Aker-mania comes to town

Aker-mania came to Hobart on the weekend. A ground record crowd of 8,400 turned up see Aker debut for the Glenorchy Magpies at KGV Oval against reigning TFL premiers, Clarence on Saturday evening in the season opener. For the demographically and statistically inclined, that’s around 4% of Hobart’s population or 1.6% of Tassie’s total populace.

Aker playing in the state league has been huge news here. Whether you warm to his unique personal traits or not, is beside the point. The fact is, he’s been one of the best AFL players of the last decade or so and a player of that calibre hasn’t ventured down here for a couple of decades. This, mixed with his ‘large’ personality and media profile, ensured every Taswegian other than those stuck up a pole protesting against the felling of Old Growth Forest, knew he playing in Hobart on Saturday.

The TFL season opener of the last couple of years has averaged about four-to-five thousand so Aker effectively doubled the figure, helping Glenorchy earn a very healthy $120,000 from the gate. The club announced in today’s Mercury that they’d made more than enough on the night to pay for Aker’s contract for the year. Clever thinking Pies.

I wasn’t there for the match so can only go on the media coverage for word on his performance. He apparently started slowly before working his way into the match, finishing with 23 possessions and 1 goal. And a handstand. The kids loved it. For the record, Glenorchy won by six goals.

Afterwards he openly admitted to nerves before the game, qualifying it with typical Aker self-belief by saying he’d never let on about it before a match.  The tele showed him looking pretty happy singing the club song with his teammates.

This week the Aker Show makes it’s way to the old historic, TCA Ground at the Domain where Glenorchy take on the homeside, the Hobart Tigers. The ground barely holds 3,000 but it’s expected 5,000 will turn up. My workmates in the Hobart City Council Parks Unit are looking a tad nervous; the Hobart Tiger admin. are probably drooling just at the thought of all that dosh about to come their way.

About Adam Muyt

Born into rugby league, found aussie rules, fell for soccer, flirts a little with union. Author of 'Maroon & Blue - recollections and tales of the Fitzroy Football Club' (Vulgar Press, 2006). Presently working on a history of postwar Dutch migrants and soccer in Australia.


  1. With due respect to another parks and rec person Adam, I do note that many ‘south of the border’ (Oatlands) have dubious taste.

    The only place you see Ackers on the N W Coast is on the faces of the Gen XXXL’s hanging around the Devonport Mall.

    But I suppose that after the financial disasters of the 1st State Wide League, the Tassie Devils and the Tassie Mariners, overseen by AFL Tasmania’s esteemed puppet leader they could do with a bit of good news.

  2. Adam Muyt says

    Ah, you reside north of the Boags-Cascade line! I’m becoming very aware of the regionalism of this little Isle.

  3. Adam it’s to do with attitude, not ale.

    Infact the Cascade Pale Ale is one of my faves.

    The ‘p’ in Tasmania is for parochialism

    Cheers, P.

  4. Pamela Sherpa says

    Adam . Last night (in Canberra) they had a report on Aker in Tassie on 7.30 Their script pretty much mirrored your article!

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