TFL Statewide League (1986–1998)
|Sport||Australian rules football|
|Founded||12 June 1879 in Hobart, Tasmania|
|No. of teams||10|
|Most recent champion(s)||Launceston|
|Official website||Home - AFL Tasmania|
The Tasmanian Football League (TFL), also known as the Tasmanian State League (TSL) (formerly known as the Tasmanian Australian National Football League (TANFL) and several other short-term names) is the highest ranked Australian rules football league in Tasmania, Australia.
The league has a long and convoluted history which dates back to its founding on 12 June 1879 (giving it some claim to the title of the third oldest club football league in the world), but the name TFL (also the state's football governing body) was removed after it was liquidated with crushing debts in February 1999 and replaced by an independent commission (Football Tasmania) and the competition was renamed the Tasmanian State Football League (1999) and the SWL (2000) until the number of clubs in financial difficulty made the league unsustainable and it collapsed in December 2000. After long negotiations and discussions it was reinstated as a ten club competition in 2009.
-  – Mr W.L Giblin (1879–1886)
-  – Sir L.Dobson (1887–1893)
-  – Sir E.Braddon (1894–1896)
-  – Mr H.Dobson MHA (1897)
-  – Mr A.J Clarke (1898–1899)
-  – Mr C.J.Eady (1900–1908)
-  – Mr A.Hearne (1909–1916)
-  – Mr W.B Propsting (1917–1924)
-  – Mr C.J Eady MLC (1925–1941)
-  – Mr W.Arnold (1942–1949)
-  – Mr M.A.S McNeair OBE (1950–1974)
-  – Mr R.T Butler (1975–1977)
-  – Mr D.A Burton (1977–1979)
-  – Mr D.Fenton (1979–1980)
-  – Mr J.Bennett (1981–1985)
-  – Mr D.Smith (1986–1991)
-  – Mr J.Wilkinson QC (1991)
-  – Mr B.Breen (1992–1995)
-  – Mr R.Hampson (1996–1998)
In 1944 TANFL directors met to discuss restructuring of the league which was scheduled to return in 1945 after three seasons in recession due to World War Two.
The clubs would represent their various districts rather than being individual clubs. Two new clubs (Hobart & Sandy Bay) would join North Hobart and New Town at the expense of Cananore and Lefroy who went out of existence during the World War Two cessation.
In 1947 the TANFL voted to include a further two clubs (Clarence – formed in 1903 & New Norfolk – formed in 1878) from the Southern District Football Association for a three year probationary period, on 7 August 1950, the clubs unanamously voted to retain the two clubs as permanent members of the competition.
At the end of the 1956 season, New Town Football Club relocated itself to the municipality of Glenorchy and absorbed the already existing local club Glenorchy Rovers, on 8 April 1957 the TANFL ratified the club's new name as Glenorchy District Football Club, its new home ground was the 1950-built KGV Park This era would be the strongest era for the league with a succession of star players in its ranks, record crowds and huge public support.
From 1979–1985 the TANFL would be known as the Winfield League under a naming-rights sponsorship arrangement with a tobacco company.
The league disbanded due to a dwindling of clubs able to financially cope and fell under the umbrella of Football Tasmania (which was soon renamed AFL Tasmania).
Three regional leagues absorbed the clubs from the Statewide League. This was represented by the 2 main North/South leagues and subsidiary regional leagues which underpinned the Tasmanian Devils VFL team, created in 2001 which was owned and funded by the Australian Football League and administered by AFL Tasmania.
After a hiatus of eight years, AFL Tasmania announced plans for a return of the statewide league in 2009.
The concept attracted widespread public and media debate on the return of a statewide competition, with many in the football world hesitant over such a move due to the perilous financial position most of the participating clubs were left in after the previous competition was disbanded in 2000.
Many believed the push for a return of the league was a direct result of the media and the Tasmanian State Government's strong campaign in getting a Tasmanian team admitted into the AFL.
Under the AFL Tasmania plan, ten (10) clubs were invited to join the competition.
Clarence, Glenorchy, Hobart and North Hobart along with former Southern Amateur club Lauderdale in the South. North Launceston, South Launceston and Launceston from the North and Devonport and Burnie Dockers from the North-West Coast.
The response from many clubs was initially luke-warm at best with many concerned at the lack of detail in the AFL Tasmania plan and the rushed decision-making process of the move.
Ulverstone Football Club from the North West Coast bowed to pressure from its playing list and some factional groups within the club to put in a submission to join the competition in 2009.
Despite a membership vote narrowly ending in favour of joining, the Robins had missed the AFL Tasmania enforced deadline and were initially to be included in the 2010 Roster, however the remaining clubs (most notably its closest and most bitter rival Devonport) exerted considerable pressure upon the League not to alter the current makeup of teams for a period of ten years, therefore Ulverstone were excluded from joining.
SFL Premier League club Kingborough also lobbied AFL Tasmania to be included in the competition, but their case for inclusion was dismissed by the game's governing body due to their inadequate facilities and poor standard Kingston Beach Oval headquarters.
