New Era For Fired Up Demons

Plenty of changes have been happening at North Hobart Oval over the summer as a new-look Demons side looks to embrace the f

Nickname: Demons

Home Ground: North Hobart Oval

Guernsey Colours: Red and Blue

Club President: Craig Martin

Head Coach: Richard ‘Bear’ Robinson

Captain: Hugh Williams

Biggest rival: Tigers

Key Fixtures: Rd 1 v Tigers at North Hobart Oval, Rd Round 4 v Glenorchy at KGV, Rd 9 v Launceston at North Hobart Oval, Rd 20 v Lauderdale at North Hobart Oval

2017 Re-Cap:

The Demons had an up and down 2017, showing plenty of promise to finish with a 9-9 win-loss record. This ratio saw the Demons finish level on points with Launceston, but outside the top five on percentage.

A thrilling one-point win over historical rival Clarence at Blundstone Arena in round seven was a big highlight for the Demons while a 27-point win over Launceston the very next week created plenty of cause for optimism after their campaign got off to a shaky start with a big loss to rival Glenorchy in round one.

Another big scalp would have secured the Demons a finals berth but ultimately a ticket to September action was a bridge too far, with the Demons scoring nearly 300 fewer points than Launceston, despite finishing with the same win-loss ratio indicative of the side’s struggles to kick a winning score – a clear avenue for development in 2018.

 Richard ‘Bear’ Robinson will coach the Demons in 2018.  IC: Solstice Digital

2018 Pre-Season:

Key Ins: Nathan McCulloch (Waverley Blues – VIC)

Key Outs: Will Campbell (Tigers), Ryan Matthews (Tigers), Nic Hutchinson (Tigers), Jake Doran (Tigers), Blake Grant (Tigers), Sam Duigan (Tigers), Heath Thompson (Tigers), Liam Azzopardi (SFL), Nicholas Baker (Lauderdale)


2018 Season:

A new year is considered by many to be a fresh start and this is certainly the case for the revamped North Hobart Football Club.

Playing as the Hobart City Demons for four seasons, the Dees have gone back to the future, becoming the North Hobart Demons once again.

This significant name change is not the only shake up we have seen at North Hobart Oval across the summer, however, with a new coach and a raft of changes in playing personnel.

Former assistant coach Richard ‘Bear’ Robinson has been appointed senior coach for 2018, stepping up to fill the void left by Kane Richter.

Meanwhile former assistant Trent Baumeler has also moved from the club, taking the reins at the Tigers.

Seven players have joined Baumeler in moving down the Southern Outlet including midfield maestros Will Campbell and Ryan Matthews and young gun Nic Hutchinson.

The Demons insist they are not fazed by these changes, however, with Robinson and captain Hugh Williams citing a sense of positivity and possibility among the group.

“We are very excited for round one. The preseason has gone really quickly and there has been a great deal of positivity throughout the last month,” Robinson said.

“It has been well documented that we have lost a few players to the Tigers and it has been a bit tough but the players have left for whatever reason and you just have to worry about who you do have and focus on putting time in them,” Williams said.

The Demons will be smarting after finishing the 2017 season outside the top five due to percentage, with a loss to the Tigers in round three critical in determining the Demons’ fate.

Hugh Williams will again captain the Demons. IC: Solstice Digital

The Demons will host the Tigers in round one, and although the two teams have plenty of history, Williams played down how this will iinfluence the Demons’ approach.

“It is good scheduling – round one is always a big game. We have had a good preseason and the guys are ready to play football.

“Are the guys going to try and hit harder against the Tigers because of those seven players moving? I’m not sure – I think everyone will be going in hard anyway.

“We haven’t mentioned anything different about round one. It wouldn’t matter who it is against, we would play it in the same way,” Williams said.

The Demons welcome back former player Nathan McCulloch, who has returned to Hobart after several years playing for Waverley in Melbourne while young gun Baxter Norton will also loom as an important player as the Demons look to continue the improvement shown last season.

The influence of Robinson on the group will also be significant, with the well-liked figure settling in to his new role.

“There are always challenges [to coaching].

“As a senior coach I am really excited for training. Training is quite structured and now that the games are starting up I can’t wait for round one,” ‘Bear’ said.

Robinson believes the two northern clubs will pose the biggest threat for the 2018 flag.

“I still think North Launceston are the team to beat- they have been so successful in recent years and really have been the benchmark.

“Launceston have also recruited really well and on paper they look to be a really competitive side,” he said.

The Demons will host the Tigers on Friday 30 March at North Hobart Oval.

