CARLTON fans will flood into Launceston this weekend to see Brendon Bolton’s Blues take on Hawthorn in a JLT Community Series preseason game at UTas Stadium tomorrow night.
And if you are looking for a hotel bed in Launceston, good luck.
Rooms are selling like hot cakes and Michael Howell, chairman of the Tasmanian Carlton supporters group, says the Blues are hot property among local fans and about 2500 Tassie members.
“It’s going to be a cracking year for us,” Mr Howell said.
“We had the boys down for a week a couple of weeks ago.
“They had two training sessions at Kingston and they had the open training session at North Hobart Oval. We’ve got the JLT match this weekend and the VFL team as well, and then we play North Melbourne at Blundstone in Round 4.
“It’s the first time we’ve ever played in Hobart for premiership points so it’s going to be a great year for Tassie fans.”
Carlton’s Tasmanian coach has added to the Blues presence in the state.
“That’s been a big part of it,” Mr Howell said.
“Since ‘Bolts’ has been there he’s brought the boys down every year, which is good.”
The former North Hobart, Clarence and Tassie Devils VFL coach, and Hawthorn assistant coach, Bolton is a hit with Blues fans.
“Coming from Hawthorn, who were so successful over that period, he’s brought a breath of fresh air to our team and some new ideas,” Mr Howell said. “The way he communicates with the guys and his personality. Coming from a teaching background, definitely helps.”