Former TFL club New Norfolk (1947–1999) was not invited to join the league because of their poor financial position.
Also, as a result of the new competition getting off the ground, the Tasmanian Devils VFL team were disbanded.
On April 4, 2009, the opening match of the reformed competition took place at King George V Park between the reigning premiers of the SFL Premier League, Glenorchy and reigning NTFL premier Launceston and resulted in a 21-point triumph to the Blues.
The inaugural Grand Final was held at Bellerive Oval on 19 September between old rivals Glenorchy and Clarence resulting in a thrilling 6-point victory to the Roos in front of 7,534 fans.
The 2010 season started brightly with over 12,000 attending the first round of matches but soon after there was a great deal of off-field controversy with former Tasmanian Premier Paul Lennon originally accepting an unpaid role acting as a mediator between the clubs and AFL Tasmania as the relationship between the clubs and the governing body had become further strained. However after only two weeks of the season, three clubs (Clarence, North Launceston and North Hobart) had decided to do their own bidding and Lennon walked away from the position.
There were further controversies, namely AFL Tasmania's decision to withdraw support for the Reserve grade competition after the Burnie Dockers announced only days before the start of the season that they would not be fielding a reserve grade side. Two other clubs (Hobart and Launceston) also struggled to field a reserves team throughout the season, and as a result the competition was run by the clubs themselves for the remainder of the season. It would be axed at season's end.
A finals set-up that included an extra week was roundly criticised by football pundits across the State and it failed to garner great enthusiasm amongst the footballing public as small crowds attended, with AFL Tasmania later admitting that they would be looking at returning to the more tradition Final Five set-up in 2011.
It made no difference as Clarence totally dominated the season, losing just one match during the roster rounds (away to Launceston with five top players out of the team) and after a totally dominant finals series in which they would thrash Launceston twice to head into a Grand Final, Devonport would cause a shock and sneak into the decider by virtue of running all over a disappointing Launceston at Aurora Stadium in the Preliminary Final. The Grand Final on 18 September pitted Clarence as raging favourites over Devonport, who had a dreadful record at Bellerive Oval (1-17-1) and last won there in 1988.
Devonport playing in its first Grand Final at State level since 1988 proved no match for a rampaging Roo outfit who eventually pulled away to a 57-point triumph and recorded its 25th consecutive win at the ground in the process.
2012 TSL FINALS Series
|1st Semi Final||Clarence||16||11||107||Laudeerdale||14||8||92|
|2nd Semi Final||Burnie||17||10||112||Launceston||9||13||67|
The Tasmanian Football League operates on a single table system, with no divisions, conferences nor promotion and relegation from other leagues.
|Jumper||Club||Nickname||Location||Training Ground||Home Ground||Debut||Premiership Years|
|||Burnie Dockers Football Club||"Dockers"||Burnie, Tasmania||West Park Oval||West Park Oval||TANFL/TFL/SWL: 1987 – TFL: 2009||TANFL/TFL/SWL: None – TFL: None|
|||Clarence Football Club||"Kangaroos"||Bellerive, Tasmania||Bellerive Oval||Bellerive Oval||TANFL/TFL/SWL: 1947 – TFL: 2009||TANFL/TFL/SWL: 1970, 1979, 1981, 1984, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2000 – TFL: 2009, 2010|
|||Devonport Football Club||"Magpies"||Devonport Tasmania||Devonport Oval||Devonport Oval||TANFL/TFL/SWL: 1987 – TFL: 2009||TFL/SWL: 1988 – TFL: None|
|||Glenorchy Football Club||"Magpies"||Glenorchy, Tasmania||KGV Oval||KGV Oval||TANFL/TFL/SWL: 1921 (As New Town Football Club) – 1957 (As Glenorchy District Football Club) – TFL: 2009||TANFL/TFL/SWL: 1935, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1953, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1965, 1975, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1999 – TFL: None|
|||Hobart Football Club||"Tigers"||Glebe, Tasmania||TCA Ground||TCA Ground||TANFL/TFL/SWL: 1945 – TFL: 2009||TANFL/TFL/SWL: 1950, 1954, 1959, 1960, 1963, 1966, 1973, 1980, 1990 – TFL: None|
|||Lauderdale Football Club||"Bombers"||Lauderdale, Tasmania||Lauderdale Oval||Lauderdale Oval & Bellerive Oval||TFL: 2009||TFL: None|
|||Launceston Football Club||"Blues"||Riverside, Tasmania||Windsor Park||Windsor Park||TANFL/TFL/SWL: 1994 – TFL: 2009||TANFL/TFL/SWL: None – TFL: None|
|||North Hobart Football Club||"Demons"||North Hobart, Tasmania||North Hobart Oval||North Hobart Oval||TANFL/TFL/SWL: 1881 – TFL: 2009||TANFL/TFL/SWL: 1902, 1905, 1908, 1914, 1920, 1923, 1928, 1929, 1932, 1934, 1936, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1945, 1947, 1957, 1961, 1962, 1967, 1969, 1974, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1992 – TFL: None|
