North opens TSL doors

North Melbourne and AFL Tasmania have announced a new partnership that will enable Tasmanian State League (TSL) players to be eligible for selection in North’s VFL side.

North VFL Manager Andrew Carson said the partnership, which extends to VFLW and the Melbourne University Women’s Football Club (MUWFC), is designed to help retain the TSL talent pool in both the men’s and women’s competitions and reduce the number of players leaving to pursue football careers interstate.

“We’re committed to developing the game and players in Tasmania and jumped at this opportunity to further enhance the prospects of TSL players,” Carson said.

“These players will have the opportunity to come and train and play with us and be exposed to the AFL standards and requirements we set for our VFL players.”

Carson said the agreement would be mutually beneficial.

“There is an added bonus for these players who will now have exposure across two State League competitions. The VFL produced another five players through the National and Rookie Drafts this year, and we hope to help create more draft prospects out of Tasmania.

“We hope the players will be able to take their learnings and experiences back to their TSL clubs and help with the development of club programs.”

Tasmanian State League Manager, Carl Saunder, said the partnership was a tremendous outcome for the state.

“We continue to partner with North Melbourne to develop our elite talent pathway and this is an extension of that,” Saunder said.

“As a competition, we are really excited about this partnership with North Melbourne and the opportunities it provides for both male and female players.

“This is an opportunity for TSL players to improve and impress and for our TSL clubs to retain promising talent and remain strong.

“For our TSLW players, it is a fantastic opportunity to impress in the VFLW with the Tassie Roos just around the corner.”

North’s affiliation with Tasmania continues to go from strength to strength, not only with the announcement of the AFLW side, but also at a grassroots level.

Pies swoop on credentialed Kennedy

In a coup for the club, Glenorchy District Football Club have unveiled Paul Kennedy as their new senior coach for season 2018.

Kennedy arrives at KGV with a wealth of football and coaching experience from the VFL, SANFL and TAC Cup. He also has a basketball and Gaelic football background and has a degree in Sports Coaching from Deakin University, studying under David Parking and Joyce Brown.

The role Kennedy will perform is expanded to not only see him coach the senior TSL team but also lead the club’s talent and junior development programs.

Glenorchy President John McCann described the acquisition as a boost for not just the club but for the league.

“Paul’s background, having studied at Deakin University and learned from a number of highly-respected coaches in the VFL and SANFL, as well as working under the Hawthorn program while at the Box Hill Hawks, made him an excellent candidate to fulfil this expanded role,” the President said.

The club has made development a priority and McCann sees Kennedy’s appointment as integral in investing in their homegrown talent.

“Clubs that are successful over the long term excel at developing talent from within, and we’ve identified that as a key focus for the Glenorchy District Football Club as we look to stay at the pointy end of the TSL ladder,” he said.

Whilst highly credentialed in coaching with assistant roles at Coburg, Box Hill, Frankston and Dandenong Stingrays, Kennedy also played 144 senior VFL/SANFL games at Sandringham, Sturt and Frankston. It is a wealth of playing and coaching expertise that makes Kennedy an exciting appointment, for club and competition.

It is Tasmanian connections that lead the experienced football mind to swoop on the Glenorchy job, with Tasmanian Tom Cleary nudging Kennedy in the direction of the Magpies. Additionally, he also has strong connections with former Burnie Coach Clint Proctor and a number of Tasmanian players, including Zac Webster who he will link back up with at KGV.

“Everyone I spoke to about Glenorchy told me it was a strong club, it was well run and it just seemed like a really good situation to come into a club that was up at the pinnacle of TSL and take on the challenge of keeping them there,” the incoming coach explained.

“This is another big step forward (for me) I really appreciate what the club wants to do in terms of it being a wider role.

“I think if you look at the successful clubs of Geelong, Hawthorn and Sydney, they have been able to stay at the top through a culture of development…clubs that don’t have that have their time at the top and then they drop away. I see Glenorchy at that really important time now where we’ve had our time at the top but can we stay there.”

The 39-year-old is excited about the club’s talent development focus as well as the drive of the senior playing group to return to premiership glory.

“What really heartens me is how many of the players have signed two-year deals and want to stay, it is a really strong sign.

“The leadership group stepped up first and signed on and others have followed.

“I’m not going to talk premierships as it is November but it is a strong list. I was speaking to the senior players and they are really driven to get back to where they were. The club expects high things and I expect high things.”

