On behalf of the Board and Staff of Football Federation Tasmania we would like to wish everyone involved in our great sport a very Merry Christmas and all the best for a safe and happy 2018…on and off the pitch!
2017 has been an outstanding season for football in Tasmania across all areas of the sport. Two highlights spring to mind – Hobart Zebras Women’s Super League Team who won the league and cup double without losing a match; along with the return of South Hobart to the top of the Men’s NPL table where they won the Championship by 12 points. In addition Olympia FC Warriors were successful in a memorable Lakoseljac Cup Final against Glenorchy Knights.
In the south Glenorchy Knights held off a fast-finishing Beachside to capture the VETO Southern Championship whilst Somerset suffered only one defeat for the season in comfortably winning the VETO Northern Championship. On the women’s side, Northern Rangers just pipped Riverside for the league title by one point and it was a similar result in the south with Zebras a point ahead of South Hobart, who have been included in the WSL for 2018.
Infrastructure: In 2017, following the request of clubs at the AGM, we conducted a substantial review of infrastructure in and around the game. We participated in over 50 meetings with clubs, associations, politicians, councils and key stakeholders. The result was the development of a 5-year plan for football which has been widely distributed. A further outcome was a decision to focus on two priorities which are upgrades to facilities at KGV Park and the establishment of an artificial pitch in Launceston. On top of that we are keen to engage with clubs on projects at their grounds which can add to development, participation and retention of players. The first key milestone is to further engage in the political sphere in advance of the state election which is anticipated to be in the first quarter of 2018.
PS4 NPL Expansion: As we head into 2018 we are looking forward to the expansion of the NPL which will occur at the end of the season. The Board determined some time ago that the league will increase to ten teams for 2019 and so next season Championship clubs will be playing for promotion. We believe that this will add significant interest to the results within the northern and southern championships as clubs strive to move up to the top tier of Tasmanian Football. Then in 2019 we will introduce promotion and relegation to our top tier men’s competition.
WSL Promotion/Relegation: As with the men’s, we are looking to add a further dimension to the women’s game with the introduction of promotion and relegation at the end of the 2018 WSL season. The Board have announced the participating clubs for the WSL in 2018 and now the top non-WSL teams from the north and south will play each other home and away at the end of the season. The winner will then play the bottom WSL team home and away for their spot in the competition in 2019.
The Board are pleased they have been able to previously make these important announcements and such significant changes have been communicated in plenty of time for clubs to react appropriately to the changing future landscape.
Junior Football: One of the key recommendations from the junior review was to establish a Junior Advisory Committee made up of the Junior Associations and FFT. This has been done and is an effective body working on issues around engagement, recruitment, retention and competition structures. The most notable area of work has brought agreement on future carnivals and competition structures. In 2017 there were successful carnivals held in Launceston, Devonport and Hobart and each of these was very well run by the host junior association and local clubs. In particular the Launceston Carnival had very strong numbers and was a fitting culmination to the entire football season in Tasmania. Junior footballers make up the largest part of our membership and we are pleased that they are seeing additional opportunities to play our sport. The Devonport Carnival will remain in June and the Hobart and Launceston Carnivals will be close together at the end of the season. Further specific details will be made available in the first part of 2018.
National Football Matters – There has been much publicity and talk about the issues regarding the voting rights at the FFA Annual General Meeting. There has been a request from FIFA that the voting become more representative of the wider football landscape rather than principally being in the hands of the state federations. FFT’s position is that the member federations predominantly represent community football and the hundreds of thousands of participants across the country. We will continue to argue for federations to benefit from the increased income to the game as we form the base of the football-pyramid. A weakened base can result in reduced player and spectator numbers. Having said this, the Board of FFT accept the need for both a new A-League operating model and for whole-of-game governance changes. We will continue to work with all parties to achieve a positive outcome for football in Tasmania and also nationally.
There has also been much discussion in 2017 around the possibility of an A-League team being established in Tasmania. FFT is very of supportive of such a goal. We have had a number of meetings with representatives of the consortium and feel comfortable with their approach and progress to date.
Player Development: A big congratulation to Josh Hope and Nathaniel Atkinson who have both made their A-League debuts this season. Also, congratulations to Maddie Chambers who was included in the Junior Matildas program. We are particularly pleased to see players progressing like this, following the transition from the previous centralised system and the re-emphasis of player development through clubs. We look forward to seeing more players gaining these opportunities in the future.
Annual General Meeting:
The AGM of FFT will be held on Sunday, 4th February 2018 at KGV Park. The AGM will commence at 12 noon and is expected to run for around 15 minutes. This will be followed by a strategy session with the clubs, associations and standing committee presidents and the FFT Board. The appropriate documents will be sent out in the new year.
In closing I would like to thank every one of our players from 2017. The game continues to grow and the way in which the players represent themselves and their clubs is outstanding. We have had many exciting competitions this season in both the league and the cups and we look forward to that growing in 2018.
The biggest thank you of all goes to the wonderful volunteers who serve the sport so well. Your dedication to ensuring that our clubs are progressive and well run and that positive opportunities are created for our players is something of which everyone should be proud. We are fortunate to have such a strong group of club presidents who have the game very much at heart and combined with their committees ensure the success of the sport.
