This year the AFL is celebrating the 30-year history of the competition which has produced more AFL and AFLW players than any other in recent decades, the NAB League (formerly TAC Cup).

Tasmania has been involved in the competition in various capacities since 1995, and to celebrate the competition’s milestone, we will take a look back at some of their most notable campaigns over the years.

The Tassie Mariners had limited involvement in the 2011 TAC Cup season, playing just two games as part of the competition. That didn’t stop them from making a huge impact, though, with those two games enough to have many still regarding them as one of the state’s most talented teams.

2010 was the Mariners’ first season under head coach Mathew Armstrong, with the side playing two TAC Cup games and losing both. That proved to be a valuable learning experience, and with an uber-talented squad they entered the following season with high hopes. Those expectations would be well and truly met, with Tasmania earning emphatic wins over both TAC Cup grand finalists. With a combined winning margin of 188 points and only four goals conceded in total, the Mariners served a timely reminder that Tasmania was a footballing force to be reckoned with.

Tasmania Coach Mathew Armstrong (L) and John McKenzie (R) pose with the Division 2 trophy after the 2011 NAB AFL Under 18 Championship match between Queensland and Tasmania at Skilled Stadium, Geelong.

While their first fixture didn’t come until round six of the competition, the Mariners were still able to get the jump on Sandringham at Bellerive Oval. They piled on six goals to none in the first half to bury a Dragons side that would go on to win the premiership, ultimately winning by 73 points. Julian Dobosz booted six goals, while two-time TSL Peter Hudson Medalist Dylan Riley was named best afield. It was a similar story in their second game against eventual runners-up Oakleigh, who were held goalless through the entire game as the Mariners booted 19 majors. Dobosz again kicked six and was well supported by Jake Jenkins with five.

The Mariners would also go on the claim the Division 2 title at that year’s AFL Under 18 Championships, with wins over NSW/ACT, the Northern Territory and Queensland powering them to the title. Tasmania captain John McKenzie claimed the Hunter Harrison Medal as the top player in Division 2, and he was named alongside teammate Brody Mihocek in the All-Australian team.

L-R: Ben Brown, Brody Mihocek, Jimmy Webster

It was a star-studded Tasmanian squad, with eight players going on to spend time with an AFL club. A pair of tall forwards are among the standouts, with four-time Collingwood leading goalkicker Brody Mihocek (99 games, 161 goals for Collingwood) and Melbourne premiership player (160 games, 341 goals for North Melbourne & Melbourne) both featuring. There has also been AFL success at the other end of the ground, with defenders Jimmy Webster (133 games for St Kilda) and Robbie Fox (64 games with Sydney) also in the squad. A host of the TSL’s biggest names were also there, with the likes of Riley, two-time Alastair Lynch Medal winner Brad Cox-Goodyer and Launceston premiership captain Jobi Harper all playing key roles.

2011 TASMANIAN SQUAD

Coach: Mathew Armstrong

Captain: John McKenzie

 
No.PlayerClubNo.PlayerClubNo.PlayerClub
1Martyn AllisonNorth Hobart15Thor BoscottLauderdale29Jarrod WestellLauderdale
2Zach HislopBurnie16Robbie McManusLauderdale30Larry OwenHobart
3Bryce WalshLauderdale17Ethan PetterwoodNorth Launceston31Aaron McNabDevonport
4Jimmy WebsterGlenorchy18Casey RadfordBurnie32Jobi HarperSouth Launceston
5Dylan RileySouth Launceston19Claude AlcorsoHobart33Sam SigginsLauderdale
6Brad Cox-GoodyerNorth Launceston20Calen JefferyHobart34Henry SchadeNorth Hobart
7Michael MusickaSouth Launceston21Nathan McCullochNorth Hobart35Cody ThorpSouth Launceston
8Jesse LonerganLaunceston22Robbie FoxBurnie36Josh GrantGlenorchy
9John McKenzieSouth Launceston23Daniel JosephGlenorchy37Daniel FoxNorth Hobart
10Trad DugganGlenorchy24Brody MihocekBurnie38Ben BrownGlenorchy
11Damon SmithBurnie25Liam WilliamsDevonport39Julian DoboszNorth Hobart
12Jake JenkinsClarence26Jarrod HibberdLauderdale40Rohan BonesHobart
13Brennon KendallDevonport27Jackson ThurlowLaunceston   
14Quade ByardDevonport28Andrew BlightClarence   

 

2011, Round 6: Tasmania vs Sandringham Dragons (Bellerive Oval) – 14/05/2011

 ¼ Time½ Time¾ TimeFull Time
Tasmania5.3 (33)9.5 (59)12.11 (83)15.15 (105)
 
Sandringham0.1 (1)0.4 (4)1.6 (12)4.8 (32)
 
 

GOALS

TASJ. Dobosz 6, J. Thurlow 2, R. Fox, D. Joseph, M. Allison, L. Owen, B. Cox-Goodyer, J. McKenzie, J. Jenkins
SDD. Gabron-Uhe 2, L. Summer, J. Coleman
 

BEST

TASD. Riley, D. Fox, J. Harper, J. McKenzie, D. Smith, M. Allison
SDT. La Rocca, S. Glennen, D. Brown, C. Mangoni, D. Maitland, A. Anastasio
 
 

MARINERS

TEAM

 

FB: Trad Duggan, Henry Schade, Jobi Harper

HB: Quade Byard, Brody Mihocek, Dylan Riley

C: Robbie Fox, John McKenzie, Jackson Thurlow

FOL: Daniel Fox, Daniel Joseph, Jesse Lonergan

HF: Brad Cox-Goodyer, Larry Owen, Robbie McManus

FF: Martyn Allison, Julian Dobosz, Damon Smith

INT: Thor Boscott, Jake Jenkins, Brennon Kendall, Cody Thorp

 

2011, Round 7: Tasmania vs Oakleigh Chargers (Warrawee Park) – 28/05/2011

 ¼ Time½ Time¾ TimeFull Time
Tasmania5.1 (31)7.5 (47)13.7 (85)19.10 (124)
 
Oakleigh0.1 (1)0.6 (6)0.8 (8)0.9 (9)
 
 

GOALS

TASJ. Dobosz 6, J. Jenkins 5, J. Grant, B. Mihocek 2, M. Allison, D. Joseph, J. McKenzie, H. Schade
OCNIL
 

BEST

TASH. Schade, D. Riley, J. Lonergan, J. Dobosz, L. Owen, D. Smith
OCA. Brown, M. Arnot, D. Harris, S. Evans, D. Pearce, L. Jong
 
 

MARINERS

TEAM

 

FB: Zach Hislop, Henry Schade, Jobi Harper

HB: Dylan Riley, Jackson Thurlow, Trad Duggan

C: Michael Musicka, Brad Cox-Goodyer, Robbie Fox

FOL: Daniel Fox, John McKenzie, Damon Smith

HF: Jake Jenkins, Larry Owen, Martyn Allison

FF: Brody Mihocek, Julian Dobosz, Jesse Lonergan

INT: Quade Byard, Josh Grant, Robbie McManus, Daniel Joseph