JT’s State Of Origin State Icons Edition: Tasmania

Properly honouring the Apple Isle’s favourite son

SELECTION CRITERIA: Pick an Australian rules football team based on ‘well-known individuals’ from each State, with the only exception being players from the VFL/AFL/WAFL/SANFL/NEAFL/Whatever Tasmania plays.

Now for Part 2 of the State Icons State Of Origin Series, and after WA made an unspectacular debut on Monday, it’s time to see the team representing the island that carved itself off the Australian mainland in the 18th century, in anticipation of Victoria sprouting into existence….

The Van Diemen’s Land All Stars:

Home Ground: York Park/Bellerive Oval

* Due to a shortage of names, Max ‘Tangles’ Walker, despite playing 85 VFL games for Melbourne, was selected with approval from officials.

These are some of the Tasmanian players who could’ve been picked if footballers were allowed to play in this fantasy game:

Peter Hudson, Royce Hart, Darrel Baldock, Ian Stewart, Matthew Richardson, Verdun Howell, Michael Roach, Rodney Eade, the Riewoldts, Alastair Lynch…

Thus, they’ve been left with Jacqui Lambie and Jim Bacon.


According to the dictionary, a Tim Coyle is something you put in your car’s ignition to make it start.

It’s also someone who completed Mission Impossible and coached Tasmania to a Sheffield Shield title in 2006, which basically gives him the position by default.

The assistant coaching position will be taken by Tim’s other head.


Starting off with the forward line, and at full forward, it’s the captain – The 5 foot 2 Keg On Legs, DAVID CLARENCE BOON.

Just imagine Boony taking diving marks like he took catches at short leg.

You may wonder why Boony ended up as the captain when the Taswegians have 2 Australian captains in Punter and Timmy Paine.

It’s simple – They’re Not Boony.

Joining the Keg On Legs up forward is Premier Jim Bacon, who, given his history, is odds-on to emulate Bones McGhie during the 3/4 time huddle:

As taken by the great Rennie Ellis during the 1973 Grand Final

And in the other pocket, the team’s resident sledger and selector, George Bailey.

Across the half-forward line, former Federal Labor MP and Orson Welles impersonator Dick Adams will throw his weight around at centre half-forward, hoping to emulate Royce Hart.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

On the flank, it wouldn’t be a Tasmanian fantasy team without the state fauna, so the selectors got the closest thing to it.

Tasmanian Devil from the Looney Tunes, who will apply some forward pressure with his trademark tornadoes.

As unintelligible as the average Burnie resident

And opposite to Taz is Hollywood actress Rachael Taylor.

Yep, Rachael is a Taswegian.

Obviously she’s done a superb job of covering up her birth scar in every project she appears in.


Over to the wings, and the bonafide superstar is serial 1930s Hollywood womaniser Errol Flynn, who Australian Crawl would give anything just to be like,.

Opposite to him is the Devil Racer, 2-time V8 Supercars champion Marcos Ambrose, flying up and down the ground in his Pirtek Ford, until a trip to Bathurst, where he’s a good chance being sent flying off the edge of Mount Panorama.

Playing in the Centre-Right is former Prime Minister (And former Tasmanian Premier) Joseph Lyons, still the only Taswegian to lead Australia, and the first PM to bite the dust while they were in office.

John Curtin was just a lame copycat.

Moving on, it’s a scientific fact that all footy teams need a big bastard in the ruck, so the Taswegians have pulled out a bloke who could very well be the biggest specimen ever documented on the Apple Isle…


197cm, 150kg, 21 consecutive world titles, 1700 championships…

That is a verified 100% fact.

Imagine the sheer look of terror on the face of a Luc Longley or an Andrew Gaze when they see big Dave at the other end preparing to give them an ear massage with 170mm of steel.

Getting on the end of Foster’s axework is North Launceston Under-17s veteran Ricky Ponting, who had his footballing career ruined by greyhound punting, a broken arm, and a love for cricket.

Now that I’ve mentioned Punter, let’s experience 18 minutes of pull shots.

Some of those shots border on sexual.

Filling the final midfield spot is Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, formerly of Hobart, who was kindly made available thanks to the Danish Royal Family, in exchange for a case of James Boag’s Premium.

Bless those Danes – They helped the world prove that even princesses can come from Tassie.


Although Tasmania does have Bass Strait protecting it from the insufferable mainlanders, they were still required to name 6 people in defence.

Leading the charge at centre half-back is Tasmanian LAUNCESTON Legend James Boag I, renowned for his ability to intoxicate his opponents into submission with his 4.6% European-style lager.

Stalwart Greens leader Bob Brown identified himself as playing Extremely Left of Centre half-back, with his selection in defence making sense when you exmaine his years protecting the Tasmanian environment from things like the Franklin Dam.

Bob got 19 days in Risdon for protesting, so I believe that also makes him the only person with a criminal record on the Tasmanian team.

At right half back, it’s beloved Australian cricketer, commentator and author Max Walker, best remembered for hijacking the Channel 9 commentary box during the ODI at the SCG in 1992, knocking out Ken Sutcliffe before a Wide World of Sports broadcast in 1994, and changing his name to Mike in 2001.

An axe? No, I was talking about Max!

As previously mentioned, the selection of Tangles was controversial, because he did, of course, play 6 seasons with Melbourne in the VFL, which would rule him ineligible for selection.

The Taswegian attorneys argued that Tangles was better remembered for his cricketing career, and that quite frankly, there weren’t enough well-known Apple Islanders to fill the team.

For some reason, the mysterious governing body gave them a special dispensation.

On the last line of defence, we have Dame Enid Lyons, wife of Joseph and the first woman elected as a Federal MP.

Tim Paine overcame nagging finger injuries to line-up at fullback in place of Matty Wade, with Tim also being able to play without fear of being undermined by Steve Smith.

And, what’s better than one James Boag?


I’m just kidding – 3 or 4 is better… Especially on a Saturday afternoon.

Interchange and Emergencies

The first name on the bench is biologist Elizabeth Blackburn, who overcame the disadvantage of being born in Hobart to become the first Australian woman to win a Nobel Prize, winning the 2009 award for Physiology or Medicine.

Being a Nobel laureate is all well and good, but you have to remember, even Henry Kissinger was made one in 1973 for supposedly bringing a ceasefire in Vietnam with the Paris Peace Accords.


Next is actress Essie Davis, who has a monopoly on playing Miss Fisher in Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, and she also appeared in Season 6 of Game Of Thrones.

Ah, Season 6 of Game Of Thrones… Just before they well and truly jumped the shark.

The final two spots are occupied by Senator Jacqui Lambie, and Dick Johnson’s 2-time Bathurst 1000 winning teammate, and 1995 ATCC champion John Bowe in his No.18 Shell Ford Sierra.

Let’s just hope JB doesn’t run in to a guard rail.

The emergencies are Future Olympic Gold Medalist Ariarne ‘Merry’ Titmus (No pressure) and Ben ‘Hilfy’ Hilfenhaus, apparently getting revenge on Matthew Wade for the 2012 collision in the West Indies.

And last but not least, the team’s waterboy is Xavier Doherty, based on recommendations from Australia’s 2010-11 Ashes team.




With COVID-19 ripping a hole through our reality, this is probably the closest Tasmania will get to a football team in the near future…

Until the AFL move North Melbourne to Hobart in 2022.

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