2017 TSL Goals of the Year – Setshots

There were so many good goals in the 2017 season that we have to break them up into three categories to crown the very best!

Category 1 – Snaps, Checksides and Bananas – the ever creative/freakish finishes that have no right to bend their way in!

Category 2 – Running Goals – Long range running efforts, big booming boots and much, much more.

Category 3 – Set Shots – Standing and delivering from long range or impossible angles.

Each category will go to public vote before the winner from each will face-off for the 2017 TSL Goal of the Year.

Here is Category 3… the Set Shots!


This poll is closed! Poll activity:
Start date 05-09-2017 22:55:08
End date 12-10-2017 23:59:59
Poll Results:
Best set shot for 2017?

TASMANIAN FOOTBALL AWARDS: Cox-Goodyer does ‘the Dusty’



North Launceston midfielder Bradley Cox-Goodyer has done ‘the Dusty’, matching the efforts of AFL superstar Dustin Martin to claim the league best and fairest and the  Grand Final best on ground medal in the same season.

Cox-Goodyer capped off an incredibly successful 2017 by claiming the Tasmanian State League (TSL)’s highest honour, the Alastair Lynch Medal at AFL Tasmania’s Tasmanian Football Awards at Launceston’s Country Club Casino.

Often referred to as the TSL’s  ‘Dustin Martin’, Cox-Goodyer backed that up not just with his playing style but by claiming a premiership, the Baldock medal for best afield in the TSL Grand Final and now the Lynch (TSL Best & Fairest) Medal.

The midfielder was presented the medal by Tasmanian legend Alastair Lynch after polling 27 votes in a dominant season to edge out surprise packet Clarence ruckman Sam Siggins, who finished on 23 votes with thanks to a fast start in polling. The Northern Bombers midfield bull booted 35 goals as a standout performer in the premiership team which saw him receive maximum votes in seven games.

Reigning Lynch medalist Jaye Bowden finished in equal third alongside Hobart City Demons on-baller Ryan Matthews on 17 votes. Glenorchy’s silky left-footer Rhys Mott and Lauderdale Best and Fairest winner Nat Franklin were next best on 15 votes, ahead of many people’s tip for the award in Northern Bombers Premiership Coach Tom Couch who finished on 13.

Lynch Medal Leaderboard
27. Bradley Cox-Goodyer (North Launceston)
23. Sam Siggins (Clarence)
17. Ryan Matthews (Hobart City Demons)
17. Jaye Bowden (Glenorchy)
15. Rhys Mott (Glenorchy)
15. Nat Franklin (Lauderdale)
13. Tom Couch (North Launceston)
12. Jackson O’Brien (Clarence)
12. Brodie Palfreyman (Launceston)
11. Brady Jones (Clarence)
11. Bryce Walsh (Lauderdale)
10. Dylan Fyfe (Lauderdale)
10. Jake Cox (Clarence)
10. Sam Rundle (Launceston)
10. Cameron Duffy (Glenorchy)
9. Thor Boscott (Lauderdale)

Glenorchy’s Thomasa Corrie claimed the Wrest Point TSL Women’s Best & Fairest Medal with 16 votes, beating out Clarence goalkicking superstar Jacinta Limbrick by three votes. Chanette Thuringer of Launceston was next best on 12 votes.

Wrest Point TSLW Best & Fairest Medal Leaderboard

In what was a low count, Launceston’s Cameron Downie took home the Rodney Eade Medal for Best & Fairest in the Mercury Cup, with 14 votes. Downie overtook Lauderdale’s Campbell Hooker and held on with few players high in the count polling in the home stretch.



The goal-kicking gongs went to Jaye Bowden (Hudson Medal), Jacinta Limbrick (Wrest Point TSLW) and Campbell Hooker (Mercury Cup).



Matt Clarke claimed TSL Umpire of the Year and the Tasmanian Mariners Academy Awards went to Jared Dakin (Don Rule Medal – Under 16) and Hugh Dixon (Garry Davidson Medal – Under 18).
TSL Umpire of the Year – Matt Clarke
Don Rule Medal – Jared Dakin
Garry Davidson Medal – Hugh Dixon

The following other awards were also presented at the Tasmanian Football Awards function, celebrating achievements far and wide across the state in 2017:


The 2017 Alastair Lynch Medal Preview

Written by Alex FitzGerald

The Tasmanian State League equivalent of the Brownlow Medal is named after champion Tasmanian footballer Alastair Lynch.  The Burnie-born, three-time Premiership star played 306 games in the VFL/AFL, kicking 633 goals, and was named in the Tasmanian Team of the Century.

How The Alastair Lynch Medal is Awarded

After each match, the three field umpires award a 3, 2 and 1 point vote to the players they regarded the best, second best and third best on ground respectively. A player becomes ineligible for the Medal if he is suspended for a reportable offence during the season.

The votes are tallied at the end of the home and away rounds to determine the season’s Alastair Lynch Medallist, with the medal count taking place on Friday the 6th of October at the Tasmanian Football Awards in Launceston.

Here are the predictions for each side’s top vote-getters and outside chances:

Pic: Solstice.Digital & Photography.


