Nick Riewoldt in his playing days.
Nick Riewoldt in his playing days.

Riewoldt gets behind team for Tassie

The fight to bring an AFL team to Tasmania just got serious with St Kilda legend and Apple Isle native Nick Riewoldt joining a seven-person taskforce that hopes to secure a team for the southernmost state.

Sacked Blues coach Brendon Bolton, another AFL figure with Tassie blood, has also been engaged as a consultant to the advisory group.

The Tasmanian taskforce chairman Brett Godfrey confirmed the appointments of Riewoldt and Bolton.

"Nick Riewoldt is hugely respected in all circles of AFL football and his experience, passion and vision for Tasmanian football, will be a significant help for the taskforce," Godfrey said.

"We have hit the ground running and are looking forward to both Nick and Brendon making significant contributions to our work."

 

St Kilda legend Nick Riewoldt has joined the fight to bring an AFL team to Tasmania. Picture: Getty Images
St Kilda legend Nick Riewoldt has joined the fight to bring an AFL team to Tasmania. Picture: Getty Images

 

Riewoldt will join a seven-person taskforce that is developing a business case to force its way into the AFL.

The task force currently includes former Woolworths chief executive Grant O'Brien, Lauderdale Football Club president Julie Kay, former GWS Giants chief financial officer Paul Eriksson, and executive chairman of Dynamic Sports and Entertainment group, James Henderson.

Riewoldt and Hawthorn coach Chris Fagan were both part of the steering committee into Tasmanian football that has seen them kickstart a NAB league team, with a VFL side to come.

 

 

Brendon Bolton played football in Tasmania...
Brendon Bolton played football in Tasmania...

 

But Riewoldt's presence on the taskforce is a huge boost for its visibility, with Bolton's expertise also critical.

It now seems it is when rather than if the state will get its own AFL side, even if Gold Coast CEO Mark Evans is adamant it will not come through his team relocating.

Taskforce chairman Brett Godfrey confirmed the appointments of Riewoldt and Bolton as momentum builds for the state.

Riewoldt still sees himself as a Tasmanian, keeping a house in the state and having extensive family living there.

"I lived here for much longer than I lived in Queensland, I'm a ratepayer so I think that qualifies," he said several years ago.

The earliest possible date for a team in Tasmania would be 2026, with the taskforce having to build the pathway and also outline a financial case for the state.

...Before he became Carlton coach. Picture: Luke Bowden
...Before he became Carlton coach. Picture: Luke Bowden
News Corp Australia

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