AFL News for the week ending April 30, 2023: A new chief at HO and a new team in Tassie
All hail the chief: Andrew Dillon is the new AFL CEO
As Eddie would say, it's been a big week in football.
Dominating news earlier in the week was the appointment of Andrew Dillon as the AFL's new CEO.
The decision has been somewhat of a long time coming, delayed for a variety of reasons, but more generally bccause the current CEO, Gillon McLachlan, had (and still has) unfinished business.
While Dillon's name was bandied around as the possible replacement for some time - and it was well-known he was Gill's preferred successor - there was a reluctance by the press or AFL pundits to say it was a done deal,
And even just days before the announcement, some were still contending that Gill might stay on or that some other admin structure might be put in a place for awhile.
But over a million dollars later and a year overdue (and with nearly a year's overlap transition period with Gill to come), Dillon was finally announced and the AFL can get back to business under his auspices
His first presser was measured, authentic and in many ways "steady as she goes", with a nod to grassroots footy and developing the game.
And for the outgoing chief?
Thanks Gill - you've done well during some very trying times, cemented the AFLW as part of the bedrock of our game and ensured Tassie is finally on the footy map ...
Speaking of Tassie ... welcome, team 19, to the AFL!
The second major announcement of the week came on Wednesday when the official announcement of a 19th team entering the competition was made.
Luminaries gathered in Hobart to hear Gill make the announcement and it would be fair to say many felt some sense of pride and excitement that our game is so popular that we have now expanded to 19 teams across our land of sweeping plains.
Of course, the detractors remain for all kinds of reasons - some valid, some less so.
But the reality is that surely fans of the game in Tasmania - who have headed out to support both the Hawks and Kangaroos as their adopted sides - deserve as much as any other fan across the country a unique state-based side with its own colours, theme song and history?
It's a few years away - 2028 - but the work is already underway to make it happen.
The big question remains: what will the side be called?
The Tassie Devils seems the most obvious but other names are being floated - maybe the fans in Tasmania should ultimately decide?
It's their side, after all.