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.

2017 TSL Season Preview – Clarence

Written by Richard Bannon.

Nickname: Kangaroos

Colours: Red and White

Coach: Jeromey Webberley

Captain: Brady Jones

Home Ground: Blundstone Arena

Biggest Rivals: Lauderdale and Glenorchy

2016 Review:

The 2016 season saw Clarence finish seventh and miss finals for the second consecutive year, which was not aided by senior coach Trent Bartlett quitting mid-season and injury to key personnel. Despite the recent struggles for Clarence’s senior side, its Development League outfit claimed the premiership, to accompany their 2015 triumph. Jack Gleeson took out Clarence’s Senior Best and Fairest.

Ins:

Jackson O’Brien, Michael Fisher, Zac Mastrocola, Shane Bradford, Ben McGuinnes, Harry Richmond.

Outs:

Matthew Drury, Mitch Williamson, Rohan Bones.

2017:

Jeromey Webberley will take the reins at Blundstone Arena, in what will be his first official season as senior coach. The former Richmond player received a taste of senior coaching last year, following the mid-season resignation of then-senior coach Trent Bartlett. Meanwhile, Keegan Bailey has taken charge of the Kangaroos’ Development League side.

Clarence has had a busy off-season with numerous changes to their playing list. The departure of key position players Mitch Williamson (Hutchins Old Boys, OSFA), Rohan Bones (Bridgenorth, NTFA div 1), and Matthew Drury (retired) have been covered by a strong recruiting drive. The return of Jackson O’Brien to Blundstone Arena is a huge signing for the Kangaroos. O’Brien, who was a member of Clarence’s 2009 and 2010 senior premiership sides, has spent the past six seasons playing for SANFL club Central Districts. Other notable recruits include Michael Fisher and Ben McGuinnes (DOSA, OSFA), Shane Bradford (Hobart Tigers, SFL), and Zac Mastrocola (University, OSFA).

Along with these recruits, be sure to keep an eye on Kyle Palmer-Hughes, Aiden Grace, James Brenner, Tyson Hanslow, and Keren Howlett, who will all be set for breakout seasons in 2017.

O’Brien’s return has seen him installed into Clarence’s six man leadership group. Captained by former Tasmanian Tigers wicketkeeper Brady Jones, the group has a mixture of youth and experience, which includes former Adelaide Crow Sam Siggins, Jake Cox, and Tim Castle.

Round 3 the Eastern Shore rivalry revs up!

Clarence have been handed the round one bye for the second consecutive year, and will play their first game for the season in round two against the Tigers at Blundstone Arena. Clarence will do battle with arch-rivals Lauderdale and Glenorchy three times each throughout 2017. Clarence’s first encounter with Lauderdale is a home game in round three, followed by an away game in round 12, before hosting the Bombers again in round 20. Similarly, Clarence travels to KGV to face reigning premier Glenorchy in round six, hosts the Magpies in round 15, then travels back to KGV in round 21 on the eve of the finals. Rivalries aside, Clarence travels to face Burnie at West Park only once in 2017, which is among the longest road trips in the TSL.

2017 Prediction:

Any State League club in Australia would be thrilled to have three former AFL players at their disposal. The presence of Webberley, Siggins, and former Adelaide goal sneak Ian Callinan are sure to provide Clarence with a great skillset leading into 2017. The Kangaroos may struggle to cover the loss of Williamson and Bones as well as the retired Drury, Clarence Coach Webberley had high hopes for young Harry Bailey to fill the void of  Drury; but unfortunately he is now set to miss the majority of the season, through a knee injury sustained in their recent practice match.

The key for Clarence is to make Blundstone Arena a fortress, having only won four of their nine home games in 2016. If Clarence can do this and pinch victories against TSL heavyweights North Launceston and Glenorchy throughout the year, then there is reason for optimism.

Ladder Position: 3rd-6th

 

Season Preview: Burnie Dockers

2017 TSL Season Preview – Burnie

Written by Alex FitzGerald.

