I read with some concern the publicity of the Gippsland Power 20 year reunion and would like to point out that the TAC Cup is a business and Gippsland Power is a part of that business; it is not a football club.
I admire greatly Peter Francis and his efforts to create that environment, but these young men already have a home club.
The TAC Cup is a vehicle to improve and display the particular skills of a percentile of our youth.
It is not a replacement for the nurturing, inclusive environment of a club and its history.
I offer this alternative scenario:
TAC Cup squads prepare for their season as normal.
The season is one complete round of matches starting in time to culminate in a final series during winter school holidays (interstate carnival proceeds as normal).
Players then return to their home club to compete against their peers or men as their maturity suggests.
The rookie draft has validated such a proposal.
The coaching personnel then ply their trade within the education system to the benefit of all of Australia’s youth, in the fields of diet, exercise, self esteem, personal hygiene and surviving immaturity.
The AFL could do with a genuine donation of their vast resources into rural communities (the AFL player visits could then reinforce a meaningful message) for the benefit of all of those sports who cannot afford such.
The players can then enjoy the experience of representing their hometowns, growing together with their schoolmates and their family naturally.
The football club gets their player back.