Best chances

With the departure of a large number of senior players from last year’s side, the Dockers battled this season, and as a result are unlikely to have any medal chances come Friday night.  Nick Walters and Harry Walters were consistent performers, with the versatile big-bodied midfielders leading the young coastal side from the front, booting 13 and 19 goals respectively.  Best and fairest winner Rudy Barrett also had an outstanding season in the middle of West Park, with the trio likely to lead the count when they’re able to sneak votes.


Blair Rubock missed a handful of games due to Tassie Mariners duties, but was nothing short of electric at times, and should poll a few votes.  Captain Nick McKenna’s big frame stands out, with his efforts at both ends of the ground likely to see him noticed by the umpires.

Pic: Solstice.Digital & Photography.


Best chances

Hard-working midfielder Jackson O’Brien put together a big season for the ‘Roos, polling 12 votes to finish equal seventh in the RACT Player of the Year award and being selected in the Tasmanian side that faced the NEAFL squad mid-season.  While he wasn’t able to be squeezed into the TSL Team of the Year, O’Brien was nominated as a likely vote-getter by his peers in a recent poll, and should figure in the top 10 on Friday night.  Veteran small forward Trent Standen capped off a strong year in front of the big sticks with Team of the Year selection.  His 43 goals included eight bags of three or more, with a season-high output of seven majors, which will see him among the votes in a number of games.


Captain Brady Jones had another big year in the middle and could poll more votes than expected.  Ruckman Sam Siggins started the season with a bang before his form tapered off, and could be among the leaders early on in the count.

Pic: Solstice.Digital & Photography.


Best chances

While Devonport had a tough season in which they committed to the blooding of youth, Dylan Riley toiled away in the midfield all season with aplomb for the ‘Pies, also playing more of a forward role late in the season.  A tough competitor, Riley booted 16 goals and was named in the forward pocket in the TSL Team of the Year, and is sure to poll well.  Co-captain Beau Sharman got better as the season wore on, with his ball-winning ability in the middle matched by his elite kicking.


Brad Symmons had a career-best year, working hard through the middle of the ground to be named in his side’s best 13 times from 16 matches.  Mitch Thorp had some big games up forward and should poll in at least four games where he dominated as a leading target to kick multiple majors in low-scoring affairs.

Pic: Andrew Woodgate.


Best chances

It’s hard to overlook Jaye Bowden here, with the TSL standout player every chance to make it three Lynch Medals in a row.  Bowden spent more time playing on the ball than in previous seasons, but still dominated when positioned forward to lead the competition goal kicking with 52 goals.  Bowden booted an incredible 11 goals against a luckless Devonport in Round 2,  featuring in the Magpies’ best players 15 times from his 18 matches.  Regarded as one of the state’s best players to never have been drafted, Bowden won this season’s RACT Player of the Year award and is undoubtedly the player to beat.

State captain Brayden Webb and fellow Team of the Year midfielder Rhys Mott also had huge seasons, cutting oppositions sides apart with their work rate and slick disposal, with the duo likely to poll well.


Former Hawthorn speedster Zac Webster fell victim to repeated hamstring issues this season, but impressed in the 13 matches he did manage, being named among the ‘Pies best five times.  He’s likely to take some votes off the three stars named above, with his impact across half forward undeniable.

Pic: Solstice.Digital & Photography.

Hobart City Demons

Best chances

Bearded midfielder Ryan Matthews had a solid year yet again, shaking off tags to be named in his side’s best eight times from his 18 games.  The developing Hobart City Demons side had a number of young players step up in a season where they missed the top five by percentage only, with consistency the key to going one step further and seizing a place in the finals in 2018.


Will Campbell was one player who lifted his game in a big way this season, going from fringe player to midfield lock with his hard running and hunger for the contested football.  ‘Soup’ stood up in a number of crucial games to be clearly best on ground, and should be rewarded with a number of votes on Friday night.


Best chances

Where to start? The Southern Bombers have a large number of players who are likely to figure at the business end of the count, with goal kicking midfield trio Nat Franklin, Bryce Walsh and Dylan Fyfe all strong chances to poll double figures.  Franklin and Fyfe were named in the TSL Team of the Year, finishing equal seventh and equal ninth respectively in the RACT Player of the Year award.  Walsh narrowly missed Team of the Year honours, but finished equal fifth on the RACT leaderboard as he fearlessly led from the front in each and every game.

Versatile 41-goal TSL Team of the Year forward Thor Boscott will poll well, having put together his most consistent season of TSL football to date, breaking games open in attack and through the midfield.  He’s a lock to poll three votes against the Tigers in Round 15 after booting nine goals.  Josh McGuinness showed why he was drafted by Brisbane, with the tall defender playing a number of roles all over the ground to influence a large number of games and may be rewarded with votes.


Elite swingman Ryan Wiggins is a strong chance to exceed expectations and poll well, having slotted 30 goals for the home and away season despite spending time down back as an intercept marking defender.

Pic: Solstice.Digital & Photography.


