The historic decision by the AFL to award an AFL license to Tasmania is a transformational moment for football to unite and grow at all levels in Tasmania. AFL Tasmania is determined to seize the moment to ensure local and community football grows and thrives well into the future.
Discussions have been ongoing with Tasmanian State League (TSL) clubs, particularly over the last 12 months, in regard to the status of their current licence agreements which conclude at the end of the 2024 season.
Throughout this period TSL clubs have consistently sought clarity for the future and have requested the maximum time possible to consider all options. To allow discussions to move to working through options with all stakeholders, AFL Tasmania has communicated to the seven TSL club presidents that TSL license agreements, in place until the end of the 2024 season, will not be extended.
The model for Tasmania’s involvement in the Victorian Football League men’s and women’s competitions is still being worked through but the timeline for the TSL coincides with the planned entry of Tasmanian teams into the VFL and VFLW from the 2025 season, ahead of Tasmania’s entry into the AFL competition, expected in 2028.
In order to ensure three strong football regions, it has been assessed that the best model for Tasmania is being part of the VFL and VFLW and the full pathway for men and women from NAB AFL Auskick through to the elite game.
There is a lot to learn from the successful Coates Talent League structure, which has three regional training groups and bases and puts our players up against talented boys and girls who make up half the total AFL and AFLW draft pool each year. Under the Coates Talent League model, Tasmanian players train in their region and represent the state with the boys and girls programs both performing well in recent times (boys – currently 1st / played in a preliminary final in 2022 and girls – currently 5th / finished 6th in 2022).
Head of AFL Tasmania, Damian Gill, said: “This is the most exciting and important period in the history of Tasmanian football, with the approval of an AFL license for the first time being a transformational moment for the game at all levels across the state.
“The status of Tasmania’s unprecedented involvement in the elite game and the VFL/W competitions significantly influences the structure that will underpin local, community, talent pathway and second-tier football in the state.
“AFL Tasmania is continuing to work through the model for the game at all levels that ensures the success of local and community football, to maximise participation and support pathway programs that produce the future stars of Tasmanian football.
“We want three strong and united football regions in our state underpinning our talent pathways, VFL/VFLW and AFL/AFLW teams. We are confident that in working with our key stakeholders we can build something special and we look forward to getting to work with everyone around the table to bring it to life.”