TSL Inception: 2009 (Founding Team)

TSL Premierships: 2012 (5 Senior Premierships in the NTFL as Burnie Dockers, 28 as either   Cooee Bulldogs/Burnie Tigers in other formats)

Home Ground: West Park, Burnie

Guernsey Colours: Purple and White

Head Coach: Clint Proctor

Captain: Nick McKenna

Rivals: Devonport, North Launceston

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

Round 3 vs Devonport at West Park on April 14 (Good Friday)

Round 6 vs North Launceston at UTAS Stadium on May 6

2016: Third

Ins: Jayden Cox, Jamieson House, Cameron Hall

Outs: Clint Riley, Zane Murphy, Zac Smith, Dylan Smith, Darren Banham

2016 Recap:

The Dockers had a sensational home and away season in 2016, defeating coastal rival Devonport in all three encounters and losing only three games all year on their way to a second placed ladder position prior to the finals series.  A slim loss to North Launceston in the qualifying final was offset by a win over Lauderdale the following week, but a resounding defeat at the hands of eventual premiers Glenorchy in the preliminary final saw Burnie’s year end on a low note.

Coach Clint Proctor was proud of his team’s efforts, given their travel demands and the loss of key playmakers through injury late in the season, and believes his troops simply ran out of legs in September. Tyrone Morrison, Jobi Harper, Clint Riley and Harry Walters were all rewarded for stellar seasons by being selected in the TSL Team of the Year, as was Clint Proctor who was named as Assistant Coach.

The rise of ruckman Tyrone Morrison to become the dominant big man of the TSL in 2016 surprised many, but those at Burnie always knew he had the talent to succeed, and with the departure of  former Essendon Bomber Jason Laycock, he rose to give on-ballers Harper and Riley first use of the football more often than not last season.

2017 Pre-Season:

The focus of pre-season at Burnie has been building leg speed and endurance to match the increased pace of the competition in recent seasons.  Despite some off-season departures, a nucleus of experience remains at West Park, with Rudy Barrett and James Dowling in particular having returned to training in peak condition and looking to spend more time in the midfield in 2017.  Proctor has urged supporters to be patient with the young list, and sees the leadership group of Nick McKenna, Tyrone Morrison, Rudy Barrett, James Dowling, Jobi Harper, as well as Nick and Harry Walters as all being equipped with the skills to aid player development across the season.

The Season Ahead:

While the Dockers were clearly in the top three best sides in the competition last season, 2017 sees a much younger competition take to the field overall, and Burnie are no exception.  Proctor sees this as an opportunity for his coaching group and experienced core players to step up as leaders, and add another dimension to their games, both on and off the field.  Many predict the Dockers to fall down the ladder this season, but don’t be surprised if they rise to the challenge week in week out, especially at West Park, where they were only defeated twice last season.

2017 Prediction: 7th-9th.

 

AFL Tasmania launch season 2017 in local football

AFL Tasmania have launched the 2017 Tasmanian football season, with a function at the home of the reigning Southern Cross Tasmanian State League (TSL) Premiers, Glenorchy.

AFL Tasmania CEO Rob Auld was delighted to launch into another exciting season of football across the state. Excitement is palpable for the upcoming season, a season in which Auld and his team will continue to work to see the sport make strides.

“A new season comes with renewed hope, optimism and enthusiasm and across the State the rhythm of football soon becomes the centrepiece for morning conversations and debate at the workplace, the opportunity to cheer your team to victory on the weekend and for the many ways we can participate in our great game,” Auld said.

Auld said whilst the health of the game is strong and the code has a long and rich history in the state, AFL Tasmania’s focus is to unite and grow the sport in Tasmania, to ensure its health for years to come.

“Over 40,000 people are now involved in football in Tasmania the first time we have broken through that number, and whilst we are fully aware of the need to continue to grow the game at grassroots and create a solid foundation for the next 10 to 20 years, the community of football is a very large church.

“We have been pleased with the progress made leading up to today and I congratulate all our leagues, clubs and the respective committees, players and volunteers in the way they have worked with us to make 2017 a catalyst for a strong and exciting future.

