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gibbke
I've been in Qld for the entire lifespan of the Devils, left 12 years ago this weekend in fact, and to say the changes in Tassie footy in that time have been dramatic would be an understatement. AFL at York Park and the Devils, plus the disintegration of the Statewide League... Up here, I'm shielded from the North v South rubbish, but it seems that it's infected even this side, and the same arguments for the cricket side don't apply. It was necessary for the Tigers to base themselves in Hobart, but crowds aren't the focus of domestic cricket - the state teams are on equal terms on field, and are feeders for the national team. That's their function, and they get subsidised regardless of the crowds. It isn't that important that they get memberships or a following, because they have a different function. So the argument of centralisation in the Devils has a few flaws. Yes, training is better for a group when you're together, no argument. But that's where the unanimity ends. The North has dropped the Devils like a hot spud, and you don't need to look any further than the 8-2 split of games for Bellerive this year. I see no reason why it isn't 6-6 - the AFL is not a factor if we're talking the state team, which is a different scenario to Hawthorn. They train together, they play together - why is half the state denied the chance to see the team? This is not cricket, because you do need the memberships, you do need the crowds, and the facilities in both places are fantastic. The state govt said years ago that the North gets footy, the South gets cricket. This simplistic rationale has mutated into splitting the footy, but it's too far the other way. 6-6 says it's the state team, 8-2 says it's the Hobart Devils. The North has a perception that yet again they're getting shafted by the South, and this is why noone turns up. At my 2005 school reunion in Launceston, when the talk turned to footy the response from everyone was almost universal: "I had tickets, but Hobart's taking it all, so I don't bother anymore", "Devils, nah, not the state team, they're just Hobart, f### em"...This is why there was a big swell of support when North Launceston said it was making a bid for the VFL. This has been going on since about 2003, when Hodgman was making the big noises down South about "the state capital's rights", yadda yadda...a biased administrator has wrecked it for everyone, alongside administrators who just don't get it - this is Tassie, and your demographic analysis needs to have a few extra notes in it... So I'm a bit worried about my boys. I'm also worried about the newly funded and about to be relaunched State League...the North and the South will find a way to f### it up...
taswegian
Hi gibbke Will reply to this later - about to carve a slow cooked lamb with green olives and stewed beans and tomatoes - Suffice to say I reckon the North South stuff is rubbish - I live in Hobart but I am TASMANIAN
taswegian
Hi again gibbke I really do not like discussing the North South stuff as it gives the discussion validity As I said before I believe the Devils should be centralised - I would not of argued against it being in Launceston - but it needed centralising. It is hard to argue when people say they will not go to a game and then moan when it is not close to them - I will make the effort to attend the games in the North. Previously there has been more in the North but they were not well attended Just wish Tasmanians would get behind and support the team no matter where they are from - as I said before it gives fuel to people like footyman who love to bag Tassie for just this sort of stuff
vfa
vfa's picture
Matches should be evened out. Hobart Oval 1 Bellereive Oval 3 Aurora Stadium 3 Ulverstone 1 Devonport 1 Burnie 1 Matches spread an not be mainly one stadium Bellereive Oval. I have seen a Tassie v Williamstown match at Devonport as well as a Williamstown v Tassie match at Aurora Stadium. Been to local matches East Devonport v Ulverstone, Ulverstone v Launceston and North Hobart v New Norfolk. I do enjoy going to different grounds and would like to see Tassie spread their games like they did the first couple of seasons.
Thylacine
A 6-4 split in Hobart's favour would be more fairer considering Launceston gets 4 AFL games a year
gibbke
Remembering I'm in Queensland and will barrack for Tasmania even if they play 10-0 at Bellerive, Launceston or Queenstown - I say 5-5. An even split where possible. Just like the Saffers made a conscious decision to recruit different races along the lines of racial quotas, this has a similar rationale - two groups previously divided must be seen to be in harmony and working together, symbolically. We're being judged by mainlanders on this - our ability to function on a national level is an important factor if we're seen to be viable. What if one day the AFL says they will pull the plug on Tassie football? Slow pop growth, constant bickering, less than 50% of the number of Tasmanians we used to pump into the VFL on the lists of AFL clubs despite the higher number of teams, a failed statewide comp and the axing of the Tassie Mariners. They've tripled our funding - what if we mess this one up too? A rep team that half the population won't follow...what's good about this...? Very naive for the governing body to look at attendances in 2007 and say "well, you deserve it, Launceston, you aren't showing up so we're taking your team away". Truth is, the team was taken away years ago - that's how they feel as a footy community up there. The state govt made the outspoken pledge that this was a rep team when they started it off, but it didn't take long for fossils like Hodgman to destroy it with their parochial arrogance, and the Northerners to start crying like a bunch of pussies...and the fans just keep on walking...it's no good to say "it's your team too" - it isn't! And this isn't cricket - noone shows up to cricket matches, and it isn't important...a different mindset...centralisation wasn't the only factor that worked to bring the state side up...I'd even say it was overrated... I too dream of seeing a dark green home grown side of 2-headed monsters shredding mainlanders on a weekly basis in the AFL...we realistically won't get that, so Vics will have to do...but we're doing all the old things that will ensure we can't even get half the state to flick to the page in the paper that tells how they're doing...and this should be the frustration we both share...the South has taken it over, it has nothing to do with the AFL (that's Hawthorn, we're talking the state footy side, totally different), and the North is sulking...back to square one, and the ruling body just doesn't get it...and mate, even a Southerner with exactly the same and best intentions as a Northerner is being a little naive to think you can simply pitch the idea that we're all as one and it will work - the action of 8-2 is damning...and the North says "ehh...whatever...here we go again...!"
