The prospect of any extension to Hawthorn's relationship with Tasmania could be in doubt, as the AFL signals its preference for a "one-team model" for the state after current deals lapse in 2021.A report for the AFL prepared by former Western Bulldogs chief executive Simon Garlick recommends Tasmania focus on having just one Victorian team playing regularly in the state.
Mr Garlick also recommended more cash for community football, a bolstered state league and an academy for upcoming talent.
He also suggested a Tasmanian-based AFL team was "a potential option in the future", adding it was "clearly something that would only be for consideration in the longer term".
Asked whether he accepted Mr Garlick's recommendation for a "one-team model", AFL Tasmania's chief executive Robert Auld told reporters in Hobart he did.
"There has been, as alluded to on record ... the one-team model is the preferred one over time," he said.
Hawks, North Melbourne deals end in 2021The Hawks have been playing fixtures at York Park in Launceston for more than a decade, while the Kangaroos started playing at Bellerive in Hobart in 2012.
Over their time in the state, the Hawks have grown their local membership base to more than 9,000.
Since 2012, the Kangaroos have added 4,000 members, to a total of 7,038.
The Kangaroos have secured deals with ferry operator TT-line and the AFL to establish an AFL academy in the state, training young footballers in Hobart, Launceston and Ulverstone.
The team also has a provisional licence to field female footballers for the new national competition, signs perhaps the side is being positioned to became a bigger player in Tasmania.
For their part, the Hawks have agreed to continue playing in Launceston until 2021.
Insiders believe Kangaroos the AFL's pickAsked on Tuesday whether he expected the Kangaroos to become the "one team" contemplated by the AFL rather than Hawthorn, Mr Auld would only say nobody really knew what would happen.
"What happens in three, four, five years - that will play itself out over time," he said.
Those close to the teams in Tasmania believe the AFL will move to position the Kangaroos as the state's main AFL team.
While that would be a blow to Hawks fans - some of whom have grown up with the team playing in the state - it might also mean more frequent AFL games being played in the state.
Critical to any negotiations will be which match-ups are played in the state in a season, and how games are split between Hobart and Launceston.
Insiders believe the deal-making would be difficult, especially if the Tasmanian Government were not on board.
On Tuesday, Tasmania's Premier Will Hodgman suggested his preference was for both Hawthorn and North Melbourne to continue playing games in the state.