Best chances

There is no doubt that teenage midfielder Brodie Palfreyman will lead the count for the Blues after a breakout season in which he led the underrated Northern side deep into September.  Palfreyman’s willingness to play both inside and outside roles should see him poll well, having spent most of his time right under the umpires’ noses.  Slick performer Jay Blackberry had a huge start to the year before being cut down by injury, and his elite kicking will ensure that he’ll be among the leaders at the halfway mark of the season


Rulla Kelly-Mansell started the year with a bang and should poll well early, with the talented forward’s 2017 highlight reel close to unparalleled as he slotted impossible goals and pulled down some ridiculous marks.  A real sleeping giant could be veteran Sonny Whiting, with the veteran forward’s ability to out-mark his opponent and kick straight each and every week seeing him finish the home and away season with 45 majors.

Pic: Solstice.Digital & Photography.

North Launceston

Best chances

Like Lauderdale, North Launceston have a long list of players who will poll votes, having lost only two matches all season.  Brad Cox-Goodyer dominated the Grand Final to claim best on ground honours, but his home and away season was just as impressive, with the Bomber every chance to do a Dustin Martin and take home the league best and fairest medal as well.  The big-bodied midfielder’s strength and confidence saw him boot 37 goals across 18 home and away matches and finish third in the RACT Player of the Year award on 16 votes.

Teammate and first year playing coach Tom Couch is the only Bomber likely to top Cox-Goodyer, with the classy midfielder boasting a similar 2017 resume.  Couch slotted straight into the North Launceston line up, booting 41 goals from 16 games, including a seven-goal haul on his birthday, to finish runner-up in the RACT Player of the Year award.  Zach Burt cannot be ruled out either, with the strong-bodied three-time premiership player booting 34 majors and finishing equal ninth in the RACT leaderboard.


Josh Ponting stepped up in the absence of injured key playmakers to stamp his authority on games as an outside midfielder, running hard to receive the ball and kicking some incredible goals.  His second half of the season, in particular, should see him poll in a string of consecutive games.  Classy duo Jay Lockhart and Taylor Whitford were both in damaging form until leg injuries sidelined them mid-year, and both will feature heavily in the first ten round of voting.

Pic: Solstice.Digital & Photography.


Best chance

It was another disappointing season for the boys from Twin Ovals, as they started matches well before falling away time and again.  One shining light was recruit Mitch Carter, who quickly established himself as one of the competition’s best defenders and earned selection in both the TSL Team of the Year and State side.  Carter’s long pinpoint kicking and contested intercept marking set up many a foray forward, and despite his side managing just the four wins, Carter could poll close to double figures.


While he didn’t receive many plaudits outside of the club in 2017, the Tigers rate former Carlton midfielder Marcus Davies highly, and after his 2016 season was cut short by injuries, he was a constant physical presence across his 18 matches this year.  Davies could poll in a few games where he curtailed opposition playmakers and won some contested ball himself.




2017 TSL Goals of the Year – Running Goals

There were so many good goals in the 2017 season that we have to break them up into three categories to crown the very best!

Category 1 – Snaps, Checksides and Bananas – the ever creative/freakish finishes that have no right to bend their way in!

Category 2 – Running Goals – Long range running efforts, big booming boots and much, much more.

Category 3 – Set Shots – Standing and delivering from long range or impossible angles.

Each category will go to public vote before the winner from each will face-off for the 2017 TSL Goal of the Year.

Here is Category 2… the running goals!


This poll is closed! Poll activity:
Start date 05-09-2017 22:55:08
End date 12-10-2017 23:59:59
Poll Results:
Best running goal of 2017?


There were so many good goals in the 2017 season that we have to break them up into three categories to crown the very best!

Category 1 – Snaps, Checksides and Bananas – the ever creative/freakish finishes that have no right to bend their way in!

Category 2 – Running Goals – Long range running efforts, big booming boots and much, much more.

Category 3 – Set Shots – Standing and delivering from long range or impossible angles.

Each category will go to public vote before the winner from each will face-off for the 2017 TSL Goal of the Year.

We start with Category 1 – Snaps, Checksides and Bananas!


This poll is closed! Poll activity:
Start date 05-09-2017 22:55:08
End date 12-10-2017 23:59:59
Poll Results:
Best Snap, Checkside or Banana for season 2017?

Launceston TSLW Premiers after downing Glenorchy

Written by Alex FitzGerald

A determined Launceston outfit have won the Wrest Point TSLW Premiership in front of a strong home crowd at UTAS Stadium, pushing aside Glenorchy despite the valiant efforts of captain Sandy Eaton to claim a 8.6 (54) to 5.2 (33) victory.

A consistent four quarter team effort was the recipe for the Lady Blues’ success, with midfielder Courtney Webb outstanding as she led from the front to be awarded best afield honours in the action-packed curtain raiser to the TSL decider.

Glenorchy forwards fly for the mark – Pic: Solstice.Digital & Photgraphy

The opening term was a tense one, with both sides attacking the contest hard but neither able to register a major in the early stages of the game.  Jasmine Tate-Turvey was prominent early for the Magpies, who struck first through a remarkable Sandy Eaton snap from the pocket.  Launceston continued to press, and were rewarded for effort when AFLW prospect Georgia Hill slammed through a goal on the quarter time siren, giving the hosts a slim 1.2 (8) to 1.1 (7) lead at the first change.

