Alastair Clarkson to advise Tasmanian bid for standalone 19th team

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Tasmania’s hopes of having a standalone AFL team has been bolstered with the addition of Alastair Clarkson as an advisor to the taskforce behind the bid.

According to The Age, Clarkson will receive a six-month contract to advise the Tasmanian group as it prepares to pitch the idea of a 19th team to AFL presidents next year.

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Clarkson’s signing was announced by Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein in state parliament today.

The four-time premiership winner is expected to provide advice on a funding strategy, a proposed Hobart-based stadium, as well as state football pathways and talent identification.

Clarkson, who is currently studying in the United States, has previously expressed great interest in a 19th team being based in the Apple Isle, saying he would consider coaching the team himself.

“From this far out, if I was unemployed like I am now I’d be putting my hand up big time to get involved in such an exciting venture,” he told SEN in September.

Clarkson’s Hawthorn teams regularly played home games in Tasmania during his 17-season tenure as coach, and the 53-year-old has been a big advocate of the state’s proposal for a standalone team.

“I just think that we’ve got to reinvigorate footy down in Tasmania, and it’s going to take a period of time to do that,” he said.

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“We want, in five or six years’ time if that was the time that Tasmania came into the [AFL] competition, we want to make sure that the bulk of the players who’re going to play for the Tassie side are heartland Tassie people.

“Tassie should already, in my view, have a team in the competition and because it hasn’t, well let’s roll up the sleeves and make sure… none of this quasi stuff. Let’s get a Tassie standalone team out of the Tassie market. Let’s take our time to build it up.”

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