Once a footy giant, the Glenorchy Magpies Football Club is struggling to attract players


It is feared one of Tasmania’s former football teams is dangerously close to failing to field a team, with sporting greats comparing the situation to a canary in a coal mine for other clubs.

Known as the former home of Australian reigning greats Peter Hudson and Roy Cazaly, the Glenorchy Magpies have struggled for over 12 months to attract players to the club, but ahead of this year’s Tasmanian State League season the situation has taken a turn for the worse .

At least one recent training session saw just 12 dedicated players on the court, sparking fears for the future of the club, which has 17 premierships and has been a traditional powerhouse of Tasmanian football.

But Tim Woodham, who will contest the club’s presidency at the upcoming annual general meeting, believes the tide will turn in the coming weeks.

“I don’t want to go into a recession because I believe you’re not coming back, but we need to find some players quickly,” he said.

“We don’t have any quick fixes at the moment, and it may take us a while to turn things around, but one day Glenorchy will be back as a powerful club.”

The club has some famous exports such as the all time great Peter Hudson.(Provided: www.tasmanianstateleague.com.au)

Interim president Scott Donaghy told ABC Radio Hobart on Tuesday that while the numbers were low, the situation at the Magpies was exaggerated and he expected a steady return of players to the club in the coming weeks.

A young man stands on a running track and smiles.
Sprint star Jack Hale has been signed by the club as a high-performance coach.(ABC News: Luke Bowden)

“We have told AFL Tas that we will park a team. As far as we are concerned, we will park a team, and hopefully a second team,” he said.

Things are already starting to change, with about 30 players attending a pre-season run at Risdon Brook Dam this morning.

The club has also recruited sprinter Jack Hale as a high-performance coach.

But answers are being sought as to how the famous club declined so rapidly.

Glenorchy a ‘warning sign’ for other clubs

Glenorchy, who went winless at senior level last year and was forced to forfeit two games in the second tier development league, is a canary in the coal mine, according to former greats.

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