The second quarter would prove to be a see-sawing affair, as both sides hit the lead a number of times through the exchanging of goals.  Eaton kicked her second major on the run early in the term, before Molly Clark responded for Launceston following a high tackle to seize the lead back just minutes later.  Eaton would again prove to be the catalyst for Glenorchy when she converted a 40 metre set shot following a pinpoint Zabreena Manjerovic  pass, with the Magpies seemingly on top.  However the Lady Blues struck back through a handy Emma Manix-Geeves banana, and with midfielders Webb, Daria Bannister and Kate Child beginning to exert their influence through the middle, Launceston began to take control. When Georgia Hill snapped truly for her second in the dying embers of the half, Launceston had an eight point lead heading into the main break.

The final term was a physical one – Pic: Solstice.Digital & Photgraphy

Launceston started the third stanza the same way they finished the second, with Webb propelling much of the attack.  She pushed forward to snap a goal, and when small forward Naomi Celebre nonchalantly strolled in to convert a close range set shot at the four minute mark, the hosts had kicked out to a 20 point lead.  Enter Sandy Eaton, with the Glenorchy captain seizing a loose ball 30 metres from goal to calmly slot her fourth major, sparking a Magpie challenge.  An Eaton kick inside attacking 50 soon after found Nietta Lynch, who palmed off her opponent to snap a crowd-pleasing goal, and the visitors were back in the game.  Celebre struck back to kick her second for the term however, and the Lady Blues held a handy 16 point buffer at three quarter time.

The final term was the most physical of the match, highlighted by a fierce Abbey Green tackle on Tate-Turvey, which resulted in the Launceston ruck kicking the only major of the final term.  Both sides threw themselves into the contest, with Elise Barwick, Daria Bannister and Kate Child all laying crunching tackles on the grandstand wing.  The visitors defended brilliantly and pushed hard late in the match, but it was all too late as Launceston held on for a 21 point win.

The Lady Blues were jubilant at the final siren, but the respect among both sides was demonstrated when they formed a circle together post-match to celebrate the season’s end.  The multi-talented Webb, who alongside teammate Emma Manix-Geeves is part of the Tasmanian Under 18 women’s cricket squad, was humble in accepting her best on ground medal, thanking the entire TSLW community for their contributions across the 2017 season.  Webb’s influence in the midfield was huge, with key position forward Georgia Hill and ruck Abbey Green also starring.  Chanette Thuringer was unpassable at centre half back, racking up intercept marks, while a host of other players provided highlights for the victors.

Best afield Courtney Webb – Pic: Solstice.Digital & Photgraphy

Glenorchy were well-served by four goal hero Eaton, with Gemma Allan, Sarah Davis, Jasmine Tate-Turvey and Zabreena Manjerovic all working hard to propel the ball forward.  Gennaveve Sullivan battled hard against Green in the ruck all day, while competition stand out Thomas Corrie provided her usual drive out of defence.  The Magpies can hold their heads high, having surpassed expectations in eliminating minor premiers Clarence on the way to the Grand Final.

For Launceston, it was a fitting end to a season in which they lost only two matches, with a core group of players likely to be strongly considered in the upcoming AFLW Draft.  The final Saturday in September gave the players a chance to showcase their skills on a big stage, proving that women’s football is well and truly booming in the island state.



Launceston                         1.2,  4.3,  7.5,  8.6  (54)

Glenorchy                           1.1,  3.1,  5.1,  5.3  (33)

GOALS, Launceston :
G. Hill 2, N. Celebre 2, A. Green 1, E. Manix-Geeves 1, M. Clark 1, C. Webb 1

Glenorchy :
S. Eaton 4, N. Lynch 1

BEST, Launceston :
C. Webb, G. Hill, C. Thuringer, A. Green, N. Celebre, M. Binns

Glenorchy :
S. Eaton, S. Davis, G. Sullivan, T. Corrie, G. Allan, Z. Manjerovic

Your 2017 TSLW Premiers – Pic: Solstice.Digital & Photography


Southern Cross Tasmanian State League & Mercury Cup

Grand Final

Tasmanian State League

1. Robbie McManus (Lauderdale) referred for instigating a melee.

The Match Review Panel (MRP) determined that the action was unnecessary in the circumstances and is sanctioned as a low-level offence.

Given that Player McManus has had a previous low-level offence this season the offer is increased to a ONE match penalty.


*The MRP concluded that the melee that ensued did not require further action.


2. Max Kleverkamp (Lauderdale) reported for striking Jake Pearce (North Launceston)

The match day umpire assessed the incident as intentional, low impact with high contact.

The Match Review Panel determined that the action was unnecessary in the circumstances and determined the action as careless, low impact and high contact which attracts a base sanction of ONE match.

The MRP used its discretion under Rule 5.5 (in relation to incidents in Grand Finals) and applied a 100% loading to the base sanction which is increased to TWO matches. This can be reduced to ONE match with an early guilty plea.



