North flags future forays

Written By miftah nugraha on Minggu, 05 Mei 2013 | 19.55

JOEYS: Young Roos fans Oscar Willink, 10, left and James, 10 and Alex Hamilton, 13, all of Hobart.

THE action will move from the on-field to the off-field after North Melbourne completed the second year of its three-year deal with Hobart with a 10-point win over Port Adelaide yesterday.

Hobart will be without live AFL games for about 15 months as Blundstone Arena to receives a $30 million-plus redevelopment to increase capacity and spectator facilities.

North Melbourne chief executive Carl Dilena said the club would continue to build its relationship with the state via junior clinics, community camps and visitations.

Then the hard work will be done at the board table by the club, the AFL and financial partners TT-Line, Hobart City Council and the RACT.

Mr Dilena had the ears of AFL deputy chief executive Gill McLachlan and AFL strategic planning manager Sam Graham at yesterday's luncheon, but he said the governing body was being very tight-lipped.

"There were a lot of people in the room today keen to frame up what it looks like for Tasmania going forward, but I think a whole lot of different views need to come to the table during the year," Mr Dilena said.

Kangaroos president James Brayshaw said he had been impressed by the level of support for the club from the Hobart community and that North would be interested in discussing an extension of its deal to play in Hobart when the redevelopment of Blundstone Arena was finished.

And with 13,223 fans attending game one against Sydney and 10,265 at Blundstone Arena yesterday, Mr Dilena also had nothing but praise for the club's Hobart reception.

"This year we've got a bit [of] experience in promoting the game in Hobart and connecting with the right people," he said.

"Down the main street in Hobart we've got flags up and just keeping that vibe going.

"We are obviously keen to explore more games, but there has been nothing really discussed about if it is three games or a possible four or what the term might be.

"We see it as a great market for us and we've made a good connection, so we are keen to explore it at the end of this year."

Kangaroos coach Brad Scott praised his players for rising to the occasion.

"The boys played . . really well and like a winning side," he said.

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