Bupa KidFit Series 2019 – Register Now!

AFL Tasmania is proud to have partnered with Bupa again in 2019 as naming rights partner of the Tasmanian State League.

Bupa cares about the local community. As well as its support of local football, it supports other Tassie events including running the fantastic KidFit triathlon series.

In 2019, Bupa is proud to be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the KidFit Series.

For two decades, the Series – comprised of a Triathlon and Fun Run – has been a summer spectacle for the Tasmanian community.

Year-on-year, Bupa’s objective has been the same – to bring Tassie families together and offer an occasion to have fun, get active and connect in a friendly and supportive environment.

Register To Win!

Registrations for the 2019 Bupa KidFit Triathlon and Family Fun Series are now open in two great Tasmanian locations!

Blackmans Bay – 17th March

Launceston – 31st March

Click on your preferred location and register before March 11th to go into the draw to win 1 of 2 TREK BIKES, or 1 of 4 GARMIN Fitness Bands*

Help make a donation today!

To celebrate Bupa’s partnership with Kids Helpline, refer a friend to participate in a KidFit triathlon event and Bupa will donate $5.

Regards, The Team at Bupa and AFL Tasmania


*Entries close 5.00PM 11/03/2019. Total prize pool is $1,434 incl. GST. Entrants must purchase a triathlon ticket to participate in the 2019 KidFit Triathlon Series through the Event’s online booking system, EventBrite. The draw will take place at 33 Exhibition St, Melbourne, Victoria 3000 at 10.00am 12/03/2019. Winners’ details will be published in The Hobart Mercury on 14th March 2019. The Promoter is Bupa HI Pty Ltd, ABN 81 000 057 590, 33 Exhibition Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000.

Join our TSL Media team!

The Bupa TSL is once again looking for passionate and motivated media students to come on board as match-day reporters.

This role as a TSL match-day reporter would suit journalism, media and communications students who are keen to add some practical experience to their resume.
From writing match reports and articles to providing colourful coverage of the competition through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter; this is the ideal role for footy fans with a knack for writing.
Past TSL match-day reporters have gone on to find employment within the fields of journalism, media and communications nation-wide, with this role providing the chance to hone your social media, writing and interview skills.

If you’re based in Hobart or Launceston and think you would fit the bill,  please email anthony.osborn@afl.com.au for more information.

Expressions of interest – TSLW Match Managers

We are currently seeking expressions of interest for the 2019 Tasmanian State League Women’s season to perform the role of Match Manager.

This role is a voluntary position that will be responsible for ensuring all match day protocols and procedures are followed in accordance with the TSLW Rules & Regulations and the TSLW Match Manager list of duties.

To express interest in performing this role, please contact Ben Ling on Ben.Ling@afl.com.au

Applicants will be required to obtain an active Working with Vulnerable People Card, with multiple roles available in Hobart & Launceston.

Lovell set to roar again

The Kingborough Tigers have made one of the plays of the off-season, securing the services of former Hawthorn midfielder Kieran Lovell.

The Tigers’ midfield brigade will be bolstered in 2019 with the addition of the 21-year-old ball magnet, who joins his junior club after three seasons within the AFL system.

As part of a strong Hawthorn squad Lovell broke through to play two senior games during his time in the brown and gold, while also playing an instrumental role in VFL affiliate Box Hill’s 2018 flag triumph.

Delisted in October after the 2018 season, Lovell is now back in the state and firmly focused on passing on his experience to a young Tigers squad.

“It is very exciting to be back. It was a bit of a tough decision – I had to work through a few things with myself and my manager but came to the decision to come back home.

“There were offers all around the country, other state leagues, but I had to do a lot of weighing up and I think I’ve made the right choice. If I was going to move back home, it was always going to be the Tigers I’d choose to play with.”

IC: AFL Photos

The lure of playing in the yellow and black once again became even stronger for Lovell after spending time around the club in recent weeks.

“It was probably the pull of wanting to be home and to be around my close family.

“I had spent a couple of weeks here training in the pre-season and really liked the vibe of the place and believe we are heading in a really great direction and I want to be a part of that.

