NTFA general manager Robert Anderson. THE NTFA will consider avoiding fixture clashes with AFL games next season but wants Launceston City Council to play ball in return on access to Aurora Stadium.
NTFA general manager Robert Anderson was responding to a plea from Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten that the NTFA ensure no games are scheduled on days when Hawthorn is playing at Aurora Stadium in 2016 in order to maximise AFL crowds.
With 19 NTFA clubs playing 22 games of football in different grades across division 1 and 2 rosters on any given Saturday – it presents a significant number of officials, players and supporters drawn away from an AFL game.
“We have to fit our own 18-round roster in as well and different clubs put requests in for special games during the roster season but we would be willing to run the request by the clubs,” Anderson said.
“In other years we have not played games against AFL games but the last two or three years we have but obviously that has been down to a club vote.
“I would like to see us avoid clashing with AFL games at Aurora Stadium if possible.
“I think it is certainly worth re-considering at our next meeting on November 17 – it might mean clubs agreeing to play on a Sunday or those that have facilities to do so to play under lights on maybe a Friday night but it’s important we support AFL footy coming to Tasmania otherwise they will walk away from us.”
But Anderson said if the council wanted the NTFA’s co-operation then they needed to come to the party and compromise so that their division 1 and 2 grand finals could be played at Aurora Stadium – something denied over the past few years because of rival beer sponsorship deals.
“If they want us to play ball we would certainly like to think the Launceston City Council will play ball and allow us to use Aurora Stadium for two days a year,” he said.
“We can use it – but they say we have to go there and sell Carlton United products when we’ve been sponsored by Boags for 35 years.
“The ground is owned by the city of Launceston and all the ratepayers after all.”
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