Rudan issues call to action for Tasmanian football

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After the AFL dashed the hopes of Tasmania having its own football team, Western United have stepped in to bring football to the state.

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AFL boss Gillon McLachlan this week pushed back at a potential permanent AFL side in the state within the next few years.

Western United have committed to playing four games in the state over the next two seasons. The club also announced the partnership would also involve women’s football with Calder United Soccer Club set to square off against a Tasmania opponent.

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Although not a permanent commitment, United coach Mark Rudan has hopes it will lead to A-League expansion in the state.

“Hopefully, it gives them a boost to try and get their own team in the league,” said Rudan.

With the dismissal of a potential AFL team by league bosses. It brings up a great opportunity for the A-League to be only the second major sports team in the state, the only other being the Hobart Hurricanes in The Big Bash.

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Approximately 40,000 people play football in Tasmania, making it the most played team sport in the state. Whether that can translate into a strong fan base for an A-League or W-League side has long been a question mark.

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Rudan established the importance of growing a fan base for united, the League and the game itself.

“Hopefully, there is big support [from] football supporters for our football club and the game in general

“I think that’s important; it’s about growing the games, not just our football club,” said Rudan.

With many people wanting an A-League side in the apple isle, the commitment from Western United is important.

Rudan issued a call to action to the Tasmanian faithful, encouraging football fans to attend a match.

“This is their chance to vote with their feet and get a lot of people out there and show that they support the game, and that will put a lot of pressure on people running the game ensuring that there is a team in Tasmania”.

With a dearth in national sport at the moment in the nation’s most southern state, this could be the unexpected moment the A-League needs to finally let the spirit of Tasmanian football set sail.

Feature Image Credit: Supplied

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Pokuah Frimpong
Pokuah Frimpong
Obsessed football fan, current journalism student.

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