“Under the vision of uniting and growing Tassie footy we want to see vibrant competitions, football being the sport of choice, a sport that is connected to communities with  strong and growing partnerships – these are all the pillars we are building the future of Tassie football on, launching the season is another step forward for us all.”

All Coaches and Captains from the nine TSL clubs were in attendance and in their colours for the launch, participating in a captains day with photos and interviews. TSL Manager Carl Saunder also handed over the prized 2016 Premiership Flag to Glenorchy’s Premiership Coach Aaron Cornelius. Saunder was excited to kick off what promises to be a massive year of footy for Tasmania’s premier football competition.

“Under our new catch cry Best Talent Premier Competition we are looking forward to seeing the best players in Tasmanian footy playing in our premier competition.

“This season will see supporters and fans get closer to the action through a number of new initiatives including live streaming of one game per week, regular interviews with players and coaches and for the first time in TSL history, a twilight Grand Final.

“We have a terrific group of young coaches with majority of them having recently played at the top level of the AFL or similar, they bring a huge amount of expertise and experience to our competition.  I encourage all footy fans to come along to TSL action or follow the competition via social media and online because it is a truly fantastic competition.”

The function also saw the first screening of the brand new TSL campaign, with the stars of the TSL taking centre stage to showcase what the Best Talent Premier Competition is all about.

General Manager of the Tasmanian Football Council Jackson Hills also launched 2017 in community football across 12 leagues, statewide.

“Community football reaches over 40,000 participants in Tasmania, across three regions, 150 clubs, and 250 teams,” Hills said.

“Boys, girls, adults, masters, umpires, coaches and volunteers will come together for over 1,000 games of football this season,” he added.

2017 also sees significant steps in the Women’s game in Tasmania.

“Female football has been a particular highlight growing at around 30 percent year on year, with three new regional competitions commencing in 2017, and a revamped state league competition model linked to TSL clubs.

“Our Auskick program in Tasmania is undergoing significant changes in 2017, and we have recently launched Next Generation Schools in partnership with North Melbourne FC.  Both strategies aim to grow the participation base in Tasmania which is critical to sustaining our competition model into the future.

“Our leagues and clubs continue to find challenges around sustainability and competition equalisation.  In 2017, seven of our senior leagues will be operating the player points system designed to manage player movements and through the course of the year we will also review a cascading salary cap model for all of community football.”

Football fires up from Saturday 26 March 2017, with NTJFA the first league to kick off.

Kick off Dates:

Southern Cross Tasmanian State League

Round 1 – 31 March – Click here for full fixture

Northern Tasmanian Football Association (NTFA)

Round 1 – 1 April

North East Football Union (NEFU)

Round 1 – 22 April

Northern Tasmanian Junior Football Association (NTJFA)

Round 1 – 26 March

North West Football League (NWFL)

Round 1 – 1 April

North West Football Association (NWFA)

Round 1 – 1 April

Circular Head Football Association (CHFA)

Round 1 – 29 March

King Island Football Association (KIFA)

Round 1 – 29 April

Darwin Football Association (DFA)

Round 1 – 1 April

Old Scholars Football Association (OSFA)

Round 1 – TBC

Southern Tasmanian Junior Football League (STJFL)

Round 1 – 2 April

Oatlands District Football Association (ODFA)

Round 1 – 29 March

Southern Football League (SFL)

Round 1 – 8 April

 

Taylor to take the reins

AFL Tasmania is pleased to announce Anthony Taylor as the Tasmanian State League (TSL) state team coach for 2017.

The 2011 TSL premiership coach returns to the TSL scene after five years, to take charge of the representative side that will lock horns with the NEAFL on June 10, at Blundstone Arena.

“It’s a great opportunity, I’m very passionate about the state league competition and to have the opportunity to coach the state’s best, once offered the opportunity I was never going to turn it down.

“I can’t wait,” Taylor said.

TSL Manager Carl Saunder was delighted to reveal the man to lead the TSL state team in June.

