Queensland to Maroon on the ‘Map’ in rep clashes

STATE football will return to the eastern coast of Australia, with Queensland and Tasmania set to do battle in a double-header of men’s and women’s representative football next year. In a throwback to bygone years, Australia’s most northern state and most southern state, will converge on the latter at North Hobart Oval for a huge day of action.

The day is scheduled for Saturday, July 1, with a men’s and women’s representative football double header on the Apple Isle. Both state bodies will work closely with their respective AFL Women’s clubs – Brisbane and Gold Coast for Queensland, North Melbourne for Tasmania – to allow players being looked at by those clubs to take part in the match.

No AFL Women’s player will take to the field, with a minimum of six players aged 23 or under to take part for the respective sides. Queensland’s team will be made up of top players from senior competitions across the state – largely QAFL and QAFL Women’s – while the Tasmanian side will see the TSL and senior men’s and women’s leagues combine for the home side’s lineup.

Queensland and Tasmania have played twice in the past 12 years, with matches for both men and women in 2010 and 2015 respectively. The Sunshine State has not take part in representative action since its women’s Emerging Talent squad took on Western Australia in 2019. The men’s team has not played since 2011, when Queensland also faced Western Australia.

Head of AFL Queensland Trisha Squires said it was great to see representative football taking place in the 2023 season.

“Football in Queensland is stronger than ever and we’re ready to put that pride back in the maroon jumper,” she said. “Queensland has a rich history of state football, and to have matches against such a proud football state in Tasmania is incredibly significant for our men’s and women’s teams.

“Queensland continues to produce AFLW talent, and this state game will offer an exciting opportunity for our up-and-comers to play at that higher level. Similarly, the men’s program will mix some of our best players with our rising stars.

“Thank you to Damian Gill and the AFL Tasmania team for all the hard work that has gone into hosting such a prestigious event.”

Tasmania has not played a senior women’s representative match since 2016, while the men last took place in an Under 25s clash against a composite Vic Metro outfit at UTAS Stadium in 2019.

Head of AFL Tasmania Damian Gill said he was equally excited about the day, and was looking forward to hosting the double-header at historic North Hobart Oval.

“The ‘Map’ is arguably our state’s most important sporting icon, and it will be a thrill to see Tasmania’s best men’s and women’s talent wearing it proudly at the traditional home of Tassie footy,” he said.

“There’s no doubt that representing your state is a career highlight for any footballer, and I know everyone involved in this double header – including local coaches, umpires, and administrators – will relish the opportunity.

“We have worked closely with Trisha Squires, Richie Lyons and the AFL Queensland team to make this a reality, and we look forward to continuing to work together between now and July.”

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