Kennedy At Home In Black and White

Written by Ryan Rosendale

Plenty of eyes will be firmly focused on the Glenorchy Football Club in 2018 as the Magpies look to usher in a new era of success under newly-appointed coach Paul Kennedy. TSL Digital Reporter Ryan Rosendale recently caught up with the Magpies leader to get an insight into what his side may bring to the TSL in 2018. 


TSL Inception: 2009

TSL Premierships: 2016

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

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

Home Ground: KGV Oval, Glenorchy

Head Coach: Paul Kennedy

Captain: Brayden Webb

Key 2018 Clashes: Round 2 v Lauderdale at KGV on April 7 – Bring KGV Alive Community Day

Round 7 v Launceston at Windsor Park on May 12 – Semi-Final re-match

Round 17 v North Launceston at KGV on July 212016 Grand Final re-match

2017 Finish: Semi-Final loss v Launceston (4th after Home and Away season)


For the TSL’s newest senior coach, Paul Kennedy, moving his young family down to the Apple Isle has not come with a minute of regret.

After playing and coaching stints in Melbourne and Adelaide, it was a simple text message from a former Glenorchy player that drew Kennedy to the role.

“I’d just missed out on the Frankston job in the VFL and then I’d received a text from Tom Cleary, who I’d coached at Coburg after his stint here at Glenorchy, and it was the ad for the senior role here.”

After a discussion with his wife, the couple decided it was the right time to shift themselves and their young daughter across Bass Strait.

Three months in, Kennedy says he has no regrets about the decision.

“The lifestyle change has been great for the family and then just the people and players around the club have been really welcoming and it’s fantastic so I haven’t had a minute of regret.”

When he first walked through the doors, Kennedy remembers just how impressed he was by the club as a whole.

“I was super impressed by the facilities here. Having been involved with some state league clubs in Melbourne and Adelaide, I think the facilities we have here at KGV are as good as anything I’ve ever been involved with,” Kennedy says.

“On the track, the guys have really trained hard over the summer. They’ve picked up things well and taken ownership really well. We’ve had solid numbers at training and they’ve embraced that summer slog.”

The club has managed to keep together 29 of the 37 players that tasted senior football last year with a number of players making an immediate impact with their new coach.

“Josh Arnold has been tremendous”, Kennedy says. “His professionalism is outstanding and he’d slot into any VFL program because of that. He’s one of our two backline coaches this season and he’s relished that challenge over summer.”

“Rhys Mott and obviously Brayden Webb have also been fantastic. Brayden as the on-field leader has elite training standards and others follow him because of that but the thing that sticks out the most with him is that he cares about the Glenorchy Football Club and that’s all you can ask from your captain.”

Rhys Mott has impressed new coach Paul Kennedy. IC: Solstice Digital

Kennedy also named Harrison Gunther, Joel Millhouse and two players that have returned to the club in Josh Grant and Mitch Walker as players who have impressed throughout pre-season.

“Two players that also have really good potential are Jake and Jye Bearman. Their brothers and they’ve both got natural football ability. They read the play well and they’ve both got those mercurial sorts of skills so for them it’s just developing their understanding of the game. This year will be a stepping stone for them but the future looks bright for them at Glenorchy.”

While developing the playing list from within has been a strong focus for Kennedy in his short tenue, he also wants to bring a community feel back to football.

“Football used to be the centrepiece of the community of a Saturday but that’s dropped away all over the country. So for me and the club, we want to get engaged with a lot of community groups and get that next wave of Glenorchy supporters through the gate.”

On-field, Kennedy says that he plans to build on what former coach Aaron Cornelius was able to achieve over his tenure.

“In terms of what I bring compared to what ‘Ace’ (Cornelius) brought, I shuffle the cards a bit different but the building blocks are very similar.”

“The players understand the basics of it and then they pick up the new stuff within those structures. We want to be an aggressive side with or without the ball but be smart in the way we approach that aggression.

“If fans come to watch they will see a team that is well organised and very aggressive but one that also picks their moments really well.”

Outside the four walls of KGV, Kennedy believes every side can do damage this season but singled out the two northern based sides in Launceston and North Launceston as two that could have really strong seasons.

Will The Tigers Roar In 2018?

Written by Mitchell Jones

A new coach and a host of new names have swept into the Twin Ovals since we last saw the Tigers in action. TSL Digital reporter Mitchell Jones gives us an insight into what we can expect from the new-look Tigers in 2018. 