“Anthony (Taylor) is a highly regarded, well respected football person, who coached Launceston to the 2011 Premiership and cares about the TSL competition.

“As a former player, Anthony fully understands the passion and privilege that goes with wearing the map and I’m sure with the support of TSL coaches as his assistants, we will assemble a formidable program.

“The TSL state team is an opportunity for the best 23 players to come together and pull on the map and showcase what our Best Talent Premier Competition is all about.”

Taylor started his coaching career in 2008 as playing coach at Scottsdale, in 2010 he made the shift to the TSL and Launceston, for what proved to be a fruitful move. He coached Launceston for three highly successful seasons, which included a premiership in 2011 and a runner up finish in 2012. Since, he has since spent time working alongside Adam Sanders in the Tasmanian Academy program, and at South Launceston as an assistant.

The freshly appointed state coach says preparations have already begun but will ramp up from round one of the season proper, with training to commence a month out from match day.

“I’m looking forward to getting in and working with the senior coaches and building relationships with those guys and they’ll have a massive input into the makeup of the squad.

“We don’t need to teach, we just need to get them ready and committed to this one game.”

Taylor believes on field leadership and experience may prove a trump card for the map.

“I think we can get the job done and that’s one of the main reasons I’m taking the job on. It is a game I believe we can do really well in.

“They (NEAFL) will have some quality ex AFL players but we will also have some ex AFL talent in our squad and I think the great thing is we could have as many as five senior coaches hopefully playing on the day so our experience should be strong.”

The TSL kicks off on Friday March 31, 2017.

TSL sharpens focus on integrity

The Tasmanian State League (TSL) has taken the opportunity to proactively engage senior staff members from the AFL, to educate and support the TSL’s integrity processes.
AFL Integrity Officer Kerry Gassner is in Tasmania to work with AFL Tasmania on competition integrity. Across two days, Mr Gassner will be presenting to all TSL staff and TSL clubs to educate on club compliance and the key roles and responsibilities of clubs in protecting the integrity of the TSL competition. The education sessions focus on anti-gambling and anti-doping policies, total player payments and salary cap regulation as well as the national registration system, which the TSL will be adopting in 2017.
TSL Manager, Carl Saunder was pleased to welcome Mr Gassner to Tasmania to again reinforce the TSL’s strong approach to integrity.
“We are committed to making the TSL the best talent, premier competition and this is across all areas.
“It is important we are all behind the push for integrity in the game, initiatives like this continue to help educate and support both AFL Tasmania and clubs in understanding our role in ensuring the game’s integrity.
“We are committed to a competitive balance framework, which includes the management of salary caps and we think the AFL’s expertise on salary caps is extremely helpful for our clubs.”
AFL Spokesman Patrick Keane said the AFL was happy to support AFL Tasmania in it’s approach.
“AFL Tasmania has rigorously set about ensuring it has a strong proactive approach to protecting the game’s integrity across the state.
“To support the best possible information for clubs in Tasmania, AFL Tasmania has worked with the AFL to bring senior staff in to run key education programs and offer advice on topics around game integrity, including the salary cap, understanding the anti-gambling policy and issues around player behaviour and misconduct.
“The AFL is working to support AFL Tasmania’s approach to strengthening its policies and its work with its clubs to ensure they match any standards required for all state leagues across the country.”
AFL Tasmania has also utilised the expertise of AFL staff associated with the Tribunal and Match Review Panel (MRP).
“Our clubs need to be comfortable that the MRP process is highly effective and all incidents that are referred to the panel are adjudicated appropriately and in line with the assessment framework,” Saunder said.
“It has been worthwhile to reaffirm that our MRP and Tribunal are performing their roles and are following the right steps,” he added.

AFL Tasmania reveal Grand Final Day shake up

In a pair of exciting moves for Tasmanian football, AFL Tasmania has revealed that the Tasmanian State League (TSL) Grand Final will be a twilight Grand Final from 2017. With the prestigious Alstair Lynch medal (for Best and Fairest in the TSL) to be removed from Grand Final day, and moved to a brand new major gala event in early October.

