The 2021 Tasmanian State League (TSL) Team of the Year has been selected.
All seven TSL clubs were asked to nominate players they believed worthy of Team of the Year consideration. An assembled TSL panel then selected the best 22 of the 2021 season.
The selection panel picked the team and positions as if the team were to play a game.
The TSL Coach of the Year was voted on by the seven TSL coaches, who all submitted their votes to TSL management, with Kingborough coach Trent Baumeler coming out on top.
Player summaries thanks to Simon Andrews, Sam Kenny and Paige Thompson.
BP: Alec Wright – Launceston (17 games, first time Team of the Year)
One of the best intercept marks in the competition, Wright has been influential in Launceston’s ability to rebound from defensive 50 with 17 disposals and four marks per game.
Along with his defensive efforts, Wright has also assisted in Launceston’s lethal attack, ranked #3 in total goal assists. At just 21, big things are ahead of the young utility.
FB: Zac Buechner – Clarence (18 games, first time TOTY)
Buechner has emerged as one of the TSL’s most reliable key defenders in 2021, thriving in his new leadership role.
Buechner is an imposing and intimidating sight for any key forward, consistently leading by example to shut down key forwards and apply immense pressure, leading the competition for pressure acts with 7.3 per game.
BP: Corey Nankervis – North Launceston (17 games, fourth time TOTY)
A no-fuss operator, Nankervis has been critical in North Launceston conceding just 53 points per game this season.
Averaging four spoils, three rebound 50s and a couple of marks per game, Nankervis rarely stuffs the stat sheet, but is even more rarely beaten, handling the competition’s star forwards with aplomb week-in, week-out. Solid as a rock.
HBF: Michael Stingel – North Launceston (17 games, first time TOTY)
Stingel has exploded onto the scene in 2021, averaging 18 disposals, four marks, three rebound 50s and four tackles per game. Known for his run from half back, Stingel is arguably the best of the Northern Bombers’ debutants this year. Looks poised to become a star of the competition.
CHB: Harrison Gunther – Glenorchy (14 games, third time TOTY)
Despite missing parts of the 2021 season due to some VFL appearances with North Melbourne, Gunther has still delivered a Team of the Year-worthy campaign.
One of the best highflyers in the TSL, Gunther has been a ball magnet in the air, averaging 7.9 marks and 2.8 contested marks per game. An ever-reliable backman, Gunther has also travelled forward on occasion this year, averaging 1.5 goals, underlining his reputation as a gun utility.
HBF: Jeromey Webberley – Clarence (12 games, fourth time TOTY)
The Clarence playing coach has been a backline general this year, commanding his troops to another finals appearance.
Webberley has missed several games due to injury but has been as good as ever while on the park, averaging 25 disposals, four tackles and five marks. A big game performer, his most impressive game saw him rack up 39 touches against North Launceston in round 16.
W: Jake Hinds – Launceston (14 games, 27 goals, second time TOTY)
Hinds has played a pivotal role in Launceston’s success this season, even captaining the side during Jobi Harper’s absence.
Becoming one of the TSL’s most prolific goal-kicking midfielders in 2021, Hinds averaged two goals and 24 disposals a game, stamping himself as a major threat when rotating closer to goal. Second in the race for the Cripps Player of the Year award, Hinds will be looking to continue his form deep into the finals series.
C: Jay Foon – North Launceston (18 games, 15 goals, fifth time TOTY)
Foon has elevated his game in 2021 to become a general in North Launceston’s midfield, stepping up in his first year as skipper.
A strong performer in the Cripps Player of the Year race, Foon’s ability to find it on the outside and create scoring opportunities for his team has been second-to-none. With five score involvements per game to pair with his 26 disposals, there is no doubting that Foon is a classy operator.
W: Jack Avent – North Launceston (16 games, 11 goals, first time TOTY)
Avent has been a major part of North Launceston’s midfield for a number of years now, and continues to impress.
A consummate professional, Avent goes about his business week-in, week-out, allowing his higher-profile midfield teammates to shine. Averaging 22 touches a game along with a league-high eight loose-ball gets, Avent runs hard all day for his team and can hurt you on the inside and outside.
HFF: Brad Cox-Goodyer – North Launceston (18 games, 33 goals, seventh time TOTY)
The Northern Bombers playing coach led by example this year, kicking 33 goals while also recording some huge numbers across the ground.
A modern great of Tassie footy, Cox-Goodyer averaged 26.6 disposals, 6.8 clearances and 1.9 goals a game this season, putting him in the top five for total disposals, clearances, and goals for 2021.
A highlight came in round 13 against the Tigers, with Cox-Goodyer gathering 35 disposals (22 contested) at 80% efficiency and kicking 3 goals. An excitement machine with a penetrating kick, you can always be assured that a few ‘BCG’ moments will appear in the highlights.
CHF: Thomas Bennett – North Launceston (18 games, 30 goals, fourth time TOTY)
Bennett is always a threat in the Northern Bombers’ attacking half, demonstrated by his 30-goal season.
An important target up forward, Bennett averaged an impressive 1.6 goals a game, while also ranking second in the league for total inside 50 marks (44). Bennett isn’t afraid to apply the pressure either, ranking an equal second for total tackles inside 50. Consistent, dependable, and a large contributor to North Launceston’s successful season thus far.
HFF: Jay Blackberry – Launceston (17 games, 27 goals, second time TOTY)
The Launceston star is one of the minor premier’s most important players and has had an outstanding season playing across half forward, making him an instant Team of the Year lock.
