Wednesday, September 7, 2022

There is a case for more football

Photo:  Southern Tasmania in an intrastate tournament at Prospect in Launceston in the 1980s. [PlessPix] 

I don’t know about you, but I am a little sad that the 2022 season is drawing to a close.

Those of us who love the game, can’t get enough of it.

The close-season seems inordinately long and the 2023 season seems such a long way away.

It makes me wonder why we don’t have 28 rounds in the NPL competition.

That would make it so much fairer as all teams would face every other team four times  -  twice at home and twice away.

You couldn’t get a fairer system than that.

Twenty-eight games is heaven for us football tragics, while 21 games leaves our appetites unfulfilled.  There is something missing, especially when there is no top-four end-of-season series..

Another welcome addition to the football landscape, I reckon, would be a round-robin series involving representative men’s and women’s teams from the North-West, North and South.

Photo:  A Southern Tasmania XI  circa 2007. [PlessPix]  

Such competitions used to be regular features of Tasmanian football.

A revival of such tournaments would be exciting for players and fans alike.

It’s a step above club football and establishes new bonds between players who might normally be opponents on weekends.

I disagree with those who argue we have too much football.

We don’t have enough, is my line of thinking.

Photo:  A Southern Tasmania women's representative team in the late 1990s or early 2000s. [PlessPix]  

The naysayers will say there aren’t grounds available, the season will stretch into the spring and possibly even the summer, and players want to play other sports.

If that is the case, then we’re wasting our time trying to promote and develop the game.

We should be thinking of extending the season so that we can have more and exciting football.

I’d love to see the North-West take on the South, and the North play both of those regions in a home-and-away intrastate series.

Photo:  A powerful Southern representative team. [PlessPix]  

With the demise of the NPL finals series involving the champions from all Australian states, such an intrastate series would fill a gap.

Why not think about it, Football Tasmania?

There’s nothing to lose but an important way of promoting the game.

Photo:  A Northern Tasmania representative team. [PlessPix] 


Anonymous said...

From a supporter perspective I agree, but for players its a long season - most players have been training for 10 or more months and including pre-season have been playing since Jan/Feb. Maybe extending the season earlier in the year and a reduced summer cup could be an answer? However some games like South v North or State game could be a nice way to finish the season off for spectators and its not a huge commitment for the players.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely right Walter , if only we had someone such as yourself running the game here

Phil Randall said...

Hey Walter any truth in the rumour I am hearing that the NPL will be Seniors plus under21's next year with southern NPL clubs not (or optionally) competing in the Champ/Champ1. It's hard enough for the southern NPL clubs to support 3 senior squads in the current structure, not sure how they would support four. I suspect many will opt out. A similar structure to this was tried and it failed because all of the mid/late 20 year olds who still wanted to play at the highest level they could left the southern NPL clubs and created a vacuum of depth. There was consternation at the time from the club presidents and the structure was changed 1 year later to fix the unintended consequence the this first NPL structure caused. Now we seem to be going back to the future. Isn't the definition of stupidity doing the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome? I've posted here before my belief that the sport in this state needs to establish a proper 2-tier statewide league structure for the mens game with appropriate underpinning regional structures to feed the top tier. This of course isn't easy and few eggs would need to be broken before this omelette could be made. Change is hard and the endless small minded politics that seem to surround the game here in Tasmania will no doubt win out.

Anonymous said...

There are no doubt arguments for and against extending senior football. However one aspect of football in the State that has gone under the radar is the very poor value for money that a lot of youth teams enjoy. A few seasons ago the then FT Competition Manager dropped U13 to U16 cup competitions. This was a very bad decision and now some youth teams only get 12-14 games in their season (May to August). You can bet their fees have not gone similarly backwards. So - a plea to the new Competition Manager who has had a lot to get across in her first season and has handled it well - BRING BACK CUP COMPETITIONS NEXT SEASON FOR U13-U16 youth teams.

Anonymous said...

I imagine ground availability would become an issue. Groundsmen would need time to repair the surfaces before summer sports such as cricket, touch football and athletics take over. I know this is not the case for all grounds however.

Anonymous said...

Spot on Phil. Next they will want the NPL to be a summer comp in line with the A league.

Ray C said...

I remember this Southern Rep side. Only 4 Calies players in it or was 'Hoogy' with them at that time ?. I don't think our present players would have a hope in hell against this side.

Anonymous said...

Hear hear, I agree and with Walter, more games the better! Particularly when it starts to warm up, daylight savings and long summer nights of football, washed down with a cleansing can, perfect.