TSL Manager Carl Saunder says the move to a twilight Grand Final is a matter of refreshing Tasmanian football’s biggest day and providing greater fan engagement opportunites, for Tassie football lovers.

“We wanted to change the format up for the biggest day on our calendar, TSL Grand Final day,” he said.

“We want to make the day unique and allow for all TSL teams to play on the day across our competitions and surround the on-field entertainment with additional entertainment, as well as trialling a new fan-friendly timeslot,” Saunder explains.

Grand Final Day will involve all three state league grand finals (TSL, Development League, TSLW) with the TSL game set for first bounce at 4:30PM. It will be played on September 23 at either Blundstone Arena or UTAS Stadium (depending on the location of the team that wins the second semi-final.) The TSL’s goal is to see an attendance of 10,000 for the Grand Final and Saunder believes the new twilight timeslot is a key cog in seeing that goal come to life.

“We think it will work well with the fans, we have set ourselves a target of 10,000 people for 2017 so we need to offer a different fan experience and a twilight slot allows for those options.

“We are very fortunate we have two AFL standard venues that can host games at all time slots and importantly, so far the concept has been positively received by TSL Clubs.”

The Alastair Lynch medal is the TSL’s highest accolade and it will take on even greater prestige and significance from 2017, with the launch of a new gala event. In previous years, AFL Tasmania has held a luncheon on Grand Final day for the Alastair Lynch medal and an additional function for communtiy awards later on in the year. From 2017, these two events will combine to become a significant celebration of Tasmanian football in the form of a suitably prestigious gala event on October 6.

“The opportunity to recognise, celebrate and reflect on each season deserves its own place on the calendar, at the moment they are either wedged into a luncheon on TSL Grand Final day or in the case of the Community Awards held a little too late into the year,” AFL Tasmania CEO Rob Auld explains.

“Combining these two events addresses those two issues and will open up the chance to make this a stand alone gala event and offer the opportunity to provide the status, and ceremony these awards deserve.”

In 2017, Alastair Lynch will be present to award his medal, with the function taking place at Launceston’s Country Club.

“We will alternate between Launceston and Hobart partnering with the Country Club and Wrest Point as our two venues with this year being at the Country Club on Friday 6th October,” Auld said.

“Today, we also received the very exciting news that Alastair Lynch will be in attendance in October to present his medal. This is a really positive development that will add prestige to what should be a fantastic night and an opportunity made possible by the change of format.”

These announcements follow the confirmation of Blundstone Arena and UTAS Stadium as the two TSL Finals venues for the upcoming season.

Aaron Cornelius wins role as coach for Simon Black Academy in state’s South

By James Bresnehan, Mercury

GUIDING Glenorchy to this year’s State League premiership has come with a huge reward for Magpies coach Aaron Cornelius — he’s now the main man for the Simon Black Academy in the state’s South.

Academy chief executive Mark Aldridge confirmed he had signed Cornelius as Black’s first coach in Tasmania – and joining him will be former Melbourne player Tom Couch as their man in the North.media_cameraAaron Cornelius has signed on as the Simon Black Academy’s coach in the state’s South.

“They both will add great strengths to our business and we are delighted to have them,” Aldridge said.

Cornelius and Couch will be introduced to the public by Simon Black in three weeks, Cornelius at KGV and Couch in Launceston.

Aldridge said the academy would not stand in the way of Cornelius coaching Glenorchy next season, allowing “Ace” to continue his goal to make the Magpies a TFL powerhouse.

“He’s a champion of the game and a great Tasmanian AFL player,” Aldridge said.

“You can see by the way he has fought back from his leg injury to rehabilitate himself from one of the all-time worst breaks in the game, and his dogged determination to do that.

“He has proven himself by coming back and winning the premiership this year.

“He’s a great coach and an all-round good guy.”

 Couch, 28, is the son of late Geelong legend and Brownlow medallist Paul Couch, who passed away in March.

Tom was at Melbourne between 2012-13 and played three AFL games before joining Richmond in the VFL.