Lovell, taken by the Hawks with pick 22 at the 2015 national draft, impressed as a junior at the Tigers, going on to win Tasmania’s MVP at the under-18 national championships in 2015, as well as All Australian selection.

Lovell will join Ryan Matthews, Lachie Clifford and Blake Grant in a strong midfield contingent, with the addition of Lovell set to ease the burden of covering for midfield general Will Campbell, who will miss the start of the 2019 campaign after suffering a knee injury.

Renowned as a prolific ball winner Lovell is the latest signing in a strong off-season for the Tigers, following the likes of Huonville forward Michael Paul, Cygnet forward Elijah Reardon and the experienced Jarryd Drew, with Drew – a Burnie NWFL premiership player – joining the club as a playing assistant coach with playing experience in the VFL, NEAFL and TAC Cup.

Although excited by these recruits Baumeler is remaining cool about how his side will fare in 2019.

“The only expectation is that we want to improve.

“To be brutally honest we won three games last year, so we are coming from a low base. Our improvement will come from within and this December-January period as we mould everything in and get everyone together.”

Lovell is adamant that he is yet to give up on his dream of cracking it as an AFL player in future, but his immediate focus is clearly on what he can bring to the Twin Ovals.

“I definitely haven’t given up, but I have taken a step back from football being the be-all and end-all in my life, so I’ve got to work out a few other things and try and have a well-balanced, rounded life.

“You see blokes getting picked up at 25, 26, 27 these days so it is definitely something I will strive towards in the future but right now I’m focussed on playing some good footy here.

2019 Bupa TSL Fixture Released

Anticipation for the 2019 footy season has started to build with the release of the 2019 Bupa Tasmanian State League fixture. 

The new season will launch on Saturday March 30, with Launceston to enter a new era under head coach Mitch Thorp against Glenorchy at Windsor Park and North Hobart to host Grand Finalists Lauderdale.

The opening round of the season will conclude with the reigning premiers, North Launceston, tackling the Tigers under lights at the Twin Ovals.

Glenorchy’s centenary year will kick up a gear in round two with a home game against traditional rival North Hobart, with celebrations set to continue throughout the year, including a round 10 night game against Clarence at KGV.

Glenorchy will be looking for success in 2019. IC: Solstice Digital


With today’s release of the 2019 fixture, Carl Saunder, General Manager – Tasmanian State League, confirmed that the 2019 Bupa TSL Finals series will again be made up of the top five teams from the home and away season.

“We looked at alternative structures and discussed the structure and make-up of the finals series, but the clubs were strong in their feedback that a final five should remain for the 2019 season.”

The 2019 finals series, will see Elimination, Qualifying, Semi and Preliminary Finals played at the host club’s home ground, a move away from these finals being held exclusively at the AFL venues of Blundstone Arena and UTAS Stadium.

“It will change the atmosphere of finals and it is something we are excited for. Teams will be able to qualify to host finals at their designated venues across the opening three weeks of the finals series,” Mr Saunder said.

A variety of timeslots is also a key feature of the fixture, with clubs opting for greater experimentation with twilight and evening games, particularly early in the season.





Saunder is confident that the upcoming season will be an exciting one for Tasmanian footy fans.

“The 2019 Bupa Tasmanian State League season promises to be a fascinating one. In 2018 we had five really competitive clubs and an exciting finals race and 2019 promises to be just as good,” he said.

“North Hobart will look to be a more competitive unit with the impressive acquisitions of former AFL players Sam Darley and Colin Garland, while Tigers will also look to crack into the final five for the first time after another off-season of development and the signing of key forward Michael Paul.

“Clarence will be eager to avenge for last season’s first round finals exit, while Glenorchy, in its centenary year, will be setting up for a big season to follow-up a promising maiden campaign under Paul Kennedy.

“Launceston will also be keen to get off to a strong start under the leadership of new coach Mitch Thorp, while grand finalists for the past two seasons – North Launceston and Lauderdale, again loom as teams to beat in 2019.”

