Kennett backs away from AFL Tassie derby - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kennett backs away from AFL Tassie derby

Greg Buckle 09/07/2011 02:23:08 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett says he has been handing out advice to AFL chief Andrew Demetriou on the best way to promote the game in Tasmania.

Kennett told a pre-match luncheon in Launceston on Saturday he remained opposed to a derby match between the Hawks and North Melbourne in Tasmania in 2012.

He said it would be "self-destructive" to pit Launceston and northern Tasmania against Hobart and the south.

The Kangaroos have struck a deal to play two home games per season in Hobart from next year, while the Hawks stage four AFL matches at Launceston's Aurora Stadium annually.

"We are a partner, we are part of Tasmania," Kennett said proudly.

"I've said before, we're not opposed and welcome North Melbourne to Hobart.

"I have said to the leaders of the AFL I do not want them to set up a match between we and North Melbourne that is a derby between the north and the south.

"That attitude, while it is deeply entrenched here in Tasmania, it is not part of our make-up at Hawthorn.

"It is self-destructive at a time when Tasmanians must come together and work towards a long-term plan for regenerating the economy as a whole.

"North Melbourne will bring to you hopefully, and I've said again to Mr Demetriou and his executive, it will bring another two teams to Tasmania.

"So the people of Tasmania will not only have the opportunity of seeing Hawthorn and the four teams that we play but also North Melbourne and the two teams that they play.

"It will be interesting to see how the AFL accepts that challenge and that responsibility, because for the first time Tasmanians might almost see half the league play down here every year, which is exciting for your community and it will build confidence."

Kennett said he hoped one day to see a team based full-time in Tasmania.

"In 2050, I see a stadium here that could hold 50,000. I see a team that could be located here in Tasmania, but not with 20,000 (capacity)," he said.

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