AFL premiership cup arrives in Tasmania - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL premiership cup arrives in Tasmania

By Roger Vaughan and Guy Hand 29/09/2008 09:48:49 AM Comments (0)

The AFL premiership cup has arrived in Tasmania, carried by a Hawthorn contingent led by captain Sam Mitchell and coach Alastair Clarkson.

The Hawks' group will present the cup to Premier David Bartlett and members of the public in Hobart before they travel to Launceston.

The Tasmanian government is the Hawks' major sponsor, with a five-year $15 million deal to play four games per season in Launceston until 2011.

Bartlett is crowing with the success of the controversial tourism marketing deal.

He says he will not oppose a decision by schools to allow children out of classes on Monday to see the players in Hobart and later in Launceston.

Business leaders have suggested the same could apply to employers who had similar requests from staff.

Mitchell, Norm Smith medallist Luke Hodge and Tasmanian Grant Birchall will sign autographs in Hobart's Elizabeth Mall before leaving in a helicopter for Launceston.

In Launceston, where Hawthorn plays its AFL games, the front-page of The Examiner newspaper carries the banner headline: Welcome home mighty Hawks.

The rest of the Hawthorn team will join the advance party in Launceston later on Monday to present the cup to fans at Aurora Stadium.

Cutting across the Hawks' endeavours to be a Tasmanian presence is the Apple Isle government's push for a team permanently based there in the next wave of AFL expansion in 2011 and 2012.

Tasmania wants to take a spot in any 18-team competition, eyeing the place the AFL wants to give to western Sydney.

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