Mitch Thorp will lead the Blues in 2019. IC: Solstice Digital

Other highlights include: 

  • SIX night games
  • TWO twilight games
  • TWO Good Friday blockbusters
  • GRAND FINAL rematches between North Launceston and Lauderdale in rounds 5, 13, 19
  • ANZAC DAY tradition continues with Glenorchy hosting Tigers FC
  • THE LAUNCESTON DERBY will take on extra meaning in round 18, with the Blues and Northern Bombers set to contest for the Phil Edwards Cup
  • ROUND 20 will be headlined by the Gadomski-Riewoldt Trophy clash between Tigers FC and Clarence at the Twin Ovals
  • INVERMAY PARK will host TSL action again in 2019, with the Northern Bombers to host North Hobart in round 20 
  • EASTERN SHORE rivals Clarence and Lauderdale will contest for the Stay ChatTY Cup in round 11, while all three home and away matches between the clubs will go towards the ‘Eastern Shore Cup’
  • INDIGENOUS RECOGNITION matches to be played in round 11 (North Hobart v Tigers FC) and round 21 (Glenorchy v North Launceston)

Thorp to take the reins at Windsor Park

The Launceston Football Club has today announced that Mitch Thorp will undertake the role as senior coach for the 2019 Bupa Tasmanian State League season.

Thorp, the 2018 Hudson Medallist as the competition’s leading goalkicker, will perform the role as a playing-coach, filling the void left by former coach Sam Lonergan, who accepted the head coaching role at SANFL club Woodville-West Torrens.

IC: Solstice Digital

Thorp made the move to Windsor Park after a three-year coaching stint at Devonport, playing a key role in the Blues’ campaign.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to coach at such a historic football club,” Thorp, 29, said.

“The coaching group we have assembled has a fantastic balance of “the old” – past premiership players at the Launceston Football Club in Tim Bristow (playing assistant) and Chris Savage along with Life Member Darrin Geard, and “the new” TSL premierships players Daniel Trevena, Jay Blackberry and Cam Downie.”

Savage, a co-captain in 2017 and 2011 Tassie Medal winner Bristow will add plenty to the coaching stocks, with Thorp confident that the Blues are in a strong position on and off the field.

2011 Tassie Medalist Tim Bristow will return to Windsor Park as a playing-assistant coach. IC: The Examiner

“We have also been fortunate to obtain the services of Ben Killalea as our high performance coach, with Ben set to look after all of our strength & conditioning requirements at the club.

“The coaching group is fully aware that we have plenty of work to do moving forward, however we’re optimistic that with the right attitudes we can build the foundation for sustained success for years to come,” he said.

Chris Savage will be an assistant coach in 2019. IC: Solstice Digital

Club president Sandra Boland insists that Thorp is the right person for the job.

“Mitch offered an engaging presentation to an impartial panel to prove successful in this process.  Mitch has extensive experience including AFL draft pick for Hawthorn, SANFL, Tassie Devils, previous TSL coaching and playing experience and a TSL premiership as coach,” she said.

“We are excited to have Mitch step up into the role.  He played with Launceston this past season and is ready to move back into a coaching role.  He is already engaging with players for both retention and recruitment and has commenced putting together his support team to coach for 2019.

“Mitch’s knowledge and enthusiasm, we believe will help the club in its success for the next 2 seasons.”

Wrest Point TSLW to expand in 2019

The development and expansion of the Wrest Point Tasmanian State League Women’s competition is set to continue with both Lauderdale and North Launceston entering from the 2019 season. 

This expansion will see the Wrest Point TSLW competition move closer to mirroring the Men’s Bupa Tasmanian State League.

AFL Tasmania CEO Trisha Squires said “this is another important milestone for female football in Tasmania.  Our game has seen amazing growth in recent years and it’s important we continue to provide opportunities for female footballers.”

AFL Tasmania’s TSL State Manager Carl Saunder is excited by the growth and development of female football and the Wrest Point TSLW competition.

“To have both Lauderdale and North Launceston entering the competition next season moves us closer to our goal of having a State League Women’s competition that replicates the Men’s game,” Saunder said. 

The arrival of both Lauderdale and North Launceston will be followed by North Hobart, with the club being granted a licence for entry from 2020. 

Lauderdale and North Launceston will join Clarence, Glenorchy, Launceston and Tigers FC in a six-team 2019 Wrest Point TSLW season.