taswegian
Wow gibbke that was a fair old spiel My bottom line is I hate this debate and giving air to fools like Hodgman is not worth it (- I would be be happy with 6-4 , 5-5 whatever but people need to travel and support the team when they play You say that the AFL has trippled their funding to Tas - I would still say it is insignificant in comparison the huge amount of dollars being thrown at Queensland and NSW for a State that has contributed a huge amount financially and physically to footy - I too believe in equity. If the AFL pulled the plug on Tassie they would lose a feeding ground and I believe that Tas has already been neglected not treated preferentially!!!!! I would like to be more of an optimist on the AFL (all it needs is the backing of the AFL, and Tasmanians and the following would be amazing)although I happy with a team in the VFL . For the Devils to work Tasmanians need to be positive and quit wasting energy on this negative crap. As stated previously I really would rather discuss the make up of the Devils and the rest of the VFL as opposed to people in different parts of the State grizzling about where VFL games are played and where all the AFL games are played - it infuriates me. I understand where you are coming from but I face the same discussion with people in the South about all the AFL games in Launy - (the same people who go to Launy for the AFL) As you are in Queensland why not comment on what type of player Josh Vearing and the Plummer brothers are and how you rate them. Lets start to expend energy on getting people to the VFL. All footy teams need to recriut. I was discussing footy with people I play Basketball with last week and they were saying they used to love watching RhysJones and Stevie Wright etc in the Statewide league and that was the reason they would go along. After it was pointed out what a great standard the VFL is with future draftees and listed players they were saying they would get along to games. Instead of talking about two groups lets talk about they players drafted etc and how this happens and what needs to happen for more players to be able to play at this level as wel as AFL and developing local footy etc.. You have listed a lot of negatives (of which I am not disagreeing with - especially the loss of the Mariners), there have been positives as well (the Devils, drafted players, AFL played in Tas, population increases!!, reforming of local leagues and discussion of the Statewide League being up and running within the next couple of years). There needs to be balance lets discuss ways forward instead of harping on the negatives Lets support the Devils!!!!
Devilhawk
I'm with ya Taswegian - and I follow Box Hill!! The Devils simply MUST be a success because no one has ever put up a viable alternative. I'll continue to go along and watch them because it's live football of a reasonable standard. Not liking the chances of either the Devils or Box Hill in 2008 though.
taswegian
Cheers Devilhawk - agree that 2008 may be a tough year for both Box Hill and Tassie but - they may suprise!
gibbke
I read an article by an SA journo describing the first time he saw the Crows jumper unveiled before 1991...he says his hand went to his heart. Believe me fellas, I barrack for the Devils no less than you. I'm a Hawks member and supporter of more than a quarter of a century, but I've said to many in other places that while I hate bandwagoners, I will not begrudge a former VFL supporter who jumped to a new team in his own state (eg Eagles supporters in WA in 1987) because I know that would be me if a dark green Tassie side joined the AFL...and Hawthorn relocating will not do - it has to be ours from scratch. All I'm saying is that you need to convince Northerners that it's their team too. There's been a backflip from the govt and Scott Wade, and the air time you criticise me for giving to Michael Hodgman, was already given first to him by the Tassie media and football public. I hate the debate too, but the head in the sand approach won't help. It needs Football Tasmania to say "Tassie team, and here's the goodwill we're showing all 480 000 of you, by sharing it around to the whole state it represents"...it also needs every Tasmanian who's interested to address it and take a few things on the chin...we're a naive little bunch down there, thinking our little squabble actually has some degree of importance...don't worry, 12 years in the big mainland smoke and I still am, still easily shocked by the differences up here...! As for the training centralisation, I don't know what you do there, the coaches have their opinions and are paid to get it right...I'm recalling 2003-04-05 where there were separate squads and we had little trouble making the finals, but I'm sure there's more to it than that...! The Statewide League had some real plusses, but it was swamped by the lapse back to regionalism (which already had a toehold when the South reneged on cutting their 6 teams to 4)...no direction, down went the standard and the interest...and some of the stupid decisions later on - do you recall the draw that had Burnie and Devonport playing each other 5 times in the season...?...let's hope there's a far more professional and equitable approach next year...and again, let's not be naive - less than half of the average Tassie AFL yearly representation of 20 years ago today, v the possibility of a billion dollar tv rights deal if a team ends up on the beach up here - we should be thankful for the $3m, and make sure that we spend it wisely, if it is to ever grow into something approaching a single AFL club's yearly expenditure...there is no birthright in Australian Rules footy for us anymore... As for Qld footy, I honestly wouldn't know. Down there you guys have no idea how different it is up here...I haven't heard of any Qld footballer outside draft discussions and the Devils recruitment of a couple...no coverage whatsoever, noone cares...I could tell you all about the Broncos and the Titans, though!

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