3. Thor Boscott (Lauderdale) was referred for striking Tarryn Thomas (North Launceston) 

The Match Review Panel determined that the action was unnecessary in the circumstances and determined the action as intentional with low impact to the body which attracts a base sanction of ONE match but is increased to TWO matches due to a previous sanction this season. This sanction can be reduced to ONE match with an early guilty plea.



4. Josh McGuinness (Lauderdale) was reported for striking Bart McCulloch (North Launceston)

The MRP determined that the action was unnecessary in the circumstances and determined the contact was intentional with low impact and high contact.

This attracts a base sanction of TWO matches which can be reduced to ONE match with an early guilty plea.



5. Josh McGuinness (Lauderdale) was referred for making late contact to Mark Walsh (North Launceston) 

The MRP determined that the action did not constitute a reportable offence and concluded that the 50 metre penalty paid on the day was the appropriate action.


6. Darren Winter (Lauderdale Coach) was reported for behaving in an abusive, insulting, threatening or obscene manner towards or in relation to an umpire in the first quarter. 

This matter has been referred directly to the TSL Tribunal for hearing on Thursday (28th September) night at 6:00 pm.


7. An incident involving contact by Mark Walsh (North Launceston) on Ben McGuinness (Lauderdale) was referred to be reviewed.

MRP determined that the collision was in the course of play and that no action was required.


Mercury Cup

8. Braden Dart (Clarence) was referred for rough conduct towards Tyson Miller (Launceston) 

The MRP determined that the action did not constitute a reportable offence and concluded that the 50 metre penalty paid on the day was the appropriate action.



9. Trent Hope (Clarence) referred for striking Miller Hodge (Launceston) 

The MRP downgraded the action to ‘attempting to strike’ which, as a low-level offence it attracts a reprimand


Clarence make it three in a row

Written by Matt Hill

The Clarence Roos produced a stunning upset coming from behind to down minor premier Launceston claiming their third Mercury Cup (Development League) premiership in as many years.

Launceston entered the Grand Final with a strong record over Clarence, winning three out of their four encounters (including the finals match by 23 points). In the three home and away rostered matches, both sides could only be separated by 11 points in each clash, so it was all set up for another classic contest and that is what it produced.

The Blues dominated early on, settling into the grand final better than their southern opponents, their ball movement was exquisite and resulted in the first goal of the game through Ethan Conway. Clarence weathered the storm well to prevent Launceston from seeing their early advantage stack up on the scoreboard. It was tackles galore in the wet and slippery conditions with both sides desperate to get their hands on the ball, a trend that continued across four quarters.

Clarence booted their first major through Trent Hope before Launceston’s Matt Spohn laid a great tackle to win a free kick in his forward 50 and go back to slot Launceston’s second.  Jared Dakin kicked a great snap moments later for the Blues and they finally got some reward for their dominance.  Noticeably in the first Clarence played a very high forward line as they looked to hurt Launceston on their quick counter attacks. This worked perfectly with Luke Murfitt-Cowen kicking his first, running into an open goal before minutes later kicking a second to reduce the margin to a one point deficit at quarter time.

In the second stanza, the Blues stretched out their lead and looked likely to run away with it, three goals to one saw the Blues maintain their superiority. Zac Griffiths kicked a great pack snap which only just snuck over the line with a bounce directly on the line but luckily it went through for the Blues. Conway and Spohn both kicked their second, with Spohn drilling an incredible goal from the boundary line. Howlett then struck back for the Roos as he kicked Clarence’s only goal for the quarter to see Launceston go into the main break with a promising 14-point lead.

In what was literally the premiership quarter, a determined Clarence got right back into the game, setting up a grandstand finish in the last. Bradford kicked the first of the second half for Clarence before veteran Launceston midfielder Jordan Harris booted a major for the Blues. Another Pagans Paddock goal for Murfitt-Cowen saw him boot his third and then when Brenner goaled, Clarence were right back in it. Oldenholf finished off one for the Blues which saw them hold on to a slender five point lead.


In the last, it was all Clarence with the Roos booting four goals through McGuinness, Murfitt-Cowen, Young and Hope whilst the Blues were helpless and could only manage three behinds. They were the best team all year, only losing two matches and dominating the majority of the last day in September but the Blues couldn’t hang on against a fast-finishing Clarence who ran out 18-point winners.

Luke Murfitt-Cowen was awarded the best player on the ground for his four-goal effort, guiding the Roos to a third straight premiership as the club continue to dominate the second tier competition.

Mercury Cup Grand Final 23/09/2017

Clarence- 3.1, 4.1, 7.5, 11.7 (73)


Launceston- 3.2, 6.3, 8.4, 8.7 (55)


Clarence- L.Murfitt-Cowen 4, T.Hope 2, B.McGuinness 1, J.Young 1, J.Brenner 1, S.Bradford 1, K.Howlett 1

Launceston- E.Conway 2, M.Spohn 2, Z.Griffiths 1, J.Harris 1, Z.Oldenholf 1, J.Dakin 1


Clarence- L.Murfitt-Cowen, T. Hanslow, B. Dart, J. Brenner, T. Hope, K. Howlett

Launceston :
M. Spohn, T. Cooper, E. Conway, C. Curtis, C. Downie, G. Holt


Dominant North Launceston claim 2017 TSL Flag

Written by Alex FitzGerald, Anthony Osborn

North Launceston capped off the most impressive of TSL seasons on Saturday afternoon by claiming a dominant 87-point victory over Lauderdale in the 2017 Grand Final in front of over 6000 fans at UTAS Stadium.