“Today is a really exciting, landmark day. 

“Next year will see the Wrest Point TSLW competition expand to six teams, with the aim of having the current seven TSL clubs compete in the competition from 2020 onward,” Saunder said. 

“North Launceston has had a provisional licence for 12 months now, so it was always the plan to build steady progress around the expansion of the competition.

“Lauderdale dipped their toe in the water a few years ago in relation to female footy and this year they played in the SFL and have built from the bottom-up with a youth program. This is what we think is the right model for clubs to build female football.

“Similarly North Launceston has started from the bottom up with youth teams and played in the development series we held earlier this year; so they are ready.”

This expansion is reflective of the booming growth in women’s football in Tasmania, with female participation in club football experiencing a growth of over 45% in 2018 – something that will only be beneficial to the Tasmanian football landscape moving forward. 

“What we know and what we see is that the female game is creating new opportunities for people who don’t normally connect with football to come along and play or support it,” Saunder said.

Through the mirroring of the senior TSL men’s competition, the Burnie Dockers have chosen to withdraw from the Wrest Point TSLW competition and are likely to join the NWFL Women’s competition from 2019. 

AFL Tasmania Female Talent Manager, Leigh Elder, confirmed that work will continue on the north-west coast to provide opportunities within the talent pathway. 

“We will work with the north-west in finding the appropriate opportunity to showcase their best talent, so all players in the state have the opportunity to progress through the pathway,” Elder said. 

“We will certainly work with stakeholders on the north-west coast. Jamie Hayward is now full-time in talent development in that part of the state, so we will work with each individual – both male and female – to make sure they have the right support and resources,” Saunder said.

Elder also emphasised the importance of the Wrest Point TSLW competition. 

“Having a strong Wrest Point TSLW competition will support the state’s best talent and provide further pathways for aspiring females who have dreams of playing for the Tasmania Devils in the TAC Cup Women’s competition from 2020 and ultimately the North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos at the AFLW elite level.”

Darley, Allison Return Home

North Hobart has announced two major signings ahead of the 2019 Bupa Tasmanian State League season. 

Former AFL player Sam Darley will be returning to his junior club after stints in the AFL and VFL systems.

Darley, 25, made his North Hobart senior debut as a 15-year-old in 2008 after starting at the Demons in Auskick before being drafted to the GWS Giants at 16 as a priority 17-year-old selection.

Darley went on to play 13 senior games during his time at the Giants before moving to the Western Bulldogs at the end of 2013 where he played seven games in two seasons.

Darley in action for Richmond’s VFL side. IC: AFL Photos

A successful stint with Richmond’s VFL side soon followed, with Darley captaining the Tigers to the 2017 VFL Grand Final and representing the VFL in 2016 and again in 2017 where he was named captain against the WAFL.

Darley then took on a captain-coach role at Geelong Football League side North Shore in 2018 before deciding to return to his home state.

Darley will be joined at the Demons by close friend Martyn Allison on a two-year deal.

Allison has been a standout performer in the Southern Football League for Lindisfarne and most recently Claremont, where he captained in 2018.

Marty Allison in action for Claremont. IC: Nikki Davis-Jones (the Mercury)


Allison had a stellar 2018 campaign, claiming Claremont’s best and fairest award, winning the Huon News’ footballer of the year award and finishing third in the William Leitch Medal.

Part of the Magpies’ 2016 SFL premiership, Allison, like Darley, is also returning to his junior club after playing his underage and early senior footy in the red and blue.

Allison made his senior debut for North Hobart back in 2010, going on to play 28 senior games for the club.

The signatures of Darley and Allison follow the announcement that 141-game Melbourne veteran Colin Garland will also be available to play a full season with the Demons of North Hobart in 2019.

Lonergan departs for SANFL

The Launceston Football Club will be on the lookout for a new coach ahead of the 2019 Bupa Tasmanian State League season, with Sam Lonergan confirming his move to South Australia.

Lonergan, 31, will take on the role as head coach of SANFL club Woodville-West Torrens after a two-year stint at Windsor Park.