TSL Inception: 2014

Home Ground: Twin Ovals, Kingston

Guernsey Colours: Yellow and Black

Club President: Paul Gadomski

Head Coach: Trent Baumeler

Senior Assistant Coach: Jamie Hariss

Playing Assistant Coach: Marcus Davies

Captain: Sam Rice

Leadership Group: Will Campbell & Mitchell Carter

Rivals: North Hobart Demons

Key Clashes:

Round 1 vs North Hobart at North Hobart Oval on 30th of March (Good Friday)

Round 4 vs Lauderdale at Twin Ovals on 20th of April (night match)

Round 5 vs Glenorchy at Twin Ovals on 25th of April (Anzac Day)

2017 Recap:

Ladder Position: 7th

After a large player turnover, the Tigers started the 2017 season in convincing fashion with a win over a young Burnie side in round one followed up by a nail-bitting win over rivals North Hobart on Good Friday in round three.

After this promising start the Tigers went on to record two more victories for the season, defeating Burnie and Devonport, finishing the year in seventh – the club’s highest placing since joining the TSL in 2014.

The Tigers were competitive across much of 2017 and did go on to slightly improve their win-loss ratio, but still showed that they were a way off the top teams in the state.

2018 Preview:

Key Recruits:

Ryan Matthews (North Hobart/Hobart City Demons), Will Campbell (North Hobart/Hobart City Demons), Nic Hutchinson (North Hobart/Hobart City Demons), Heath Thompson (North Hobart/Hobart City Demons), Sam Duigan (North Hobart/Hobart City Demons), Jake Doran (North Hobart/Hobart City Demons), Blake Grant (North Hobart/Hobart City Demons), Luke Graham (Huonville), Edward Burrows-Cheng (Bond University), Hugh Johnstone (Hutchins School Old Boys Football Club), Will Deane (Peninsula Crows)

Key Losses:

Hugh Dixon (Fremantle AFL), Marcus Gardner (University), Braden Livingston (University), Mitchell Walker (Glenorchy), Chris Neild (Clarence), Brandon Batchelor (Aspley Hornets NEAFL), Will Cleeland (Aspley Hornets NEAFL), Callum Rawson (Huonville), Tim Peterson (Retirement)

Foes no more. Will Campbell is a big addition to the Tigers side for 2018. IC: Solstice Digital


2018 Pre-Season:

Incoming President Paul Gadomski will be pleased to have new Head Coach Trent Baumeler on board for a full preseason after the Tigers changed senior coach just two weeks before round one of the 2017 season.

Crossing over from the Tigers rivals in the Demons, Baumeler has brought seven Demons along with him to the Twin Ovals, including midfielder Ryan Matthews, who ran third in last year’s Alister Lynch medal.

Luke Graham also joins the Tigers after a successful season with Huonville in the SFL, as does Edward Burrows-Cheng, who has been playing good football for Bond University in Queensland.  These inclusions will be key to the Tigers improving their ladder position after only finishing above Burnie and Devonport last year.

The Tigers have managed to hold onto most of their top talent for this season but will be without young forward Hugh Dixon, who was drafted to the AFL by Fremantle, leading goalkicker Brandon Batchelor, 2016 Best and Fairest Will Cleeland and the versatile Mitch Walker, all of which have made the move to Glenorchy.

The Tigers have become a breeding ground for young AFL draft prospects with Hugh Dixon, Kieran Lovell and Mackenzie Willis all finding a home at AFL clubs in recent years. Tigers Coach Trent Baumeler will look to continue this trend as he sets out to develop more young talent.

The Tigers will be hoping the side’s senior players and exciting young talent have developed over the preseason as the Tigers look to make a push for a maiden finals berth.


The Coaches Training report:

Conner Bryant, one year out of the Tassie Mariners program, will be a player to watch across the 2018 season according to Baumeler due to his “improved running capacity after completing a full pre-season with the Tigers.”

Former Carlton player and key Tiger Marcus Davies will also be influential for the young group, with Baumeler citing his full fitness and professionalism around the club as key takeaways from the preseason.

Mitch Carter, who was named in the TSL Team of the Year for 2017, will again be influential for the Tigers with Baumeler impressed by his leadership qualities around the group.

Carter will provide plenty of support to new captain Sam Rice, a former Burnie premiership player who enters his fourth year at the Twin Ovals and first as captain.

Sam Rice will captain the Tigers in 2018. IC: Andrew Woodgate

2018 Season:

The Tigers possess a young brigade of talented players who have now played a handful of matches and been given another preseason to develop, while an influx of mature players will also provide the side with more experience.

This combination is likely to see the Tigers take it up to the best teams in the competition as they look to be bullied no more. The Tigers will be eager to take it up to rivals North Hobart in round one, particularly with a handful of former Demons likely to be donning the yellow and black for the first time.

