Tasmania Devils launched as 19th AFL club

The AFL 19th club will be known as the Tasmania Devils and wear a dark green jumper emblazoned with a yellow map of the island state.

The club, which was granted a licence in May to enter the national competition in 2028, unveiled its colours, mascot and inaugural jumper at venues across the state on Monday night.

The club chose myrtle green, primrose yellow and rose red – an acknowledgement of the state’s rich football history.

“Our football heritage dates back over 150 years. Footy is part of the fabric of what it means to be Tasmanian,” club chair Grant O’Brien said.

“In 1908, our colours were agreed … (and) our traditional colours will endure.”

The club, which will also field an AFLW team, had to negotiate with American entertainment giant Warner Bros to use the mascot.

“Our Tasmania Devil is a free spirited, powerful, and authentic identity,” O’Brien said.

“A devil that embraces our past, but fiercely looks to our future.”

The launch took place in conjunction with the release of $10 foundation memberships.

The club’s jumper will be predominantly green with a red collar and a yellow map of the island with a red ‘T’.

Tasmania has battled for decades for inclusion in the national competition, with club board member Kath McCann telling the Hobart launch the devil army had to fight even harder to ensure the club could be delivered in 2028.

A condition of the licence is the construction of a $715 million 23,000-seat roofed stadium at Hobart’s Macquarie Point, which is proving a divisive state election issue.

Former Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse recently accused the AFL of “enforcing” the stadium on a small state that doesn’t need it.

The state Liberals, who are aiming for a fourth term at Saturday’s poll, support the project but have pledged to cap their spend at $375 million.

Labor leader Rebecca White believes the stadium is not the right priority and says she wants to renegotiate the deal and see a team prove itself at existing grounds initially.

The stadium project faces assessment by an independent planning commission and must be voted through both houses of parliament.

AFL CEO Andrew Dillon, who attended the launch in Devonport, reiterated the stadium was not negotiable.

“It was a vital part of the case that was put to the (AFL) commission for the licence,” Dillon told reporters.

“The club signed off on that.”

The federal Labor government is contributing $240 million and the AFL $15 million, with private investment slated to cover any cost overruns.

Under the contract, the club will play its first season at the existing Blundstone Arena in Hobart and Launceston’s University of Tasmania Stadium.

Tasmania has produced a host of elite Aussie Rules players including Australian Football Hall of Fame legends Darrel Baldock, Ian Stewart, Royce Hart and Peter Hudson.

The club’s board includes Burnie-born three-time premiership winner Alastair Lynch.

Richmond great and Hobart-born Jack Riewoldt has been involved in community consultation on the team’s identity.


Ethan James
(Australian Associated Press)


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