2012 Tassal Challenge Cup
On Wednesday 14th March 2012 young footballers from isolated regions of Tasmania represented their communities in a regional football competition known as the Tassal Challenge Cup.
A joint initiative of AFL Tasmania and Tassal, the Tassal Challenge Cup provides the young footballers with the opportunity to not only represent their communities, but also play on Southern Tasmania’s traditional home of football - North Hobart Oval. It also gives all participants the additional opportunity to be involved in the AFL Tasmania Talent Identification Pathway, under the watchful eye of Nick Probert, AFL Tasmania’s State Talent Manager.
Probert said, “It is vital that we provide our youth with a streamlined pathway to ensure emerging talent is recognised and given every opportunity to maximise their talent, no matter where they come from. The Tassal Challenge Cup will ensure future talent is channeled appropriately and recognised as early as possible so that developmental processes can be established for individuals wishing to pursue a career in football.”
Tasmanian Football Hall of Fame Icons Arthur Hodgson and Ian Stewart and AFL players Daryn Cresswell and Aaron Joseph were all products of junior football on the West Coast. From the Huon and Channel household names such as the Martyns, Steeles and Breretons are synonymous with the football history of the region. The East Coast has produced AFL players Lee McConnon (Carlton & Fitzroy), Jodie Arnol (St.Kilda) and Mark Harwood (Port Adelaide). The Tasman Peninsula has produced names such the Noye brothers and most recently Tassie Mariners and Tassie Devils player Adrian Williams.
Historically some of these athletes have succeeded based purely on their talent, in early cases the pure luck of “being in the right place at the right time”. AFL Tasmania recognises the enormous pool of talent in regional isolated areas and through a unique partnership with Tassal are able to provide an appropriate, coordinated avenue for young footballers to advance through the AFL talent identification process.
On Wednesday, teams from the South West and South East competed in a 4 x 20 minute quarter game starting at 10:30am. Tasmanian State League clubs Lauderdale and North Hobart have been instrumental in organising and preparing the two teams for the day and they provided on-ground support for the day including coaching.
AFL Tasmania Community Programs Manager Brett Mansell said, “This initiative provides young footballers living in remote areas of our state with a fantastic opportunity to showcase their ability in a quality environment.”
In addition Mansell said, “The participants played for the opportunity to take on the North West coast as a curtain raiser to a TSL game later in the season. This opportunity is being afforded to the players as a result of the fantastic support from Tassal."