The Tigers will face a challenging opening month of the season, playing three of 2017’s finalists in the opening four rounds. Wins throughout this period will set the Tigers up nicely and could help define their season as they look to ensure they get off to a good start and don’t have to play catch-up later in the campaign.

The Coaches Say:

When asked about the Tigers’ key areas of focus across the preseason, Baumeler was pleased with what has been worked on.

“We have spent a fair chunk of pre-season on our habits and environment, building something sustainable. We’ve also spent considerable time on our game style and finding multiple roles for players.

“We want to be seen as a flexible side that is able to sustain acceptable pressure for the whole 120 minutes.

“Our major expectation is buying into our system and standards and positive results will flow from that,” he said.

When asked about what clubs may set the bench mark for the 2018 season, Baumeler identified three clubs, last year’s premiers North Launceston, finals bolter Launceston and grand finalist Lauderdale.

“North Launceston are always a challenge as they have complete buy-in to their system and culture and I don’t expect them to be taking any backwards steps under Taylor (Whitford) this season”.

“Launceston will be tough with some key additions from Burnie and Devonport along with the return of Chayce Jones at the back end of the year after Mariners duties; while Lauderdale can’t be written off after reaching the grand final last year with no major losses to their list. They are a well-coached contested side who added offensive flair last year,” Baumeler said.


Competition for finals spots will only become tighter in 2018 as the Tiger army look to march into finals for the first time.

Can the underdog Tigers achieve their first finals berth and replicate their AFL counterpart by upsetting the competition as the young Tigers look to grow into a finals team?

Prediction: 4th – 5th



Will The Blues Live Up To The Hype?

Written by Mitch Stagg.

Launcetson have rocketed into premiership conversations after a stunning 2017 finals campaign that saw them upset fancies Glenorchy and Clarence. TSL Digital Media Team reporter Mitch Stagg takes a look at what fans can look out for from one of the off-season’s most buzzed about outfits.  

TSL Inception: 2009

TSL Premierships: 1 (2011)

Home Ground: Windsor Park, Riverside

Guernsey Colours: Navy Blue and White

Head Coach: Sam Lonergan

Senior Assistants: Darrin Geard, Deb Reynolds, Chris Hills

Bench Coach: Nathan Warren

Captains: Chris Savage, Hamish Leedham

Rivals: North Launceston

Key Fixtures: Round 1 v North Launceston at UTAS Stadium, Round 3 v Lauderdale at Lauderdale Oval, Round 8 v North Launceston at Windsor Park, Round 11 v Clarence at Windsor Park, Round 21 v Glenorchy at Windsor Park

2017 finish: 5th – lost to Lauderdale in Preliminary Final

Ins: Mitch Thorp (Devonport), Dylan Riley (Devonport), Jack Rushton (East Coast Swans), Jobi Harper (Burnie),  Anthony Liberatore (Werribee), Patrick Mackrell (Bridgenorth), Giacomo Millucci (Devonport), Mitch Hodgetts (Werribee)

Outs: Jordan Harris (Evandale), Nathan O’Donoghue (Retired), Connor Smith (Mackay), Zach Griffiths (Bridgenorth), Gareth Holt (South Launceston), Alex Payne (injury)

2017 Recap:

The Blues started 2017 in promising fashion, comfortably accounting for North Western counterparts Devonport and Burnie in the opening two rounds. Sonny Whiting was particularly dangerous in front of goal, registering 10 majors, including a 7-goal haul against the Dockers.

The Blues did face a stern reality check in round three, however, suffering an 85-point thrashing at the hands of eventual premiers North Launceston. The Blues recovered to record a gritty away win against Lauderdale in round four, on their way to five wins out of their next seven matches.

Three straight losses to competition heavyweights North Launceston, Lauderdale and Clarence followed prior to the bye before a steadying win against the Tigers. The Blues would only record one more win for the regular season, against Devonport in round 19, placing them 5th with a 9-9 record heading into finals.

The business end of the season saw the Blues morph into giant killers, starting with a shock defeat of Glenorchy at Blundstone Arena in the Elimination final. This form continued in the first semi final, running away from Clarence, again at Blundstone Arena, to set up a Preliminary Final contest against Lauderdale. Ultimately, the grueling finals travel schedule took its toll, culminating in a 24-point defeat to the Southern Bombers, but the Blues left an indelible mark on the competition in a sign of what may be to come in season 2018.

Sam Lonergan will again lead the Blues in season 2018.