|||North Launceston Football Club||"Bombers"||Invermay, Tasmania||Aurora Stadium & Invermay Park||Aurora Stadium & Invermay Park (Some Reserve & Under-19's fixtures are played at Invermay Park on Gala Days.||TANFL/TFL/SWL: 1986 – TFL: 2009||TANFL/TFL/SWL: 1995, 1998 – TFL: None|
|||South Launceston Football Club||"Bulldogs"||Youngtown, Tasmania||Youngtown Oval||Youngtown Oval||TANFL/TFL/SWL: 1986 – TFL: 2009||TANFL/TFL/SWL: None – TFL: None|
- 1945–1997  – Hobart Football Club
- 1881–1998  – North Hobart Football Club
- 1999–2000  – Hobart Demons Football Club
- 1945–1956  – New Town District Football Club
- 1957–2000  – Glenorchy District Football Club
- 1947–2000  – Clarence District Football Club
- 1947–1998  – New Norfolk District Football Club
- 1999–1999  – Derwent Eagles Football Club
- 1945–1997  – Sandy Bay Football Club
- 1998–1999  – Southern Districts Football Club
- 1986–1986  – East Launceston Football Club
- 1986–1997  – South Launceston Football Club
- 1986–1997  – North Launceston Football Club
- 1998–2000  – Northern Bombers Football Club
- 1994–1997  – Launceston Football Club
- 1987–1994  – Burnie Hawks Football Club
- 1995–2000  – Burnie Dockers Football Club
- 1987–1996  – Devonport Blues Football Club
- 1997–2000  – Devonport Power Football Club
- 1898–1941  – Lefroy Football Club.
- 1879–1885  – Cricketers Football Club.
- 1906–1907  – Derwent Football Club.
- 1921–1941  – New Town District Football Club.
- 1876–1896  – Railway Football Club.
- 1897–1897  – South Hobart Football Club.
- 1898–1905  – Wellington Football Club.
- 1880–1894  – Holebrook Football Club.
- 1887–1887  – Union Football Club.
- 1898–1898  – Summerton Football Club.
- 1879–1896  – City Football Club.
- 1893–1907  – Kingston Football Club.
AFL Tasmania in association with Smedley Sports Management publish the Wrest Point State League Record. which is sold at all TFL matches. A special edition is produced for the grand final.
The ABC and TVT6 (Now WIN Tasmania) have broadcasted the league previously.
All Tasmanian based stations have news and results shown regularly in their news broadcasts. Southern Cross report full-time scores from the TFL as well as other leagues around the state during the half time break of their Saturday night AFL broadcast.
League matches were formerly broadcast on radio from 1931 to 2000, however there are currently no radio broadcasts of TFL football with the exception of the Grand Final and the occasional roster game on ABC Local Radio which is also streamed online.
The Tasmanian Football league crowds compete heavily with AFL matches on television. Crowds at the beginning of the season are usually quite high and are up with the mainland state football competitions. Attendances usually slide considerably until it will increase during the finals. Night games, especially ones that do not clash with AFL matches are well attended.
Patrons at TFL games pay at the gates or hold club season passes.
Presented to the best and fairest player in the Tasmanian State League from 2009.
- 2009  - K.Heazlewood (Devonport)
- 2010  - B.Geappen (Clarence)
- 2011  - T.Bristow (Launceston)
- 2012  - J.Bowden (Glenorchy)
Presented to the leading goalkicker in the Tasmanian State League from 2009.
- 2009  - B.Dutton (Clarence)
- 2010  - B.Finch (Launceston)
- 2011  - B.Finch (Launceston)
- 2012  - M.Williamson (Clarence)
Was presented to the best and fairest player in the TFL/TANFL from 1927 until 1929. It was replaced by the William Leitch Medal in 1930.
Was Presented to the best and fairest player in the TANFL from 1935 until 1939. It replaced the William Leitch Medal although it ended up being replaced by it in 1940
- 1935  – L.Powell (North Hobart)
- 1936  – E.Zschech (Lefroy)
- 1937  – L.Pye (North Hobart) &  – E.Zschech (Lefroy)
- 1938  – L.Pye (North Hobart)
- 1939  – E.Zschech (Lefroy)
Main article: William Leitch MedalThe William Leitch medal was presented to the best & fairest player in the TANFL/TFL Statewide League from 1930–1934 and 1940–2000.
As of 2009 when the Tasmanian State League was revived, AFL Tasmania decided to award the Tassie Medal to the best and fairest player in the revamped competition as it was seen (particularly in the North) that the William Leitch medal was too Hobart-centric. The medal continues to be presented to the best and fairest player in the Southern Football League since 2004.
- List of Tasmanian Football League premierships (Includes state grand finals won by TANFL clubs from 1904–1978 and the single Winfield Cup premiership)
- List of Tasmanian Football League leading goalkickers
- List of Tasmanian Football League records
- Statewide Football in Tasmania
== External links==