Dangerfield backs Tassie poaching contracted AFL talent

·3-min read

Patrick Dangerfield, the AFL's most influential player voice, has thrown his support behind the new Tasmanian club luring contracted talent away from rival teams.

The Geelong captain believes the AFL's 19th club needs to succeed when it enters the competition in 2028, even if it meant other teams giving up at least one player.

"My view is that the Tasmanian team should have access to contracted players," Dangerfield, the AFL Players Association president, told SEN on Thursday.

"One from every club, regardless of contract, if they choose to join Tasmania, then they should be able to do that.

"I think if we're going to do this and do this properly, then Tasmania should have access to not only the best talent but the best possible people in order to create something that's truly unique and truly special."

Dangerfield said it was up to the existing 18 clubs to build a successful culture before Tasmania joins the AFL in five years.

"What it does is promote clubs to provide the best possible environment, so they don't want to leave because the environment they're in is successful," the Cats superstar said.

"I think it generates competition with the existing clubs to provide a great framework for their players to enjoy and not want to leave."

The draft concessions Tasmania get are not expected to be anywhere as dramatic as what Gold Coast and GWS received when they entered the AFL in 2011 and 2012.

North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson, who was on a taskforce to help Tasmania's bid last year, believed five years would be enough time for the competition to prepare.

"I'm hoping it won't be as significant as it was with GWS and Gold Coast because they did catapult themselves into the competition in a quick space of time and clubs were unable to prepare for just how dramatic the implications were going to be for the draft process itself," Clarkson said on Thursday.

Carlton coach Michael Voss argued "what's the point in us having contracts?" but said current rules allowed for players to often land at the club of their choice, anyway.

"That's the environment that we live in right now," Voss said on Thursday.

"I would argue that under the current trading system right now that players that are contracted are still getting to the team they wish to go to anyway.

"There's always forgiveness in terms of the expansion clubs to obviously get the talent because that's what they need to be able to thrive in their state."

Outgoing AFL boss Gillon McLachlan said plans for a training base would develop in coming months and a community campaign to choose the club's name would be launched later this year.

He brushed off concerns Tasmania would not be an attractive destination for young players.

Tasmania's bid got across the line after the federal government chipped in $240 million for a contentious $715 million new waterfront stadium in Hobart.

The stadium was the final piece required by the AFL before approving the licence, which was unanimously backed by the 18 existing club presidents on Tuesday.


Riley Thilthorpe (Adelaide), Will Ashcroft (Brisbane Lions), Sam Walsh (Carlton), Nick Daicos (Collingwood), Sam Draper (Essendon), Caleb Serong (Fremantle), Ollie Henry (Geelong), Matt Rowell (Gold Coast), Aaron Cadman (GWS), Will Day (Hawthorn), Kysaiah Pickett (Melbourne), Harry Sheezel (North Melbourne), Connor Rozee (Port Adelaide), Noah Balta (Richmond), Max King (St Kilda), Errol Gulden (Sydney), Oscar Allen (West Coast), Sam Darcy (Western Bulldogs).