The Northern Bombers blew away their southern counterpart in an equally disciplined and dynamic display that was built off the back of a stunning ten goal second term – earning North Launceston a third TSL flag in four seasons.

An eight-goal haul from Baldock medallist Brad Cox-Goodyer was just one of a number of stunning individual performances from the hosts as they put on a clinic to run out 21.22 (148) to 9.7 (61) over an ill-disciplined and stunned Lauderdale outfit.

Tom Bennett with a strong grab – Pic: Solstice.Digital & Photography

The atmosphere at UTAS Stadium was electric following the Mercury Cup and Wrest Point TSLW deciders and after a morning of showers, the ground was bathed in sunshine as fans of both sides found their voice and players tussled on the eve of the season’s biggest match.

The opening term had all of the hallmarks of a typically fiery grand final encounter, with both sides applying plenty of physical pressure both around the contest and off the ball. North Launceston dominated the midfield battle early, however, and put the Lauderdale defence under enormous pressure, with the opening goal of the match going the way of Cox-Goodyer from long range.

Lauderdale’s frustration as not being able to get their hand on the ball showed early, with defenders Max Kleverkamp and Josh McGuinness both uncharacteristically reported for ill-disciplined acts within minutes of each other.

North Launceston were dominant right across the ground in the opening term and should have been further in front at the main break, with clinical finishes from Mark Walsh and Jack Pearce capping off slick ball movement and handing the Northern Bombers a 3.6 (24) to 1.2 (8) lead at the first change.

North Launceston’s charge towards the cup continued in the second term, with Pearce, Walsh and Cox-Goodyer all adding second majors in the early minutes.

Lauderdale’s opening shot on goal was reversed following an off the ball Jordon Roberts hit on Louie Hollmer, an act which summed up the quarter for the southern outfit as they were blown away by a disciplined North Launceston master class.

The hosts went on to kick ten goals for the term, including three in a matter of minutes after Tarryn Thomas was put down behind play after curling through his first major. Thomas went on to kick a second as a result of the free kick before the following centre clearance resulted in Tom Couch’s first as his side edged closer to the ultimate prize.

The dominance continued as the term progressed, with the midfield brigade of Couch, Taylor Whitford, Mark Walsh and Josh Ponting guiding North Launceston to a commanding 13.10 (88) to 3.4 (22) lead at the main break.

Cox-Goodyer was on fire – Pic: Solstice.Digital & Photography

Lauderdale came out in the third term with intent, kicking three of the first four goals, but the quarter belonged to bullish midfielder Cox-Goodyer, who was playing as a permanent forward.

The competition’s answer to Dustin Martin slotted three majors for the quarter to subdue any outside chance of a comeback as North Launceston extended their lead, taking a 17.13 (115) to 6.7 (43) advantage into the final quarter of the season.

The Northern Bombers enjoyed the fourth quarter, playing with passionas the prospect of another premiership became closer and closer to reality.

Cox-Goodyer added another two majors from half a dozen shots on goal to take his tally to eight.  Ryan Wiggins slotted three late goals of his own to finish with four for the afternoon, but it was a jubilant home side who celebrated at the final siren, with the ground stormed by celebrating fans as North Launceston’s 2016 defeat was all but forgotten in the afterglow of an 87 point win.

When the game was there to be won Brad Cox-Goodyer continued his brilliant season, using his brute strength and classy skills by foot to take the game by the scruff of the neck and ensure the Northern Bombers stifled any hope of a southern Bomber resurgence.

While Cox-Goodyer rightfully won the Baldock Medal for his outstanding display he had plenty of support around the ground with Jake Pearce and Josh Ponting finding plenty of the ball, and the duo of Tom Bennett and 2018 draft prospect Tarryn Thomas providing plenty of assistance up forward.

The North Launceston defence also proved to be irresistible for much of the afternoon, with Arion Richter-Salter and Jay Lockhart leading a cohesive effort from the back six in a truly impressive team performance.

Couch racked up the touches – Pic: Solstice.Digital & Photography

North Launceston coach Tom Couch reflected post-match on achieving the team’s sole focus on winning the premiership.

“It’s a bit surreal; we’ve worked pretty hard for this moment.  You think about it every day, especially for the last ten weeks.

“It’s great and just (full) credit to the boys; they’ve worked so hard,”

Couch spoke about being welcomed into the club with open arms in his first year as coach, with the playing group all focused on avenging their 2016 loss to Glenorchy.

“To lose the Grand Final last year, you need to take that next step.  The boys were pretty fit and we changed a few things about the game plan; they all bought in and they deserve it.”

