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The 19th AFL Team

Dougal Tsakalos-Stewart , no stranger to the AFL, discusses the new nineteenth team of the league. 


On the 3rd of May 2023, Anthony Albanese officially announced the granting of an AFL license to the state of Tasmania. As of 2028 Tasmania will officially join the Australian Football League as its nineteenth team, with a brand new stadium named Macquarie Point which seats over 23,000 fans. [1]


This decision was agreed upon by both the federal government and the current eighteen AFL clubs. The presidents of all eighteen clubs voted unanimously for this idea which was then backed by the AFL commission the next day. The federal government had already supported this idea, and on the day the idea was confirmed they invested $240M into this team. [2]


Since the announcement there has been a multitude of mixed reviews. The common balanced train of thought from fans is that the idea is good but will need some engagement from fans and players to make it work. Other opinions included advice to be patient by reminding fans that the last club to join the league, GWS, didn't make their first AFL finals for four years. Another piece of advice was to use the Tasmanian climate to their own benefit. [3]


As a new club, despite not even being in the league, fans of the sport have already been circulating their ideas of player attraction. Tasmania is obviously not exactly the most loved place with its notability coming from three things, cold weather, cheese and wine platters and the extinction of Tasmanian Tigers. 


There are a few notable players who have come through the ranks of the Tasmanian draft area. Key players include Jack Reiwoldt, Ben Brown and Liam Jones. [4] The issue is not that Tasmania can create players as seen in the past but that they can attract them. However, as Tasmania has similar weather to that of Western Australia, many fans have been speculating that players who star for clubs like Fremantle and West Coast, that will be older in 2028 such as Caleb Serong, will be up for the opportunity.


The nineteenth AFL team structure is a good idea and a good project for the AFL and government to invest in. Despite what people say about Tasmania's climate and calm city fashion not being able to work for a team, we know that's not true. Both Fremantle and Geelong have proven you don't need to be a massive city to attract good players. AFL has a good project and I'm certain the fans can't wait to see what's in store for the future of the Tasmanian Devils (hopefully that's their name.)



[1] “Macquarie Point Stadium.” Austadiums, 2023, https://www.austadiums.com/stadiums/proposed/12



[3] Mueller, Andrew. “10 Dos and Don’ts for Tasmania’s New AFL Team.” GQ, 5 May 2023, https://www.gq.com.au/gq-sports/tasmania-afl-team/image-gallery/50641c61e5351a5741b8eb32de5190aa


[4] Laughton, Max. “Trade Targets, a $725M Home and the Coach: How the AFL’s 19th Club Will Be Built.” Fox Sports, 28 Apr. 2023, https://www.foxsports.com.au/afl/afl-2023-tasmania-to-become-19th-club-new-team-expansion-stadium-how-itll-be-built-list-players-coach-trade-targets-analysis/news-story/fbc688586502fa732578822ed8d21bff


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