Footy Classified‘s Craig Hutchison has pitched a plan for Tasmania to enter the competition this season.
Speaking on the Channel 9 program, Hutchison believes there is a model that would allow Tasmania to have a team in the reformed and altered 2020 season.
“Given we are going to have Tasmania potentially as hub in in 2020 and given this season strikes us as novelty one at best, what would be wrong with taking a big cheque from the Tasmanian government towards football and giving Tasmania one season as a taste test in the AFL competition,” Hutchison said on Footy Classified.
“I’m saying add the 19th team now, and for this season only, let it play out.”
The AFL are looking into possible quarantined hubs for clubs to locate in a bid to resume the 2020 season, and Tasmania has popped up as a possible location.
The model he says will work would be to allow clubs to list five “untouchables” whom the new team wouldn’t be able to come after.
The Tasmanian team would have access to one Tasmanian per club, at which point if the player agrees to leave his current club there would be no stopping him. That player would then be released back to his current club at the end of the season.
The mini draft and trade period would be brought forward to allow clubs to make the moves needed to fill any voids now left which Hutchison believes would drum up more interest in the season.
Hutchison said that 2020 is a “non-traditional season and we need to be bold and brave” when proposing his idea to his fellow panelists.
Kane Cornes questioned Hutchison on why a player such as Jack Riewoldt would opt to leave a premiership contender (Richmond) and play for Tasmania.
“Why would Jack Riewoldt leave the opportunity to be a three time premiership player. Who is going to go?”
Hutchison said players would make the move due to the current financial climate the AFL players are facing.
“I don’t know if you’ve looked out the window? People want to make a living.”