Couch himself played a sensational game in the midfield, alongside the underrated Mark Walsh and captain Taylor Whitford, with the trio ensuring they were first to the ball and delivering it with class to North Launceston’s forwards while hitting the scoreboard themselves.

Lauderdale didn’t win many one on one match ups, but young defender Mitchel Anderton and inside midfielder Nat Franklin worked tirelessly all afternoon, with forward targets Alex Hevey, Alex Hill and Ryan Wiggins also having moments of promise on a disappointing finish to the club’s most successful season in the TSL.

The Southern Bombers are likely to come under MRP scrutiny for a number of clashes, but should take plenty out of a ground-breaking season to push for a berth deep in September again in 2018.

With North Launceston now having established themselves as the most successful club in the Tasmanian State League, the question is not whether they have the ability to go back to back next year, but whether the players have the drive and motivation after claiming the ultimate prize.

If Couch’s emotional address to club supporters and the player’s post-match comments in the rooms are anything to go by, however, the bulk of the young playing group remain hungry to add more trophies to the UTAS Stadium cabinet and continue to build upon the dynasty they’ve created.

Celebrations in the rooms begin – Pic: Solstice.Digital & Photography


NORTH LAUNCESTON    3.6          13.10     17.13     21.22 (148)

LAUDERDALE                     1.2          3.4          6.7          9.7 (61)                

GOALS; North Launceston: Cox-Goodyer 8, Walsh 3, Pearce 2, Whitford 2, Couch 2, Thomas 2, Bennett, Simpson

Lauderdale: Wiggins 4, A Hill 2, Hevey, Kleverkamp, McManus

BEST; North Launceston: Cox_Goodyer, Walsh, Pearce, Whitford, Richter-Salter, Ponting

Lauderdale: A Hill, Hevey, Anderton, Roberts, Bellchambers, Franklin

North Launceston; 2017 Tasmanian State League Premiers – Pic: Solstice.Digital & Photography



Farewell, Wingnut

Written by Andrew Johnston

At the end of the first  Tasmanian State League Semi-Final, jubilation was felt by the Launceston Blues.  After finishing the season in fifth, the Blues had knocked out Glenorchy and Clarence in back to back weeks.  While the result left Clarence flat, it was hardest on one of their superstars.  Unbeknown to most, Ian Callinan had just played his final game of football.

“I was a bit emotional.  It was a bit of a surprise.  We lost the game of footy as well which isn’t a great feeling.”

It brings to close one of the best careers a Tasmanian footballer will ever lay claim to.

After starting his junior football playing in Rokeby and Lauderdale’s under 16’s side, Callinan joined Clarence’s under 18’s between 1997 and 1998, and played in a reserves premiership in 1999.  The year 2000 was his best year in his home state.  He played in Clarence’s Statewide League premiership, and represented Tasmania at the national Under 18’s championship, winning the Hunter-Harrison Medal as Division Two’s best and fairest player.  He was selected in the forward pocket of the Under 18’s All-Australian squad, but went undrafted in the year’s national draft.

“It was quite funny.  At the time with the Mariners being full time, it was like VFL.  It all happened pretty quickly.  It was disappointing (not getting drafted), but we were sort of in the process of starting the Devils.  So it was disappointing, but really exciting that we could have our own VFL side.”

(C) Joel Strickland Photographics
VFL- Tasmania Devils v Sandringham
Sunday 24th of July 2005
Ian Callinan

In 2001, the Tasmanian Devils were introduced into the newly formed VFL, and Callinan immediately became a regular in the line-up.  He would go onto play 109 games for the Tassie Devils before his 2006 departure.  His best year came in 2005, where he won the club’s best and fairest, as well as the J.J Liston trophy as the league’s best and fairest player, tying for the award with Sandringham’s Paul Johnson.

“It was huge.  Guys I’d played Mariners with, getting to come together; it was an exciting time.  I made some of my lifelong friends, and it’s some of my best football memories.  (Devils’ coach Matthew Armstrong) taught me a lot about what it was to be an elite player.“

After being a part of Devils’ finals sides in 2003, ’04 and ’05, Callinan left Tasmania at the end of 2006, moving to Central Districts in the SANFL, who were coming off a losing grand final in 2006.   His move was met with immediate success.  Callinan won the club best and fairest in 2007 and 2010, years in which he was the club’s leading goal kicker.  Centrals won all four premierships in this period, with Ian playing key roles in all four grand final wins, including winning the Jack Oatey Medal as the best player on ground in the 2010 Grand Final.

“Basically it was just a change.  It was a good opportunity for my wife with work to go and climb the tree.

“If we didn’t love it, we could always come home.  It was the best for my footy, and for Lauren’s career.

“Centrals knew how to win; they were an unbelievable football club to be a part of. It was all about winning, and when you were at training it was all about being successful.

“Roy (Laird, Centrals’ coach) was unbelievable.  He had one of the best football brains I have ever dealt with.  He put a lot of trust in his playing group, and he treated us with respect.  He had an unbelievable work ethic, and he instilled that in us.”

With this period of dominance, ‘Wingnut’ had proved his quality as a player, and finally, the AFL came knocking.

