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.
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.”
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)