Footy fans not sold on Tasmanian Kangaroos name

Thursday, 28 September 2017, 11:27:18 PM. There's a Tassie AFLW team at last, but fans say the name misses the mark.

footy-fans-not-sold-on-tasmanian-kangaroos-name photo 1 Photo: Local players Nicole Bresnehan and Loveth Ochayi hope to be drafted to the Tasmania AFLW Team (ABC News: Chris Rowbottom)

North Melbourne and Tasmania's successful joint bid for an AFLW license has garnered a mixed response from the football-hungry Tasmanian public.

The team has been referred to by several names - most commonly, the Tasmania Kangaroos and The North Melbourne Tasmania Kangaroos.

It's likely the latter will be the official name of the new team, with 'Tassie Kangaroos' adorning the strictly blue and white jumper that will be worn in Tasmanian home games.

It's earnt cries of "half-baked" and "ripped off" from a significant portion of punters.

Greens Senator Nick McKim believes the Tasmanian Government, which is chipping in half a million dollars a year for five years, is not getting bang for its buck.

"We've been getting the crumbs off the table from the AFL for decades now," he said.

"Unfortunately with this latest announcement, its beginning to look a little bit like this might be a fly-in fly-out arrangement."

But the girls who are taking up football in droves in Tasmania simply don't care.

All they know is their path to the AFLW just became a little bit clearer.

No worries on uniform colour

footy-fans-not-sold-on-tasmanian-kangaroos-name photo 2 Photo: Being selected for the Tassie Kangaroos is top of the list for Loveth Ochayi (centre) (Supplied: AFL)

The colour of the guernsey, or amount of staff based in Tasmania, is of little concern to Loveth Ochayi.

She's a gun ruck with the Tigers in the state women's league and is thrilled by the partnership.

"It's great to know girls won't have to move away from home entirely to be in the league," she said.

"It will inspire girls in Tasmania to represent their home state.

"The boys don't have the opportunity to, so we have to take full advantage of it."

Ochayi represented Tasmania in just her second game of football.

"I played basketball. I didn't even know the rules of footy before I started playing," she said.

"My second game ever was with the women's state team in Melbourne.

"From there, I pulled myself into gear, worked hard, learnt skill and went from there".

A few short years later she's showing off a crisp new AFLW jumper; an experience she simply didn't predict.

"Not in my wildest dreams," she added.

She's impressed selectors so much she's earnt an invitation to the National AFLW draft next week.

Having her name called out by North Melbourne Tasmania is her preference.

"Definitely. A hundred per cent. I'm putting North first on the list," she said.

"But I wouldn't say to other clubs next year either".

Former swimmer aiming for draft pick

Nicole Bresnehan is another relative newcomer to the game.

footy-fans-not-sold-on-tasmanian-kangaroos-name photo 3 Photo: Nicole Bresnehan hopes to swap the State Women's League for the AFLW (Supplied: The Advocate)

She's also shown positive signs, despite only starting her football journey 18 months ago.

"I finished swimming competitively, so thought I better do some sort of exercise, so I gave it a shot," she said.

"I've loved it ever since."

She wears the red and white of Clarence in the state league, but harbours an ambition to swap the red for blue.

The on-baller believes the formation of the North Melbourne Tasmania AFLW team edges her closer to the big league.

footy-fans-not-sold-on-tasmanian-kangaroos-name photo 4 Photo: Premier Will Hodgman (L) with AFLW hopefuls Nicole Bresnehan and Loveth Ochayi and North Melbourne CEO Carl Dilena (Supplied: North Melbourne Football Club)

"A couple of months ago I wouldn't have thought about it, but now that's definitely something that would be great," she said.

"Every time I train, I think of that in the back of my mind, that it would be a great spot to be in the future.

"All the girls playing football now, they have something to aspire to in their home town."

Along with Geelong, North Melbourne Tasmania will join the AFLW in 2019.

Richmond, St Kilda, West Coast and Gold Coast have been granted licences from 2020.

Share this
Article Footy fans not sold on Tasmanian Kangaroos name compiled by www.abc.net.au