Kennedy isn’t expecting wholesale change with his focus on developing talented youth to compliment an already strong senior list.

“We have a great senior end to our list but if we can get our juniors coming through then we will be in a really good position.”

The club has poured cold water on rumours of mass exits and Kennedy is confident in his vision for the club and in communicating and listening to his senior brigade, he sees a promising 2018 for the black and white.

“I think they (the players) will be keen to be on board.

“The overwhelming sense I have from the players is they want to make up for what happened last year.

“Of course there are people chasing them, there are some great players at this club that would help clubs at all levels and we just have to close those deals with those players and show them that Glenorchy will be a great place to be in 2018.”

The former Box Hill senior assistant has signalled he will look outside of the TSL to fill in some key gaps but is keen to back in local youth. The Magpies pre-season commences next Monday (13 November 2017) and Kennedy has flagged some hard work ahead.

“I’m really big on teaching the game plan from day one.  They have had a good grounding under Aaron (Cornelius), from his time in Brisbane he has brought a really modern style here.

“There is going to be a lot of hard work…the teams that win flags are generally among the fittest in the competition.”


North Hobart’s Bear ready to growl

He was a Premiership player for the club in 2003 and in 2018 he is the main in charge of leading North Hobart back toward footy’s promised land.

Richard ‘Bear’ Robinson has been confirmed as North Hobart’s new coach for season 2018, following the recent departure of General Manager and Coach, Kane Richter.

Robinson steps up to the top job after fulfilling the role of assistant at the club. The experienced journeyman has been in the system for some time, including serving as an assistant in Clarence’s 2010 premiership and after serving a lengthy apprenticeship, the man they call ‘Bear’ is now ready to take charge.

“I thought this group needs someone that has been there for the last couple of years to keep improving and to continue the journey and it is about time I got out of my comfort zone a bit and had a crack.

“It has always been an ambition but you just never think you are going to get the chance.”

The self-confessed footy nut said he fell out of love with the game and it was a return to his home club to work with Kane Richter that rekindled his affinity for the game.

“Five or six years ago I nearly took on the Glenorchy job but I stayed at Clarence and then coached at St Virgils. Obviously, my time at the Saints wasn’t ideal and I sort of lost my love for the game a bit and lost a bit of confidence. And then in the last few years with Kane (Richter), I got that love back again.

“When Kane (Richter) decided to move I decided to throw my hat in the ring (for the job).

While he was in favour of the change back to the traditional moniker, it was not the shift to North Hobart that inspired ‘Bear’ to put his hand up for the top job.

“Whether we were called Hobart City or North Hobart I didn’t care, I was still keen to have a crack at it. It is the people and the players that are important.”

He played in the club’s last premiership 14 years ago and is keen to steer the Dees back up the top end of the ladder but acknowledges it will not be a quick journey.

“It has been a big part of my life and I’ve made some lifelong friends that are still very close today and it is nice that they are going to jump back on board and help the club.

“I’m here to keep developing these kids and continue the work Kane started.”

To see the Demons breakthrough for a finals berth, a greater emphasis will be needed on pressure, Robinson explains.

“Defensively we need to get better we have conceded too many points, all around the ground we need to create a stronger emphasis on restricting the opposition and create more pressure.”

Plenty has been made of fellow former Demons assistant Trent Baumeler’s move to the Tigers, and what it may mean for the Demons playing stocks. Robinson welcomes a friendly rivalry between the two young outfits with his mate now a worthy adversary.

“We are good friends, we were on the phone having a good laugh looking at the paper. Kane Richter thinks he is the Alastair Clarkson of the TSL.

“It is good he has an opportunity as well, he deserves it and I wish him all the best.”


Tigers unveil new coach

The Tigers have become the latest TSL team to lock down a coach, unveiling the sought after Trent Baumeler as the club’s new head honcho for season 2018.

Baumeler arrives at Twin Ovals after two seasons at the Hobart City Demons, while also impressing with recent work with the state academy, coaching the Under 17s team.

The new Tigers coach replaces Aaron Vince at the helm, who sensationally stepped in at the last hour following the sacking of Scott Mathieson on the eve of the season.

The Tigers beat off rival suitors to secure the services of Baumeler with North Hobart also keen to secure the young coach for the upcoming season.