2018 Pre-Season:

Sam Lonergan will again lead the Blues in what many are predicting will be a highly successful season at Windsor Park. Buoyed by the recruitment of former Hawthorn player and Devonport coach Mitch Thorp and leading midfielder-utility Dylan Riley, the Blues have high expectations for the year ahead. The club has retained the bulk of its 2017 playing list but will be without Nathan O’Donoghue (retirement) and Jordan Harris (Evandale).

The senior coaching group have lauded the professional approach shown by the players towards the preseason program, punctuated by strong numbers and a clean bill of health. The club has put a strong focus on support staff to assist the playing group, investing heavily in physio and exercise physiologists on game day and throughout the week. The club is thrilled to welcome Casey Mainsbridge back to the club, who Lonergan says is “highly educated in strength and conditioning.”

Lonergan singled out Ben Killalea as one to watch for 2018 after returning from an injury-marred 2017 campaign with a strong preseason, “he is in fantastic shape and a real surprise packet with his intensity, effort and competitiveness.”

Casey Brown is another player who Lonergan identified, remarking that he had “one of the most gifted athletic profiles of anybody he has ever seen, even at AFL level.”

Development coach Oli Cook, who will look to build on a grand final appearance in the Mercury Cup in 2017, is also excited about the senior prospects of young Sam Bruinewood, a developing tall who has enjoyed a strong preseason. The Blues clinched the Mercury Cup minor premiership in 2017 with an average age of 18.2 years and Cook says there is “plenty of scope for development” heading into 2018.

2018 Season:

Launceston will be looking to cement themselves in the upper echelon of the league and secure a double chance in finals and the best possible opportunity for premiership success. In 2017, the Blues struggled to match the competitions leading teams in the regular season, but a meteoric rise in the finals will give them the belief that they can take the next step and contend for the title.

They will have an immediate opportunity to impress, with a huge opening round clash against North Launceston on March 30. Lonergan expects his chargers to build upon the form they displayed in 2017, but identified a gulf in experience in the 24-28 age bracket, which has been a key focus of the clubs recruiting.

Former Devonport player Dylan Riley was singled out by Lonergan as a “class above in the way he reads the play and thinks” off the half back line and through the midfield. Lonergan is also excited about the prospects of fellow Devonport recruit Giacomo Millucci, who kicked five goals in a recent practice match and looked “extremely lively” around the football.

The Blues will have plenty of avenues to goal, with recruit Mitch Thorp joining leading goal kicker Sonny Whiting and the enigmatic Rulla Kelly-Mansell in an imposing forward set up. The onus will be on the clubs leading ball winners to give their forwards the supply they need to kick a winning score, with Lonergan eager to see his potent forward mix make the most of their entries and “own a game of football.”

Launceston will have a good mix of youth and experience in their leadership ranks, with Hamish Leedham and Chris Savage anointed as co-captains for 2018. Lonergan praised Leedham as a “natural leader,” who will contrast the experience of Savage, who he says “really demands and drives from the front and has a lot of life and football experience” to call upon. Lonergan is also keen to tap into the knowledge of new assistant coach, Deb Reynolds, singling out her “attention to detail” and her dedication to training and working with players.

Mitch Thorp will add bite to the Blues forward line in 2018.


Draft Watch:

Draft onlookers will be keen to see how Chayce Jones handles the expectation in his draft year. The AFL Academy member is one of the state’s leading draft hopefuls and the club is optimistic that he can get a clean run of football after an injury interrupted 2017 season. The talented midfielder is a composed user of the ball on both feet and the Blues will look to use this area of his game to add to their ball movement.

2018 Prediction: 2nd

Back to Back for the Boys in Red & Black?

The Bombers have been the TSL titans, competing in the past four Grand Finals and collecting three premiership cups. Josh Partridge steps through what 2018 might look like for the mighty North Launceston, posing the question on whether the men in red and black can go back to back?

Written by Josh Partridge


Established: 1893, Renamed North Launceston in 1899

TSL Inception: 2009 (Founding Team)

Home Ground: University of Tasmania Stadium, Launceston

Guernsey Colours: Black and Red

Head Coach: Taylor Whitford

Assistant Coaches: Paul Holmes, Scott Stephens, Chris Whitford, Will Tatchell, Adrian Smith

Leadership Coach: Anthony Loone

Captain: Bradley Cox-Goodyer

Rivals: Launceston Blues, Lauderdale Bombers

Key Clashes: Round 1 vs Launceston at UTAS Stadium on March 30 – Phil Edwards Cup (Good Friday)

Round 4 vs Clarence at Blundstone Arena on April 20

Round 7 vs Lauderdale at UTAS Stadium on May 12

List Changes

Ins: Jordan Cousens (Rocherlea), Dakota Bannister (East Coast Swans), Lachlan Young (Scottsdale Magpies), Jack Mazengarb (Clarence), Sherrin Egger, Cooper Stuart, Beau Sharman (Devonport), Stan Tyson (Deloraine)

Outs: Tom Couch, Jay Lockhart (Casey Demons VFL), Lewis Holmer, Caelen Baker (Redlands NEAFL)

North Launceston were the definition of dominant throughout the 2017 TSL Season, only dropping two games along the way to claim their third premiership in four years.

