LAUNCESTON closed ranks behind Hawthorn's partnership with the state yesterday as AFL Tasmania urged people to ``keep an open mind'' to future possibilities. Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten, Bass Labor MHR Geoff Lyons and the Launceston Chamber of Commerce backed the state's arrangement with the top-of-the-table Hawks, amidst speculation North Melbourne was eyeing off more games in Tasmania at Hawthorn's expense. AFL Tasmania chairman Dominic Baker wrote to The Examiner &nbsp;yesterday to say the AFL Tasmania board had been ``doing plenty of thinking about the best model for the state going forward''. ``We believe that eight games played at both ends of the state by the one team that makes a long-term commitment to developing its club by growing its support right across all regions is our best outcome, short of getting our very own team,'' Mr Baker said. Hawthorn president Andrew Newbold has said the logic for this model did not stack up, and that Hawthorn could not agree to it. North Melbourne has been silent on the issue since last week's AFL Tasmania presentation, citing an overseas trip by chief executive Carl Dilena. Two potential candidates identified by AFL Tasmania to fill the model - the Western Bulldogs and St Kilda - effectively ruled themselves out yesterday, leaving just North Melbourne and Melbourne as obvious clubs to target. St Kilda chief executive Michael Nettlefold said while the Saints had ``a great affinity with Tasmania'', the club was exploring a secondary market in New Zealand while the Western Bulldogs indicated their focus was on Melbourne's western suburbs. Mr Lyons said he had written to the AFL and AFL Tasmania opposing the partial relocation plan, calling it ``unacceptable''. ``The Hawthorn games in Launceston are good for not only the supporters . . . it injects millions of dollars each year into the Tasmanian economy,'' Mr Lyons said. Alderman van Zetten said it was understandable that a change from the ``enormous success'' of the Hawthorn model would cause anxiety. ``Has the Hawthorn model been successful for Tasmania? Yes, it has,'' Alderman van Zetten said.