Lonergan will now ply his trade in the SANFL. IC: Solstice Digital


Lonergan came back to his home state following an 81-game AFL career at Essendon and Richmond and a stint as a player and midfield coach at SANFL club Glenelg.

Lonergan’s return in 2017 saw him steer the Blues to two successive TSL finals campaigns, with his side finishing the 2018 season in third spot before being knocked out in straight sets.

The former Launceston boss will take the reigns after Michael Godden’s nine-year stint at the helm of the Eagles, with Godden taking on an assistant coach role with Adelaide.

Speaking to the Mercury newspaper, Launceston president Sandra Boland insisted the club had no grievance with Lonergan making the move and that plans will immediately be put in place for his replacement.

“The personal interest Sam had for the club meant he gave his heart to us and has left the club in a successful position,” Boland said.

“We had a board meeting and threw ideas around about what type of person we want,” Boland said. “If they are from inside the club, an external person or even from another state that’s something we’ll look at during our selection process.”

2018 Season Review – North Launceston

New coach, new captain, same old success. 

What a season it was for the all-conquering Northern Bombers.

The North Launceston Football Club entered the 2018 Bupa TSL season looking to further build on one of Tasmanian football’s great dynasties.

With four straight Grand Final appearances, three of which saw the club clinch the ultimate prize (2014 – ’15, ’17), the Northern Bombers were under pressure to deliver again this season, with 2017 premiership skipper Taylor Whitford taking the coaching reigns to great expectation.

Following in the footsteps of Zane Littlejohn and Tom Couch, Whitford coached his group brilliantly, maintaining the Bombers’ dynamic ball movement and stingy defence to see off a range of contenders.

With Glenorchy, Launceston, Clarence and then Lauderdale right on their heels throughout the season, the Northern Bombers continually looked the form team of the competition, going down just twice for the season (to Glenorchy in round 3 and Clarence in round 12).

Established stars Tom Bennett, Josh Ponting, Mark Walsh, Alex Lee, Brad Cox-Goodyer and Taylor Whitford continued to impress, while fresh faces Sherrin Egger, Dakota Bannister, Jordan Cousens, Beau Sharman and Michael Tang immediately impressed when first blooded into the senior team.

The Bombers had plenty to celebrate in 2018. IC: Andrew Woodgate

After finishing as minor premier in 2017 with 16 wins and a percentage of 181.55%, the Bombers actually improved in 2018, with the same number of wins but a percentage of 201.45%.

The Bombers kicked only one more point this season, but conceded over 100 less, meaning the side’s potency inside 50 wasn’t hindered as the defence became even tighter.

Contenders came and went throughout the year, but in Taylor Whitford’s maiden season at the helm, the Northern Bombers once again claimed the throne as the competition’s top dog.



Ladder Position: 1st (W: 16, L: 2, %: 201.45) – Premiers


Leading Goalkicker:

Tom Bennett – 43 (third in competition)


Team of the Year Representatives: 6

  • Jay Foon (BP)
    • Renowned as ‘Mr. Dependable’ in defence, Jay Foon played an integral role in the Northern Bombers’ claiming the minor premiership. His season was cruelly cut short by a nasty injury, but his performances were as important as anyone’s in putting North Launceston in the box seat for another flag, one that they ultimately won.
  • Tom Bennett (CHF)
    • Arguably the best marking forward in the TSL, Bennett’s vice-like grip and sharp shooting for goal makes him a dynamic force inside 50. Mobile, athletic and smart, Bennett’s season made him a clear choice for centre half forward in the Team of the Year.

      Tom Bennett starred in 2018. IC: Andrew Woodgate
  • Brad Cox-Goodyer (HFF + Captain)
    • It was an injury-interrupted campaign for the premiership skipper, but one that still saw him enhance his reputation as one of the TSL’s most explosive players. The 2017 Baldock and Lynch Medalist kicked 36 goals from just 14 games, often rolling between the forward 50 and midfield. A worthy captain of this team.
  • Taylor Whitford (FOLL + Assistant Coach)
    • The added responsibility of coaching did nothing to diminish Taylor Whitford’s output, with the 2017 premiership skipper and 2018 premiership coach dominating as a goal-kicking on-baller. Finished as the season’s fifth highest goal kicker and tied for the RACT Insurance Player of the Year award. Whitford’s campaign was sensational.