I would also like to give a big thank you to our referees. They have done an excellent job again in 2017 and we have had a smooth season because of their dedication to the task. In particular it was nice to see so many young referees joining the ranks and I am sure clubs will continue to be positive and support the referees as they develop their craft further in 2017. Going forward we are pleased to have Tony Peart join our staff as Referee’s Development Manager which will allow us to provide the central support for referees that will encourage their development in this important role.
Bernie Siggins: We have learned of the sad passing of Bernie Siggins. A wonderful man of football and someone who truly loved the game. He had a long and prestigious career as a player but he will always be remembered for the way in which he helped everyone associated with his much loved Calies and then Kingborough United. A one-club man with a great heart and passion for the game.
Finally thank you to the Board and Staff of FFT for your efforts in 2017. We look forward to seeing everyone in 2018 for an even more exciting year of football.
Please note the FFT office will be closed from 3pm on Wednesday, 20th December and will re-open at 9am on Tuesday, 2nd January 2018.
2017 Competition Winners
NPL TAS – South Hobart
Lakoseljac Cup – Olympia FC Warriors
League Cup – South Hobart
PFD Women’s Super League – Hobart Zebras
Women’s Statewide Cup – Hobart Zebras
Under 20 Statewide Cup – Olympia FC Warriors
Challenge League – South Hobart
Statewide Social Vase – Metro
Women’s Northern Championship – Northern Rangers
Men’s Northern Championship – Somerset
Men’s Northern Championship 1 – Launceston City
Northern Championship Under 18’s – Launceston United
Women’s Southern Championship– Hobart Zebras
Men’s Southern Championship– Glenorchy Knights
Women’s Southern Championship 1– Beachside
Men’s Southern Championship 1– Beachside
The Conference – Kingborough Lions
Southern Over 35’s– Olympia FC Warriors
Southern Under 13 Boys A – Hobart Zebras
Southern Under 13 Boys B – Beachside
Southern Under 13 Boys C – Glenorchy Knights Blue
Junior Youth Girls – University
Southern Under 14 Boys A – South Hobart Clarke
Southern Under 14 Boys B – Brighton Storm
Senior Youth Girls – Kingborough Lions
Southern Under 15 Boy – South East United
Southern Under 16 Boys A – Beachside
Southern Under 16 Boys B – Beachside Barker
Southern Under 18 Boys A – South Hobart Bell
Southern Under 18 Boys B – Clarence United
North West Youth Boys- Burnie Black
North West Youth Girls- Devonport Blue
Summer Series NPL – Hobart Zebras
Summer Cup Men’s – Glenorchy Knights
Summer Cup: Women’s- Hobart Zebras
Summer Cup: Under 18’s- Olympia FC Warriors
Social Men’s Summer Cup- Beachside
Social Women’s Summer Cup- Hobart Zebras
Major Award Winners
Mitsubishi Medal – Nicholas Groenewold, Hobart Zebras
Players Player – Jakub Sklenar, Olympia FC Warriors
Rising Star – Noah Mies, Launceston City
Walter Pless Award – Nicholas Groenewald, Hobart Zebras
Coach of the Year – Ken Morton, South Hobart
PFD Women’s Super League
Best & Fairest – Beth Bygrave, Launceston City
Golden Boot – Lucy Johnson, Olympia FC Warriors
Southern Championship Men’s
Vic Tuting Medal – James Sherman, Glenorchy Knights
Golden Boot- Ethan Engels, Glenorchy Knights
Coach of the Year – Daniel Lapolla, Beachside
Northern Championship Men’s
George Dale Medal – Todd Hingston, Somerset
Golden Boot – Aidan Rigby, Launceston United
Coach of the Year – Kevin Considine, Somerset
Southern Championship Women’s
Medal – Georgie Carter, South Hobart
Golden Boot – Isabelle Ferrier, South Hobart
Coach of the Year – Craig Westwood, South Hobart
Northern Championship Women’s
Best & Fairest – Emily Heazlewood, Launceston United
Golden Boot – Emma Langley, Northern Rangers
Coach of the Year – Rod Fulton, Northern Rangers
Southern Championship 1 Women’s
Best & Fairest – Sarah Dutton, Beachside
Golden Boot – Sarah Dutton, Beachside
Southern Championship 1 Men’s
Best & Fairest – Alvaro Gonzalez, Beachside
Golden Boot – Trent Knight, Beachside
Northern Championship 1 – Men’s
Best & Fairest – Marshall Pooley, Northern Rangers
Golden Boot – Kym Ellery, Ulverstone
Northern Championship Under 18’s – Men’s
Best & Fairest – Christian Byard, Burnie United
Golden Boot, Darlyton Echetama, Launceston United
Challenge League Golden Boot
Best & Fairest – Callum Brown, Glenorchy Knights
Golden Boot – Callum Brown, Glenorchy Knights
Young Referee of the Year
Southern Championship Referee of the Year
Northern Championship Referee of the Year
NPL Referee of the Year