A seventeen-point loss to Clarence in Round 9 and a one-point loss to Lauderdale in Round 10 were the only blemishes on the road for the North Launceston juggernaut as they continued their stranglehold on the competition. Their grand final win by an astronomical fourteen goals over the Southern Bombers truly stamped their authority as the state’s dominant force. The third flag in four years.

2018 Pre-Season

North Launceston’s preseason got off to a shock start in October of last year with the news that Premiership coach, Tom Couch, was leaving the club to take up a playing assistant role at the Casey Demons to further his coaching ambitions. However, with premiership captain, Taylor Whitford to take the reins, the club certainly wasn’t in a negative position with Whitford coaching a game during the 2017 season. After undertaking an apprenticeship of sorts with both Couch and dual premiership coach and current Assistant forwards coach at Brisbane lions, Zane Littlejohn, Whitford’s ascension to senior coach was certainly a future plan within the group. In addition to the loss of Couch, midfielder Jay Lockhart announced in early January that he would be joining him at the Demons to further the chances of his AFL dream. Tasmania’s best player in the annual match against the NEAFL last year, Lockhart will be missed within the playing group, but the Bombers have recruited strongly to cover their losses.

To do this, North Launceston have gone with a ‘What’s old is new theory’ with both Dakota Bannister and Lachlan Young re-joining the Bombers fold after a year in NTFA Division 1 at East Coast Swans and Scottsdale respectively. With the news of Devonport’s exit from the TSL, the Bombers have been licking their lips with talented trio Sherrin Egger, Cooper Stuart and Beau Sharman adding to the list. 17-year-old Egger certainly one to watch after taking out the Advocate Junior Sports Award Male Sportsperson of The Year Award with his last years’ efforts.

Young Ruck Forward Cody Lowe has had a great preseason and will be looking to add to the several Seniors games he collected during last years’ TSL Season. Arion Richter-Salter, one of North Launceston’s best players on the ground in last years’ Grand Final has also torn it up on the track and is injury free which is a dangerous thing for the forwards of the competition. In addition to these players, Coach Whitford predicts his Tassie Mariners players, Angus Jeffries, and Che Haines, to break through into the senior team and truly make an impact on the competition.

IC: Andrew Woodgate
Cox-Goodyer did it all in 2017, can he replicate in 2018 as Captain?

2018 Season

Starting their season off in a similar manner as last years will be a key for this North Launceston unit and the first ever Phil Edwards Cup match, in memorial to the Examiner sports writer who sadly passed away last year, against Launceston will be the perfect match to gauge the competition.

The Northern Bombers key nucleus remains with Lynch Medalist Bradley Cox-Goodyer ready to back up a stellar individual year, Coach Taylor Whitford ready to lead from the front and the likes of stars Jay Foon, Jack Avent, Mark Walsh, Tom Bennett, Zach Burt, Josh Ponting and Bart McCulloch still at the club. It is a list that is showing no signs of slowing down with oodles of talent and age on their side.

Whitford sees cross-town rivals Launceston as one of the teams to possibly usurp the Bombers at the top of the competition given their strong finish to last season and their recruitment of players of the ilk of Mitch Thorp and Dylan Riley from Devonport. Whitford also expects the usual suspects of Lauderdale, Clarence, and Glenorchy to be up there with the Tigers on the radar after some strong recruiting with the likes of Will Campbell and Ryan Matthews.

Despite being both minor premiers and premiers last year, North Launceston are still looking to improve from the almost perfect season that confirmed their status as the state’s yardstick.

In quite a scary statistic for the rest of the competition, in the Grand Final last year, North kicked 21 goals and 22 behinds, meaning an improvement on that inaccuracy could easily pull them further from the rest of the field.

Roos looking to go the distance

New member of the TSL Digital Media Team Josh Duggan looks at southern powerhouse Clarence ahead of season 2018.


TSL Inception: 2009 (Founded 1884)

Nickname: Roos

Home Ground: Blundstone Arena

Guernsey Colours: Red and White

Club President: Roger Viney

Head Coach: Jeromey Webberley

Captain: Jackson O’Brien

Biggest rival: Lauderdale


2017 Re-cap:

2017 was a year of great improvement for the Roos as they took enormous steps forward to finish the Home and Away Season in second place on the ladder.