Blackberry recorded a league-high 106 inside 50s and 23 score assists in 2021, while also kicking 27 goals himself.
Dangerous in and around the contest, Blackberry has been at his exceptional best this year, as demonstrated by his Cripps Player of the Year title. Just keeps on keeping on.
FP: Luke Graham – Kingborough (16 games, 28 goals, second time TOTY)
Graham has continued to show why he is one of the most exciting forwards in the league, stepping up in the absence of the injured Tyler Carter to lead the Tigers’ forward line throughout the back half of the campaign.
One of the most competitive and creative players in the league, Graham averaged over three tackles and five contested disposals a game, as well as 2.4 marks and 1.6 goals. Graham kicked 28 goals to rank among the league’s best.
Graham is also reliable in clutch moments, as demonstrated by his matchwinning effort against the ‘Roos in round 19.
FF: Dylan Riley – Launceston (13 games, 59 goals, third time TOTY)
Riley kicked 59 goals to win the Hudson Medal, despite going down with a season-ending injury halfway through the season.
Riley averaged 4.5 goals per game and still led the league for total marks inside 50 despite his injury. 19 goals across rounds four and five demonstrated Riley’s dominance and consistency inside 50.
FP: Brandon Leary – North Launceston (15 games, 33 goals, first time TOTY)
One of the most exciting young players in the league, Leary finished the season with an outstanding 33 goals to finish second in the race for the Hudson Medal.
Such a return makes it hard to believe that Leary made his senior debut in 2021, with his bag of tricks making him a difficult matchup for opposition defences. Leary’s development is a tantalising prospect for the Northern Bombers.
RU: Marcus Gardner – Kingborough (17 games, 12 goals, first time TOTY)
Gardner has stood out as one of the most improved players in the competition during season 2021, where he has dominated the ruck position for the Tigers, despite often playing a lone hand.
The big man’s marking ability is of the utmost value to his side, offering an outlet target down the line, as well as a tall target inside 50. Averaged over 37 hit outs per game.
RR: Sam Siggins – Lauderdale (18 games, 6 goals, fourth time TOTY)
The reigning Alastair Lynch medallist has had another outstanding year for the Bombers, leading from the front in his unique ruck/rover role.
Siggins has averaged a massive 142.8 Premier Data points in 2021, along with topping the list for disposals, contested possessions and clearances.
Lauderdale’s 2021 campaign was challenging, but Siggins again emerged as one of the competition’s true stars.
RO: Eddie Cole – Kingborough (18 games, 5 goals, first time TOTY)
Cole’s decision to return home to the TSL is one that has been very popular with fans of the yellow and black. Essentially filling the midfield role left by Kieran Lovell, Cole brought serious tenacity and hunger to his duties in 2021.
Cole is in the top five in the competition for contested disposals, clearances and hard-ball-gets whilst also dominating the tackles count with 9.4 a game.
You know what Cole is going to bring to the table any given weekend. One of the recruits of the year.
INT: Cody Thorp – Launceston (14 games, 26 goals, first time TOTY)
One of the most imposing figures in the competition, Thorp has played a critical role in Launceston’s march to finals footy.
Often the tallest target inside 50, Thorp can clunk big marks and bring the ball to ground for his smaller forwards. A ruthless competitor, Thorp adds great flexibility to this side with his capacity to play as a tall forward and to provide ruck support around the ground.
INT: Josh McGuinness – Lauderdale (17 games, 19 goals, fifth time TOTY)
The Lauderdale skipper could be described as the ultimate utility, having spent time right across the park in 2021.
Averaging 24 disposals, five marks, a goal and five rebound 50s per game, McGuinness oozes class, and offers this team great flexibility and leadership with his capacity to play across half back, as a forward target or even as a midfielder. Enjoyed a haul of seven goals against the Blues in round 14.
INT) Ethan Jackson – Clarence (16 games, 4 goals, second time TOTY)
Jackson has become crucial to the way Clarence play, averaging 20 disposals and four hard ball gets a game. Jackson has a knack for catching the eye, combining flashy run and carry with inside grunt. A strong campaign, deserving of a Team of the Year nod.
INT) Ben Kamaric – Glenorchy (17 games, 12 goals, second time TOTY)
A dynamic midfielder, Kamaric enjoyed another strong campaign, despite a less-than-ideal season for his Magpies.
Kamaric averaged 27 touches per game, and ranked top 10 in the competition for disposals, contested disposals, inside 50s and tackles. Adds great power and explosiveness to this team.
Selection headaches were aplenty with a number of players unlucky to miss the cut.
The competition’s midfield depth made on-ball spots difficult to finalise, with Tigers Lachlan Clifford and Will Campbell and ‘Roo Jarrod Harper stiff to miss.
Michael Musicka (Launceston) and Jack Sandric (North Hobart) were also considered, as was Fletcher Seymour, who played some strong football for the Blues after returning from injury.
Clarence forwards Colin Garland and Josh Green were also knocking on the door for selection, but couldn’t quite squeeze in to a strong forward set up.
Young Tiger Zach Adams was strongly considered for a wing spot after a consistent season, while teammate Elijah Reardon and Lauderdale’s Oscar Shaw were unlucky to miss in defence.
Marcus Gardner pipped Northern Bomber Alex Lee for the lone ruck spot, with Launceston’s Cody Thorp named on the bench to provide flexibility in this role. Lee could consider himself unlucky, putting together another quality season in the red and black.