In 1990 in Hobart, a State of origin match was held between Victoria and Tasmania. A normal match with a small crowd watching Victorians play the game that originated in their backyard with the skill of the best players from a combined 11 AFL clubs, playing Tasmania that only had a population of around 450,000 at the time with no AFL team to their name. But Tasmania won.
I like to think of this day like the death of cricket for England, when Australia beat the British at their own game. The Victorians were obviously humiliated by this defeat and this was when the conversation started about Tasmania having their own team.
As the years went on, more talk about a Tassie team happened. The Tasmanian premier, Peter Gutwein straight up demanded a Tasmanian AFL team in the middle of 2021 and the AFL said that there will be a final decision made as early as 2022 for a Tassie team.
What's interesting is that I don't think the AFL would want a 19 team competition, having one team sit out each round once making it a 19 round season OR having a 38 round season which would tire the players out immensely. That leaves us with 2 options. A merger most likely with Gold Coast or a Struggling Victorian club, which we've already seen how that one would go down or the second option, an entirely new team, probably based in Darwin.
Tasmania deserve a team that they can finally call their own and we've seen in the NBL with the new team the Tasmanian Jack-Jumpers that Tasmania loves getting professional sporting clubs in their state and there is a huge AFL fan base down there. Bigger than the NBL!
I would personally love a new team and it would be a real shame if the AFL didn't make this dream a reality for Tasmania and give them the team that they deserve.
Thanks for reading to the end!
If you did then there are more reads like this that I think you’ll like too. You can find them here: https://medium.com/@afl-guru/list/effa689dfae4