Jackson O’Brien will again be pivotal for the Roos in 2018 but will be without Sam Siggins  IC: Solstice Digital

The Roos went out of the finals in straight losses, dropping matches to Lauderdale and Launceston – two sides they had the better of during the home and away campaign.

Although the Roos were unable to break through for a finals win, the side did have some individual success with James Holmes recognised as the Matthew Richardson Young Player of the Year and top 10 Alastair Lynch Medal placings for ruckman Sam Siggins (who has now left the club), Brady Jones and Jackson O’Brien.



2018 Preseason:

Clarence entrered the offseason with a dual focus of building their team chemistry and integrating new players with the recruitment of several key signings from around the state, including dual William Leitch Medalist Troy Cunliffe from SFL club Lindisfarne.

Ryan Edmondson is a versatile defender, also from Lindisfarne, and will slot straight into the side, while past player Ryan Bailey has returned after his stint with Brighton in the SFL while Taylor Williamson also returns to the club after time interstate,

Other additions include Chris Nield from the Tigers, who will provide size and strength up forward, Billy Sharman from Devonport and Fletcher Seymour from OHA – two inside midfielders who can win the contested ball.

Clarence have taken a slightly different tact to last year’s preseason; giving the players a more manageable workload as they aim to reach the finals in better shape than last year.

“Last year we focused heavily on fitness and game plan, which we thought ultimately burnt us out at the back-end of last year… we’ve been a bit more relaxed this year,” Clarence coach Jeromey Webberley said.

James Holmes impressed across his first year in the TSL. IC: Solstice Digital

Clarence will enter the 2018 season without stalwart Ian Callinan, but is confident there are a host of young players ready to step up into leadership roles like James Holmes and Keegan Wylie who were so impressive across 2017.


With a great youth system and some targeted recruiting over the off season, Clarence has signaled that they’re here to stay in Premiership contention. Last year’s showing gave confidence that the side is around the mark, and they’ve adapted after learning a few lessons the hard way last year.

The Roos road to glory starts with rivals Lauderdale in round 1. A bitter feud that always delivers. Clarence will be eager to avenge, still smarting from a finals loss in their most recent meeting

Mark your calendar. Clarence meets Lauderdale in rounds one, eight and 15 in three blockbuster encounters that will be unmissable viewing.







2018 TSL Fixture available NOW through new TSL App

The 2018 Tasmanian State League (TSL) fixture has been released with football fans now able to access the full fixture through the brand new TSL app.

The brand new app is now available for download on Android and Apple devices.

The new app will be the one stop shop for TSL fans –  with the latest video, news, social media updates, scores and more throughout the 2018 season. Fans can also go club by club and access their team’s fixture and add it to their device’s calendar.

The 2018 season has 21 rounds with three games a week and a bye. All seven teams will play each other three times across the year.

TSL Manager Carl Saunder is excited to see the fixture released and is looking forward to the first bounce on March 30.

“We are now into March and it is about this time that footy fans start counting down the sleeps until the first bounce.

“We are excited about our new TSL app, it will keep all football lovers up to speed on all things TSL and provide strong engagement for those connected to the competition.”

The season will kick off with plenty of rivalry – including a feud that has blossomed in the off-season with North Hobart hosting the Tigers. It doesn’t stop there as the two teams many consider as premiership favourites – Launceston and North Launceston collide and eastern shore rivals Clarence and Lauderdale square off in an exciting opening round.

“It has been a challenging process as devising fixtures is never easy but the seven-team model does see every team meet three times,” said Saunder.

“We are looking forward to footy kicking off on Good Friday and there is no better way to get things going than with fierce rivalry.”

The Mercury Cup fixture is also live on the new app and the Wrest Point TSL Women’s competition fixture will be released in the coming days and will be added to the app.

The app is available on Apple devices here and Android devices here.



TSL leadership meets

AFL Tasmania management held a meeting with Tasmanian State League (TSL) Presidents today in Campbell Town.

The focus of the meeting was on the season ahead as well as determining key actions to help address present challenges within the competition.

The meeting opened with an update from new CEO Trisha Squires with reference to the review into the Future Directions of Tasmanian Football report.
TSL Manager Carl Saunder worked through TSL competition structure and financials with discussion from all parties.Tasmanian Football Council Manager Jackson Hills presented on league affiliation and competitive balance frameworks and AFL State League and International Manager Simon Laughton also presented to the group.