      Taylor Whitford’s first season as coach was superb. IC: Andrew Woodgate
  • Zach Burt (INT)
    • One of the most versatile players in the league, Burt kicked 29 goals for the season – despite finishing the year as a regular centre half back. A star at both ends of the ground, Burt can break a game open inside 50 or act as a wall across half back.
  • Josh Ponting (INT)
    • Few win more of the football than Josh Ponting, with the eventual Lynch Medalist a star around stoppages. Ponting worked brilliantly alongside the likes of Taylor Whitford, Mark Walsh and Brad Cox-Goodyer to supply silver service to the Bombers’ elite forward line.


Best and Fairest:

Yet to be held.


Lynch Medal:

For a second straight season, a North Launceston player took home the Alastair Lynch Medal, with Josh Ponting leading all comers with 23 votes – edging out captain and 2017 Lynch Medalist Brad Cox-Goodyer (14 votes).

Zach Burt also finished in the top 10 with 12 votes, while Taylor Whitford and Jordan Cousens polled six votes apiece.

Josh Ponting claimed the TSL’s highest individual honour. IC: Solstice Digital

RACT Insurance Player of the Year:

Playing coach Taylor Whitford was a standout for the Northern Bombers in 2018, amassing 18 votes en route to becoming a joint winner alongside Glenorchy’s Daniel Joseph. Josh Ponting (11) and Tom Bennett (10) were also contenders for much of the year, while Sherrin Egger also notched eight votes.


The Rising Star:

Sherrin Egger‘s first season as a Bomber was stellar, with the former Devonport young gun claiming the Matthew Richardson Medal as the competition’s most outstanding young player. A dogged competitor, Egger combines flashy brilliance with genuine grunt to be yet another crucial weapon in this impressive North Launceston machine.

Fletcher Bennett is another player who continued to improve as the season progressed, showcasing his maturity and speed while playing a variety of roles.

Rhyan Mansell -who attended the State Draft Combine – also continued his rapid development with a terrific campaign, largely as a small defender.


Season Highlight:

Well, this one is pretty clear. In a near perfect season, the highlights were aplenty, but the 2018 Grand Final triumph – the club’s fourth in five seasons – stands head and shoulders above the rest.

The Bombers were clinical in dismantling Lauderdale in the 2017 decider but faced a much sterner test in 2018, with Lauderdale ensuring the game was a dogged, arm wrestle of a contest.

It proved to be a match that would underline the greatness of this side.

With the Northern Bombers holding a one-point advantage at the first and main breaks, the game was in the balance heading into the third stanza, and the reigning champs responded – kicking the only two goals of the term to take a 16-point lead into the final quarter, one akin to an even greater margin considering the low-scoring nature of the contest and the fact that Lauderdale had only mustered the three goals for the game to that point.

The Northern Bombers, having won the arm wrestle, ensured that they won the war from there on out, kicking a further two goals to one in the final term to clinch another historic flag.

Tarryn Thomas was an example of how the Northern Bombers got on top, with the classy utility taking to the skies and hitting the scoreboard to ensure he finished his time as a Bomber in style, while Brad Cox-Goodyer was dominant for almost the game’s entirety – claiming a second straight Baldock Medal as best afield.

Challenged for the throne, the Bombers once again held firm.

Tarryn Thomas Lights Up Big Dance

Superstar Tarryn Thomas was at his exhilirating best in North Launceston Football Club's flag triumph yesterday. 👌 🌟

Posted by Tasmanian State League on Saturday, September 15, 2018


Season Lowlight:

It was a season of highs for the Northern Bombers, but the season-ending injury sustained by Jay Foon in round 17 against Glenorchy at KGV Oval was a definite lowlight.

In a freakish accident, Foon suffered a fractured bone in his neck as a result of a tackle, and subsequently missed the remainder of the season.

Floated as a chance of returning for the Grand Final, Foon is clearly a popular member of the group, with the team’s premiership success somewhat soured by the absence of the Team of the Year back pocket.


2018 In Three Words: Bomber Dynasty Confirmed

IC: Solstice Digital