Aldridge said Couch would also have a dual role of academy coach and North Launceston’s senior coach, replacing dual Bombers premiership coach Zane Littlejohn, who is now Brisbane Lions’ development coach.

“He’s bringing another strength. Tom has a masters in strength and conditioning and he’s about to finish another degree in sports science,” Couch said.

As doors were opening for Cornelius and Couch, the door closed for three Tasmanian players yesterday as they were cut by their AFL clubs.

Hawthorn chopped forward Zac Webster, Gold Coast delisted Henry Schade and St Kilda delisted Eli Templeton.

All three can nominate for next month’s AFL Draft

Lauderdale’s Werribee players swap plan hits snag

By Simeon Thomas-Wilson, Mercury

LAUDERDALE’S proposal to create an in-season player swap with VFL club Werribee has hit a road block, with AFL Tasmania boss Rob Auld saying there is still significant work to be done around how it will be governed.

The Bombers announced their plan to establish an agreement with Werribee, which is aligned to North Melbourne, earlier this week.

Auld met club officials yesterday to hear their 2017 proposal in detail.

Auld said he still liked the plan but there was a lot that needed to be done around how the transfer of players between the two clubs would work and how it would affect the TSL salary cap.

“Personally, after hearing it, I think there’s still some significant amount of due diligence that needs to take place around the governance side of things,” Auld said.

“How does a transfer take place between the two clubs without being ineligible?

“How does the salary cap work with this?

“I think this needs to be addressed before further movement can be made.”

The Bombers were hoping the player swap would create the opportunity for Lauderdale’s best players to play games in the VFL, and surplus Werribee players to taste TSL football instead of playing country or suburban football on weeks they are not required.

 Werribee’s top brass has toured Lauderdale’s facilities and Bombers coach Darren Winter was set to go to Melbourne on Thursday to put the finishing touches on the agreement.

Werribee has also raised the possibility of playing a VFL game for premiership points in Hobart next season.

 

TSL clubs’ creativity gets full marks from AFL Tasmania

By James Bresnehan, Mercury

TSL clubs Lauderdale, Glenorchy and North Launceston have been applauded for thinking outside the square in mapping out the future of their clubs.

AFL Tasmania boss Rob Auld likes Lauderdale’s plan for an in-season player-swap with VFL club Werribee next year, although he would not endorse the deal until after meeting with the Bombers tomorrow to hear their proposal in detail.As for TSL grand finalists Glenorchy and North Launceston’s proposed coaching futures – to have senior coaches double as Simon Black Football Academy coaches – Auld was also impressed.

“Anything a club is doing that is creative and lateral and trying to explore options, I encourage,” Auld said.

“I don’t yet know the precise details around Lauderdale’s arrangements with Werribee and how mature they are. I’ve got a meeting with them later this week.

“With Glenorchy and North Launceston, that’s an interesting one that fits into that innovative, creative space from clubs. I think that’s good and I applaud them for thinking outside the square.

“They are both very good, well-run clubs – both premiers and runners up over the past few years.

“So they would be doing their due diligence and their presidents John McCann [Glenorchy] and Thane Brady [North Launceston] are high-class operators so I trust they are making sure their arrangements meet their respective needs in the dual-role model.”

Auld said AFL Tasmania would also support Werribee’s plan to play a VFL game in Hobart next year while its ground was under renovation, but stopped short of offering financial assistance.

Werribee CEO Mark Penaluna said it was not a done deal.

“Our facility is undergoing an $11.7 million redevelopment – our changerooms and social facilities are being demolished – so the ground will be out of action for most of the first half of the year,” Penaluna said.

“We are looking at alternative venues and Hobart is an option but it could be cost prohibitive.

“To bring down our team and support staff, and an opposition team and support staff, have accommodation, food and internal travel, it will cost around $35,000. It’s probably going to be too cost-prohibitive but it’s something we would very much like to do. It might be possible with the help of Football Victoria.”

Werribee hopes to play here on the same weekend its AFL affiliate North Melbourne plays at Blundstone and ideally against the Victorian club the Kangaroos are playing – but not at the same venue.