As part of the meeting, the group reviewed the structure and financial model of other state leagues competitions – including a benchmarking exercise which compared state leagues across Australia with direct AFL contribution. This exercise highlighted similar challenges across state leagues, however, it also revealed minimal AFL funding differences across the competitions.

The key outcomes of the meeting were as follows:

  • AFL, AFL Tasmania and all seven TSL clubs are committed to the TSL.
  • A North-West TSL presence is an urgent priority with immediate consultation needing to place in the region led by AFL Tasmania with the key stakeholders, including North West clubs, leagues and the wider football community.
  • Wide agreement from all parties to discuss and consider the structure and sustainability of clubs and the competition for 2019 and beyond, to inform the broader review of the Future Directions of Tasmanian Football report.
  • Each club will receive an increase to their TSL grant of up to 13%, additional finances of $25,000 also held aside to assist travel demands.

TSL Manager Carl Saunder said it was a passionate and productive meeting with all seven Presidents contributing to the discussion.

“It was fantastic to have a group of people demonstrate strong passion and commitment to the TSL competition.

“We presented on a range of topics and heard the views of all clubs across a productive and informative meeting.

“With the withdrawal of two clubs from the North-West Coast we have immediate and longer-term challenges to face into and this formed a large part of the focus of today’s meeting.

“A TSL presence on the North-West Coast is an urgent priority and AFL Tasmania will begin consultation with the North-West community, working with all the key stakeholders to find a TSL solution and plan for the region.”

Each club will get additional funding support in their TSL grants.

“TSL clubs will get an increased investment into their TSL grant of up to 13% to alleviate existing costs. The TSL will also hold aside additional funding to assist in addressing the North-West solution.

“Of course some clubs wanted more money but this will provide immediate relief to all clubs and we will continue to consider other options to assist clubs with travel demands and other areas of their operations.

“As a competition with our clubs we will look at the structure and sustainability of our clubs and the TSL to help to provide information to the working group reviewing the Future Directions of Tasmanian Football report.”



Burnie Football Club will not participate in the Tasmanian State League (TSL) in 2018. The club has advised AFL Tasmania that their TSL program will go into recess for the upcoming season.

Burnie Dockers have made the decision to go into recess as they couldn’t guarantee they could get through the entire season, fielding one team. In 2018, the club will explore the possibility of fielding teams in the NWFL. The TSL is hopeful of seeing a return of the Dockers into the competition in the future.

“It is not a decision made lightly by the board of the Burnie Football Club. It has been an exhaustive process and the bottom line is – we can’t field two sides and a one team statewide model would have left us extremely vulnerable,” Burnie President Steve Dowling explained.

“We’ve pushed it as hard as we could but it became clear fielding one team wasn’t a viable option, we don’t want to be forfeiting games of footy.

“We will explore options with the NWFL to avoid going into complete recess.

“This is not the end of the road for the club, administratively and financially the club is in a sound position.

“We have 132 years of history and we are going to protect our proud name and work hard to ensure another 132 years of history to come,” Dowling said.

TSL Manager Carl Saunder was disappointed with the news but pointed to learnings from other state leagues, demonstrating that a season out of action can help drive a bounce back.

“There is a comparison to be made between Burnie’s predicament and that of Frankston in the VFL.

“Frankston’s concerns were off-field and Burnie’s are on-field but the club took a year out to stabilise and that is what is hopefully ahead of the Dockers,” Saunder explained.

“The club had numbers for one team but didn’t have confidence they could complete the season without disruption to the competition. The integrity of the TSL competition was at the forefront of their decision making and I think that needs to be applauded.

“It is sad news but what it does show along with Devonport’s exit, is that the TSL is a two-team competition and that having one TSL team isn’t a sustainable model.”

“For now, the TSL is a seven-team competition but we want representation from the north-west coast in the TSL and we will work hard to make that an outcome,” Saunder said.

AFL Tasmania CEO Trisha Squires said Burnie’s exit signalled a wider problem in the region.

“This is not just a Burnie problem it is a north-west region problem.

“The facts can’t be denied that the north-west is under stress.

“The north-west region has lost 3000 men aged between 0-45 in the last five years, 10% of people on the north-west coast play football so that is roughly 300 players and 12 teams that have departed the region.

“The population has shifted and the structure of football on the north-west coast has not adjusted enough to combat the change.”

Despite their departure from the TSL, the club will continue to participate in the Wrest Point TSL Women’s competition.

“It is positive the club will continue in the TSLW and we hope to see them return to the Men’s competition sooner rather than later,” Squires said.

The TSL fixture will be adjusted to reflect the new competition format and will be released in the coming weeks.