A revised fixture for the Development League will be released in the coming days.