While he crosses over from a TSL rival, Baumeler is no stranger to Kingborough, spending two years playing for the club in 2005/06. His yellow and black return makes it the club’s fourth coach since joining the TSL, with the hope that their newest arrival will lead the club to September action.

“The Board believes that Trent will be an outstanding Coach for the Tigers group and we look forward to watching him implement his plan with the playing group beginning with pre-season which will start in the next couple of weeks,” President Steve Old shared on the club’s Facebook page.

Baumeler is excited to take the step up to senior coaching with the title of Tigers Senior Coach sitting well with the former Demons assistant.

“There are only nine of these jobs going around in the state so it is an honour and a privilege to get an opportunity to be a senior coach but the hard work starts now.

“I’ve got to get to work making sure we retain our list, getting pre-season organised and meeting the players and the board to start to assimilate myself into the Tigers Footy Club.”

Baumeler was approached by the Tigers to present for the role of Senior Coach and he says the impressive process and vision the club has made Twin Ovals a desirable destination for his coaching future.

“The board, the facility, the playing list they have been developing over the journey since they came into the TSL were all appealing factors. If we can put some good things in place I think we can make some real quick strides in what we can achieve on and off the field,” he said.

The Tigers faithful are eager to taste success and while Baumeler is similarly keen for improvements on ladder position, he preaches a broader focus.

“It would be beautiful to have some quantum jumps and improve massively in the win/loss column but firstly it is about relationships and culture and getting some structure and standards. Not just in how we play footy but how we act as people around the club and with the footy community.”

While the Tigers opportunity excites, Baumeler admits it was a difficult decision to leave North Hobart.

“It is always hard to leave, you spend two years there and you spend time at a footy club you build relationships, you get close with people and you see their improvement. It is always a difficult decision to move on but when you get an opportunity that is new and exciting, where you can put your stamp on things with a new group it is really hard to pass up.”

The incoming Tigers supremo is confident he is ready for the step up into senior coaching, fulfilling a long-held ambition.

“The good thing about working with Kane (Richter) is he gave the coaching staff a lot of rope to make decisions but also to implement things into the gameplan, to take blocks of training and pre-game stuff. That along with the exposure to the state academy system, working with Matty Armstrong and Lance Spaulding has really helped my development, it enables you to fast track yourself pretty quickly and I feel pretty comfortable sitting in the senior coach’s chair.”

“I spent some time at Hutchins developing my coaching craft and I didn’t want to be one of those blokes that sat back and thought I should have gone and had a crack at coaching TSL level. So there was always that little ambition and Kane (Richter) was great in pushing me to try and become a senior coach so I imagine he is smiling as well.”

In taking on the job, Baumeler wants his 2018 Tigers to be known for defensive pressure and effort.

“Effort is key. We want to play high defensive pressure and I also want the guys to be aggressive with how they use the footy and not be afraid to make mistakes and take the game on and use the big ground with leg speed.

“Defensive pressure and effort for 120 minutes is the first building block and getting that mindset right and the offence will flow from that.”




Round 8 – 20/05/2017

1:00PM – West Park


Burnie Dockers
B: B. Keiselis, D. Brazendale, B. Boag
HB: H. Walters, B. Murray, J. Dowling
C: E.  Jackson, R.  Barrett, B.  Challis
HF: D. Crane, N. McKenna, F. Poke
F: C. Proctor, J. Cox, B. Rubock
R: T. Morrison, N. Walters, S. Kalbfell
Int: E. Smith, B. Miller, J. Murray, T. Charles
Emg: B. Hayes, J. Weller, A. Bates, G. Dowling

B: J. Holmes, J. Bailey, Z. Mastrocola
HB: M. Ling, K. Wylie, T. Castle
C: G.  Chambers, J.  O’Brien, K.  Palmer-Hughes
HF: A. Grace, M. Blackburn, J. Harper
F: T. Standen, L. Murfitt-Cowen, J. Webberley
R: S. Siggins, B. Jones, J. O’Brien
Int: W. Wall, J. Brenner, S. Bradford, M. Fisher
Emg: K. Howlett, N. Douglas, A. Gaul, C. Leek

In: L. Murfitt-Cowen, J. O’Brien, K. Palmer-Hughes, S. Bradford
Out: I. Callinan, Z. Buechner, T. Hanslow


