Adored Richmond champion Matthew Richardson believes “it’s time” for Tasmania to be included in the AFL with a dedicated men’s and women’s football team.
Richardson, a three-time All-Australian, said the state is well-positioned to host thriving men’s and women’s teams.
“You can’t have a truly national competition without Tasmania being a real part of it with their own team,” said Richardson, speaking on The Believers: Tasmania’s AFL Journey podcast.
“No relocated teams, no teams playing games down there, their own new start up team. And I think the timing is right.”
Richardson vehemently disputes beliefs that a lack of national junior talent could be barriers for Tasmanian’s entry into the AFL.
“The state’s kicking goals… it’s a great place to visit and this will just be another reason to go to Tassie.”
“It will inspire kids to play and I think you’ll find that there will be a real shift in Tasmania footballers in the game again because there has been a bit of a decline in numbers of players being drafted so, I think if it’s actually a Tasmanian team it’s in your face, it’s in your own backyard, I think the talent will be there.
“The state’s kicking goals. Every time I go home I just go, ‘Gee how good’s Tassie going at the moment’ with tourism and the amount of things happening in the state now it’s a great place to visit and this will just be another reason to go to Tassie.”
The Devonport star and Tasmanian Team of the Century member reveals on the podcast:
- His reinvention as a wingman and coming runner-up in the Brownlow medal
- The influence of his dad, former Richmond player, Alan ‘Bull’ Richardson
- How he was approached to sue the SCG following a horrific knee injury
- Coping with the merry-go-round of coaching changes at Punt Road
- His struggles quelling his white line fever that became synonymous with Richo’s career
- Being a central figure to Richmond’s drought-breaking 2017 premiership