“It was pretty strange.  We’d just won the 2010 flag against Norwood, and I got a phone call on the Tuesday.  I thought they were taking the mickey out of me.  Then they told me they wanted to draft me; I nearly fell over to be honest.  I trained my best with them, trained on the day of the rookie draft, so to have 30 boys around me when my name was read out was great.”

Callinan was taken at pick 64 in the 2011 AFL Rookie Draft by the Adelaide Crows.  Under the AFL’s reserves rules in South Australia at the time, he remained at Centrals whilst on the Crows list.  After starting the year with an injury, Ian’s moment finally arrived in round 14, when he made his AFL debut against Geelong, the club he barracked for as a child.

“It was unbelievable. I thought the injury would cost it for me.  We had one game before Centrals had the bye, and Craigy (Neil Craig) said ‘I’m going to roll the dice, I’m going to play you; I regret that I didn’t play you earlier.’  It didn’t go how we wanted; we got belted.”

After years of thinking one game of AFL would never come, Callinan managed 32 games for the Crows before being delisted at the end of 2013.

“I would have been happy to play one game, so to punch out 32 is something I’ll look back on fondly.  It was great for me to show I could play at the level.  Lauren’s been there the whole journey, and my three beautiful kids, so to share it with them was unbelievable.”

Starting from 2014, the Adelaide Crows were admitted to the SANFL as the Crows reserves team, ending a bitter dispute in the SANFL.  With the admission of the Crows, Callinan was offered the reserves team’s captaincy, as well as a coaching development role.  He remained in this role until the end of 2015, when he chose to return to Hobart, Tasmania.

“It was a bit different, a huge decision for me since my history at Centrals.  During the week I’d be a development coach, and do all the AFL stuff.  It was a big decision, but it was the right one.”

In action for Clarence during the 2017 finals series Pic: Solstice.Digital & Photography

Callinan’s return to the youthful Tasmanian State League competition positioned him as an experienced veteran in a young group.  It provided him with an opportunity to hone his development skills, with the bonus of still being able to play his brand of football.

“I’ve tried to be that (mentor) as much as I could, and hopefully will be well respected.  At the end of the day I’ve always said to them success isn’t coming for you, you have to go get it; (you’ve) just got to be the best player you could be.”

Ian Callinan was a player that achieved a lot in his career.  Whilst he was undersized compared to those at the elite level, he used every bit of his talent and silky skills to their utmost across an 18 year career.  While many in Tasmania still struggle with the fact that he was only seen at AFL level 32 times, it’s impossible to argue that Wingnut’s story is not one of the best told in the history of Tasmanian football.

Ian Callinan

Adelaide Crows (AFL), Clarence (SWL/TSL), Tasmanian Devils (VFL), Central Districts (SANFL), Adelaide Crows (SANFL) – 318 games, 484 goals

VFL – J..J. Liston Trophy – 2005

Hunter Harrison Medal – National U/18 ChampiosnhipsDiv Two B&F – 2000

U/18 All-Australian – 2000

5x Club Best and Fairest – Tasmanian Devils (VFL) 2005; Central Districts (SANFL) 2007 & 2010; Adelaide Crows (SANFL) 2014 & 2015

6x Team of the Year – 2000 (TAC Cup), 2005 (VFL), 2007, 2010 & 2014 (SANFL), 2016 (TSL)

3x Club leading goal scorer – Central Districts 2007 (59), 2010 (39); Adelaide SANFL 2014 (27)

AFL Tasmania Team of the Decade 2004 – 2014

TSL representative vs WAFL 2016; VFL representative vs SANFL 2005; SANFL representative vs VFL 2014, WAFL 2015

Some Thoughts

“What Ian lacked in stature he made up for with his dynamic playing ability, particularly as an outstanding small forward.  When you read through his playing career highlights he would be second to none in so far as winning premierships at all levels as he developed his playing career.  Having known Ian from when he was a Junior with the Clarence Club I was extremely proud to welcome him back into our football family for his last two playing seasons, where he was generous enough to pass on his outstanding football knowledge to those who had the opportunity to play with him, or those who sought his advice.  The Club wishes both Ian and Lauren and family many happy years of retirement.”

  • Roger Viney, Clarence Football Club President

“As a person, he was a ripper of a bloke.  He embraced everyone, players, staff, supporters; everyone.  As a player, at a time when the game is stats-crazy, he could win you a game with five touches.  An amazing football IQ.  He won us a lot of big games; he was definitely a big game player.”

  • Roy Laird, Central Districts Football Club coach (2003 – )
Callinan alongside Webberley in his final TSL match.

“It was enjoyable coaching someone with so much talent, and getting to teach him about the game.  At times it was difficult, but most of the time it was great.”

  • Matthew Armstrong, Tasmanian Devils coach (2001 – 2006)

“One footy’s great people! Congrats @callinan37 #nutta”

  • Patrick Dangerfield, former Adelaide teammate (via twitter)

“It was fantastic to have a player of his experience, but what really impressed me was his openness to build relationships with the guys around the club, from the 17 year olds through to the guys who have been around for a while.”

  • Jeromey Webberley, Clarence Football Club coach