Round 8 – 20/05/2017

2:00PM – North Hobart Oval

Hobart City Demons
B: H. Williams, L. Azzopardi, M. Bidgood
HB: R. Cowie, H. Williams, B. Walker
C: T.  Millhouse, W.  Campbell, C.  Kilpatrick
HF: S. Willis, J. Maple, J. Williamson
F: B. Grant, K. Richter, J. Barwick
R: C. White, R. Matthews, E. Cole
Int: H. Johnstone, S. Caswell, K. Wisniewski, J. Charlton
Emg: M. O’Neill, J. McCulloch, C. Ransom, J. Guesdon

In: S. Caswell, C. White
Out: N. Baker,  N. Hutchinson

B: J. Boyce, S. Vandervelde, M. Hutchinson
HB: C. Savage, J. Nunn, S. Williams
C: J.  Smith, S.  Rundle, T.  Sheppard
HF: R. Kelly-Mansell, A. Wright, S. Lonergan
F: S. Whiting, N. O’Donoghue, J. Harris
R: H. Leedham, J. Blackberry, B. Taylor
Int: C. Sheppard, C. Downie, J. Donnellan, B. Palfreyman
Emg: M. Blazely, L. Gee, G. Holt, M. Hodge

In: J. Donnellan, B. Palfreyman, C. Savage, C. Downie,
Out: C. Brown, R. Tyrrell, C. Jones, J. Hinds


Round 8 – 20/05/2017

KGV – 2:00PM

B: W. Atkin, J. Arnold, J. Arnold
HB: B. Quinn, J. Geard, B. Webb
C: T.  Butterworth, R.  Mott, J.  Webb
HF: J. Millhouse, M. Dilger, M. Joseph
F: T. Morgan, J. Bowden, C. Salter
R: C. Duffy, M. Rainbird, L. Smith
Int: D. Grant, B. Kamaric, J. Farrow, C. Mcknight
Emg: C. Goodsell, A. Brennan, D. Coppleman, A. Roberts.

In: T. Butterworth, M. Joseph, M. Dilger
Out: H. Parker,  M. Hills,  H. Pearce,  H. Gunther

B: S. Hill, M. Kleverkamp, E. Stanley
HB: J. Roberts, A. Hill, J. McGuinness
C: R.  Sutton, P.  Bellchambers, R.  McManus
HF: B. Walsh, E. Whish-Wilson, T. Boscott
F: R. Hill, R. Wiggins, D. Fyfe
R: H. Smith, N. Franklin, T. Havea
Int: D. Johns, B. Newell, A. Hevey, L. Meagher
Emg: C. Laoumtzis, C. Brown, C. Hooker, J. Perkins

In: A. Hevey, N. Franklin
Out: J. Williams, R. Hooker


Round 8 – 20/05/2017


North Launceston

B: H. Goss, J. Pearce, C. Young
HB: C. Pearton, A. Richter-Salter, J. Foon
C: K.  Baker, B.  Cox-Goodyer, J.  Lockhart
HF: T. Couch, T. Bennett, K. Wadley
F: J. Avent, B. McCulloch, Z. Burt
R: A. Lee, M. Walsh, T. Whitford
Int: K. Thomas, D. Clayton, J. Singline, K. Curtis
Emg: J. Harris, J. Rowlands, M. Donnelly, B. Denman

In: K. Wadley, K. Thomas, D. Clayton, K. Curtis, J. Singline, H. Goss
Out: T. Mansell,  L. Hollmer,  T. Thomas,  J. Ponting,  R. Mansell,  T. Donnelly

B: T. Carter, T. Peterson, B. Graham
HB: M. Carter, C. Johns, M. Davies
C: B.  McCulloch, W.  Cleeland, M.  Booth
HF: J. Bilson, J. Pearce, C. Nield
F: B. Livingston, M. Walker, E. Brock
R: M. Gardner, S. Rice, L. Watt
Int: A. Webster, O. Burrows-Cheng, C. Rawson, T. Hughes
Emg: C. Woolley, J. Keogh, C. Sawdy, L. Griggs

In: T. Hughes, B. McCulloch, A. Webster, L. Watt, O. Burrows-Cheng, E. Brock,
J. Keogh, M. Booth

Out: T. Cowen, L. Clifford, B. Rees, H. Dixon, T. Gogolin, L. Gadomski, L. Griggs


Sonny day as Launceston go two from two

Written by Matt Hill

Launceston made it two from two to start the season with a convincing 62 point win over Burnie, at Windsor Park.

