With talk of a Tasmanian team becoming the 19th club to join the AFL, the AFL Nation crew have raised their concerns about further expansion of the competition.
Caroline Wilson reported in The Age that the state will bid for a provisional AFL license at the end of the year, looking for competition entry in 2025.
Former Melbourne captain Garry Lyon’s concern however is the impact a 19th team would have on the standard of footy.
“I don’t think the footy is at the standard across the board that it has been because of the dilution of the talent pool,” Lyon told AFL Nation.
“If you add a 19th team, then that would be an enormous impost, I think, on the competition.”
Veteran commentator Anthony Hudson agreed.
“My biggest question is have we got the talent? And the drain and the annoyance that’s going to cause for other clubs when we just got back to a full draft and all of that,” Hudson said.
Ex-St Kilda superstar Nick Dal Santo believes the solution is to skim talent from the existing 18 teams and not necessarily introduce new players for the Tasmanian side.
“I don’t think we can add another 45 (players),” he said.
“If you’re going to find another 45 to make a list, I think you’ve got to take it from the other 18 to even out the same amount of numbers that we currently have right now between 18 teams and spread it out over 19.
“We can’t have 45 new players.”
SEN Chief Broadcaster Gerard Whateley finds the timing of the news interesting, given one of the AFL’s most recent expansion teams is currently struggling more than it ever has.
“(The news) comes essentially four days before the 17th team (Gold Coast) goes to the AFL commission with the begging bowl to ask for regeneration and to plead for the first two draft picks,” Whateley said.