Boom recruits and emerging young talent has the Tigers as a team to watch in 2019, but as Bupa TSL Digital Reporter Hamish Spence highlights, coach Trent Baumeler’s hopes are simple. Spence runs the rule over what we can look forward to out of Tigerland in 2019.
Home Ground: Twin Ovals
Colours: Yellow and Black
Club President: Paul Gadomski
Head Coach: Trent Baumeler
Captain: Sam Rice
Biggest rival: North Hobart Demons
Ladder Position: 6th (W: 3, L: 15, 68.77%)
Best and Fairest (Ray Lorkin Medal): Mitch Carter
Leading Goalkicker: Luke Graham (29)
2018 was a frustrating year for the Tigers.
The Tigers went under a number of key changes heading into the season; a new Head Coach (Trent Baumeler), new President (Paul Gadomski) and a large amount of player movement over the off-season. They gained quality recruits who made an immediate impact like Blake Grant, Luke Graham, Edward Burrows-Cheng and Will Campbell; but lost key players like Hugh Dixon (who was drafted by Fremantle) and leading goalkicker Brandon Batchelor.
There was optimism heading into the season that the Tigers could make the finals for the first time. Unfortunately, the Tigers only registered three wins for the season. They made a good start, convincingly beating rival North Hobart in the Good Friday clash. They would go on to only two more games though, another against North Hobart and an impressive upset victory against Launceston.
The young Tigers were plagued by injuries to key players throughout the year. Marcus Davies and Ryan Matthews missed parts of the season, and Jack Doran and Lachy Clifford suffered injuries in the second half of the year.
Despite what the ladder indicated, the Tigers were competitive in a number of games against quality opponents like Lauderdale and North Launceston.
There is lot to be excited about for the Tigers in 2019, as they look to improve on last season.
The Tigers will benefit from entering a second season under the guidance of President Paul Gadomski and Coach Trent Baumeler. This stability is accompanied by the continued growth and development of their younger players.
The Tigers have also made a number of impressive recruitments over the off-season, while keeping the majority of their list together. This will help improve the Tigers starting line-up and provide some depth for when injury strikes, with B&F Runner-up Will Campbell already missing the start of the season due to a knee injury.
- Kieran Lovell (Hawthorn)
- Michael Paul (Huonville)
- Jarryd Drew (Burnie)
- Elijah Reardon (Cygnet)
- Marcus Gardner (University)
- Beau Adams (University)
- Alex Vincent (Huonville)
Kieran Lovell headlines an impressive list of recruits for the Tigers.
Lovell rejoins the Tigers after three seasons in the AFL with Hawthorn. During his time at the Hawks he played in two senior AFL games and was a part of the 2018 VFL Premiership with affiliate side Box Hill. Lovell will bolster the Tigers midfield with his AFL experience and impressive ability to rack up disposals.
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Jarryd Drew will also add to the Tigers midfield group. Drew is a hard bodied midfielder, who brings aggression around the ball. He will add experience both on and off the field as a playing assistant coach, having played in the VFL, NEAFL and TAC Cup.
Michael Paul and Elijah Reardon are massive additions to the Tigers forward line, an area earmarked for improvement this upcoming season. Paul fills the Tigers need for a big key position player up forward, while Reardon brings skill around goal and the ability to take some high flying marks.
- Mitch Carter (WA)
- Blake Grant (Southport NEAFL)
- Nic Hutchinson (St. Josephs GFNL)
The Tigers were able to retain the majority of their list, meaning a short list of departures for the upcoming season.
The loss of Mitch Carter is a huge blow to the Tigers. The two time reigning Ray Lorkin Medallist will be missed, having made the TSL Team of the Year in both of his two years at the club.
Blake Grant departs after an impressive year at the club, finishing third in the B&F.
Round 1: v North Launceston, 6:00pm Saturday the 30th of March, Twin Ovals (Saturday Night)
Round 4: v North Hobart, 2:30pm Friday the 19th of April, Twin Ovals (Good Friday)
Round 5: v Glenorchy, 3:00pm Thursday the 25th of April, KGV Oval (Anzac Day)
Round 11: v North Hobart, 2:00pm Saturday the 15th of June, North Hobart Oval (Indigenous Recognition)
Round 20: v Clarence, 2:00pm Saturday the 17th of August, Twin Ovals (Gadomski-Riewoldt Trophy)
The Tigers face a tough start to the season, playing both Grand Finalists (North Launceston and Lauderdale) and Glenorchy in the first five rounds. Playing some of the top teams in the competition should be an early indicator of how the Tigers will fare in 2019.
From the Coach:
Coach Trent Baumeler’s aspirations for 2019 are to simply improve.
“We understand we are coming from a long way back as a football club winning only three games last year. We will focus not so much on the outcome but on the incremental steps that will lead there,” he said.
The key area for improvement:
The Tigers are looking to improve their forward line and potency around goal in 2019.
“We will aim to tidy up our offence and try to score more in 2019, last year we were at times able to limit score allowing us to be competitive and be in the majority of games, but we now need to be able to put some score on the board.”
Baumeler noted that new recruits Michael Paul and Elijah Reardon, and leading goalkicker Luke Graham continuing his TSL team of the year form; should provide the Tigers with some more avenues to goal.
“We will maintain our defensive edge and now strive to add the next layer of offence.”
Impressive performers over the off-season:
Baumeler named new recruit Kieran Lovell and Ryan Matthews, who battled with injury last season, as standard setters.
“Ryan Matthews and Kieran Lovell have set the standard for our midfield group, with Ryan completing his first full pre-season since he has been in Tasmania.”
He also praised young players Lochie Griggs and Ben Donnelly for their performance.
“Lochie Griggs and Ben Donnelly upon his return to us from the Devils program have had a great back half to pre-season post-Christmas.”
Breakout players in 2019:
Baumeler identified Blake McCulloch and Brady Rees as key parts of the Tiger’s defensive group, who look set to take their game to another level.
“Their work across pre-season has been first class and we expect them to take steps forward with their football again in 2019.”
The team to beat in 2019:
Baumeler named three teams who he thinks will be around the mark in 2019.
“You can’t go past the grand finalists of the last two years North Launceston and Lauderdale as the teams we are all chasing. Glenorchy will also be an extremely tough opponents with a number of returning players back to the club.”
The Tigers are set to improve heading into the 2019 season, looking to transform some of those competitive losses from last season into wins this year. Finals might just be out reach for the moment, but their continued growth and development, combined with a bevy of new recruits will see them win more games in 2019.