Launceston’s first home game of the season was an emphatic performance in what saw their slick ball movement and overlapping run dominate the Dockers in slightly wet conditions. A goal to Sonny Whiting within the first minute of the game signalled things to come for Launceston and Whiting, who enjoyed a day out up forward.

The Blues dominated the early stages of the first term to kick away to a 19 point lead mainly due to the dominance of forwards in Sonny Whiting (who kicked three goals in the first term), and Rulla Kelly-Mansell. Burnie did well to fight back in the later stages of the quarter with Jamieson House providing a strong forward target to help the visitors snatch a lead by one point at quarter time.

From there on in the game it was all Launceston with their fantastic quick ball movement and well executed game plan seeing them storm home over the Dockers. A six goal second quarter in the second set up Launceston’s lead as Corey Sheppard, Kelly-Mansell, Whiting, Palfreyman and Rundle all goaled for the Blues. At the other end, Launceston’s defence was rarely troubled in the second as Burnie struggled to get the ball dangerously into their forward fifty and hence only registered one behind for the term.

After the main break Burnie showed glimpses of finding a way back into the game but some crucial disposal errors cost them dearly. As well as an undisciplined act that saw a one hundred metre penalty which gifted the Blues a goal. The Dockers were able to trade goals with Launceston at stages but some inaccurate goal kicking made the score line a lot closer than what it could have been with the Blues booting two goals and five behinds compared to Burnie’s three goals straight for the stanza.

Down by 36 points going into the final term Burnie needed to shut down Launceston’s outside run and ball movement but unfortunately were not up for the challenge, as Launceston put the pedal to the metal and booted five goals to one in the last quarter to run out 62 point winners.

Jack Donnellan’s run and ball movement out of the backline set up a lot of Launceston’s play, teaming up effectively with Jordan Harris and Corey Sheppard the Blues had constant pressure on the Burnie defence. Rulla Kelly-Mansell and Sonny Whiting were extremely dangerous up forward, Kelly-Mansell presented all day and ran the Burnie defence off their feet; he kicked only two goals for the game but could have easily kicked five. Whilst partner in crime Whiting booted a monstrous seven goals in a match winning display. What was even scarier for the Burnie defence was that if the rain had have stayed away and Whiting kicked straight he could have been looking at a haul of more than ten goals. For Burnie, House was a hard battler up front for the Dockers kicking four goals in what was a tough day for the north west side.

Launceston had plenty of positives to take out of the game and with a mouth watering Good Friday clash next week against neighbours  North Launceston atUniversity Of Tasmania stadium, some added confidence will certainly put the Blues in a good mind set for next week’s cross town derby. A game not to be missed.

Burnie also take on rivals Devonport next week at West Park in a must win-game game for both sides. Both teams are coming off consecutive losses after the first two rounds and will desperately be searching for the four points in order to redirect their seasons.

Round 2 – 08/04/2017

Launceston                              4.1,  10.4,  12.9,  17.14  (116)

Burnie Dockers                          4.2,  4.3,  7.3,  8.6  (54)

GOALS, Launceston :
S. Whiting 7, R. Kelly-Mansell 2, C. Sheppard 2, J. Blackberry 1, Z. Griffiths 1, B. Palfreyman 1,
M. Spohn 1, S. Rundle 1, S. Lonergan 1

Burnie Dockers :
J. House 4, H. Walters 1, C. Proctor 1, F. Poke 1, J. Murray 1

BEST, Launceston :
J. Smith, J. Donnellan, S. Rundle, S. Whiting, C. Sheppard, R. Kelly-Mansell

Burnie Dockers :
J. House, C. Proctor, E. Jackson, R. Barrett, J. Cox

Introducing the Mercury Cup

The second tier competition previously known as the ‘Development League’ will now become the Mercury Cup, in an exciting new partnership between the Mercury and AFL Tasmania.

The Mercury Cup is the home of emerging talent across the state and is a showcase of what is to come for the Southern Cross Tasmanian State League (TSL).The Mercury’s support of the competition is part of a transformation of the competition model.

“We are delighted to partner with the Mercury for our statewide second tier competition, it will be an exciting competition to watch,” TSL Manager Carl Saunder said.

“Our best talent will play in the Mercury Cup before long and fruitful careers in our TSL or the AFL, it will be a breeding ground of future stars.”

“Historically the competition has been known as the ‘D’ league and it does not resonate well with what the competition actually is. It is a talent competition and an important stepping stone to senior statewide football.”

In 2018 and 2019 the competition will transform and transition to an age restricted talent competition, with an Under 23 age limit in 2018 and a Under 21 limit in 2019. This will assist the competition to better connect with the talent pathway and make for stronger development and more meaningful competition for young ambitious footballers.

“For a lot of young players it is their first experience of being involved in a TSL club environment and it’s an important breeding ground for players to hone their skills and all round game. 

“We look forward to the Mercury Cup providing a fitting stage for the best emerging young talented footballers,” Saunder explains. 

Mercury General Manager Damon Wise believes the partnership is a fantastic fit.

“Local footy is one of our key passions and we are rapt to be involved with promoting the league which helps develop the stars of the future,” Wise explains.

A new fixture for the Mercury Cup has been released with Burnie Dockers recent inclusion to the competition. CLICK HERE to access the Mercury Cup fixture.

The competition kicks off this Saturday with Tigers hosting Burnie at Twin Ovals from 10:30AM.

2017 TSL Season Preview – Tigers


Written by Alex FitzGerald

TSL Inception: 2014

Home Ground: Twin Ovals, Kingston

Guernsey Colours: Yellow and Black

Head Coach: Aaron Vince

Senior Assistant Coach: Brad Willis

Senior Coaching Staff: Marcus Davies, Jon Lister.

Captain: Tim Peterson

Leadership Group: TBC

Rivals: Hobart City Demons, Lauderdale Bombers

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

Round 3 vs Hobart City at Twin Ovals on April 14 (Good Friday)

Round 4 vs Glenorchy at KGV on April 25 (Anzac Day)

2016: Ninth

Ins: Mitchell Carter (Boulder City), Cameron Johns, Cameron Woolley, Hayden Crack, Josh Huizing (Huonville), Toby Cowen (Cygnet), Huw Graham, Ben Graham (Sandy Bay), Michael Booth, Ryan Rinaldi (year off)

Outs: Josh Halton (Cygnet), Daniel Golding, Jarrod Lawler, Ben Bowerman, Bevan Roberts, Luke Graham (Huonville), Jordon Roberts (Lauderdale), Micah Reynolds (Interstate), James Caulfield, Daniel Caulfield (Hobart Tigers)

2016 Recap:

2016 started well for the Tigers, smashing Hobart City in Round 1 and backing it up with a strong win over Clarence at home in Round 3.  From then on it was tough going, with a number of senior players such as Josh Halton, Marcus Davies, Tim Peterson and Jordon Roberts all succumbing to injury, and a number of big losses followed as a result. The young Tigers rallied to challenge Launceston and Lauderdale late in the season, showing glimpses of their potential, but by that stage finals were out of the question.

The new leader at the Twin Ovals, Aaron Vince!

2017 Pre-Season:

With the shock departure of newly appointed Head Coach Scott Matheson announced just a fortnight prior to the season opener against Burnie, it could be argued that the Tigers are heading into 2017 in less than ideal fashion.  President Steve Old has been quick to throw his support behind the young playing group and the board’s decision, with a replacement from inside the club in Aaron Vince, installed as new head honcho.  Senior Assistant Coach Brad Willis has already seen the positive effects that the off-season break has had on his charges, with all players eager to impress at training and putting their hands up to play Round 1.  The Tigers’ coaching group are pleased with how the whole list is developing over the pre-season, and believe every single player on the list is capable of playing senior football in 2017.  The professional approach shown by 2016 Best and Fairest winner Will Cleeland has impressed, with a club insider describing him as “at another level with his preparation.”

While the club are focused on team performance over that of individuals, the word from inside the Tiger camp is that Cameron Johns, Oliver Farid, Jack Pearce, Hugh Dixon and Jakob Lister have the potential to be break-out players this season.

The Season Ahead:

The Tigers will go into the season with a focus on improvement on last year’s scorelines and structures, and how they handle themselves both on and off the field.  Willis believes that Strength and Conditioning Coach Alistair De Winter has prepared his players to be more competitive physically against the bigger bodies in the TSL in 2017.  Off-season issues are believed to have brought the young Tigers closer together, a united front that cannot be underestimated when they take to the field this season.  Having a group of players recently surpassing the 50 games mark and the resultant experience and  maturity will also assist the Tigers throughout the 18 home and away matches.

The leadership group is still to be confirmed, but according to Willis it will consist of some younger players and those who have displayed leadership qualities across the pre-season.  If the Tigers stay fit and enthusiastic, play consistent football, and beat the teams they match up well on, such as Lauderdale, they have every chance to improve on last year’s ninth-place finish in 2017.

2017 Prediction: 7th-8th.

2017 TSL Preview – North Launceston

Written by Andrew Johnston.

Nickname: Bombers

Colours: Red and Black

Coach: Tom Couch

Captain: Taylor Whitford

Home Ground: University of Tasmania Stadium

Biggest Rival: Launceston

2016 Review: After premierships in 2014 and 2015, the Bombers had a strong season, getting through to a third successive Grand Final, where the club fell to Glenorchy

Ins: Tom Couch, Bart McCulloch

Outs: Daniel Roozendal

2017 Preview: The Bombers have lost Coach Zane Littlejohn to the role of the Brisbane Lions development coach. However, the club has gained an experienced head as their new coach, with Tom Couch joining the club. Last year, he was the strength and conditioning coach with Richmond, and has played at AFL level with Melbourne.

The club will be aiming to return to the top of the table, and to remain the benchmark of the competition this season. The club are looking incredibly fit, and early pre-season results show the club is tracking well towards another finals tilt.

Watch out for Launceston derby’s in rounds 3, 12 and 21, as well as Grand Final rematches with Glenorchy in rounds 7 and 16.

Solstice Digital: the former Melbourne Demon Tom Couch will lead North Launceston in 2017


The Coaches say on…

2017 Aspirations: “We want to be competitive in every game, and to play finals at the end of the year.”

Key Focus Areas of Improvement: “It’s not so much what we needed to work on, but more things that I felt are important. I brought in a few things I see as important, and put my spin on it. They’ve had a great pre-season. They attack every session, they care for each other and they push each other.”

Most Impressive Off-Season: Mark Walsh.

Who will have a breakout 2017: Mark Walsh, Jack Avent, Arion Rickter-Salter Jock White.

The Teams to Beat in 2017: “Glenorchy obviously being the reigning premiers. I think teams are quick to write off the previous champs in any league, but I think they’re still the team to beat.”

Prediction: 1st


2017 TSL Season Preview – Lauderdale

Written by Anthony Osborn.

Nickname: Bombers

Colours: Red and Black

Coach: Darren Winter

Captain: Bryce Walsh

Home Ground: Lauderdale Oval

Biggest Rival: Clarence

2016 Review: Lauderdale’s finished 4th in the regular season, but lost in the first semi-final against Burnie, marking a third successive year of semi-final heartbreak.

Ins: Jordan Roberts, Josh McGuinness

Outs: Jack Siggins, Kaine Waller, Michael Cassidy, Nick Dodge, Ryan Sweet, Ryan Wiggins, Adam Duggan, Weston Tate-Turvey, Alex Sweet, Jamie DiIenno, Josh Roberts, Zac Plant

2017 will see a new-look Lauderdale side continue to push for an elusive premiership after three successive semi-final losses. The departure of several key players, including Nick Dodge, Jack Siggins and former captain Michael Cassidy, has resulted in the southern Bombers having a strong focus on the continued development of a younger crop of players this off-season; while the addition of former Brisbane Lion Josh McGuinness looks set to strengthen the experience and skill of the squad significantly.

Keep an eye out for grudge matches against Eastern Shore rivals, Clarence, in rounds 3, 12 and 20.


The Coaches say on…

2017 Aspirations: “We have set our sights on playing finals footy

Key Focus Areas of Improvement: “Our key focus is to build on our team defensive pressure as well as developing the younger group of players we have coming through”

Most Impressive Off-Season: “Josh McGuinness has been our most impressive performer over the offseason. It’s been great having a player come back from the AFL who is prepared to put the team first band continue to help guys get better”

Who will have a breakout 2017: “Nat Franklin- a former captain of the Mariners. He had an injury interrupted season last year, but we are really looking forward to seeing this talented young man play”.

The Teams to Beat in 2017: “I think the two Launceston based teams will be very hard to combat this year”

Prediction: 4th – 6th