The state’s best footballers held their first training run at UTas Stadium on Tuesday in preparation for the representative clash against the NEAFL at Bellerive Oval on Saturday, June 10.
State team coach Anthony Taylor and his assistants cast their expert eye over the talent on show knowing that the initial 46-man squad will have to be trimmed to 22 over the next three weeks and five training sessions.
Taylor said they had been scouting their NEAFL opposition ahead of the match.
“We’ve had some oppostiion stuff coming in now that they’ve named their squad and they are a pretty sharp outfit with some ex-AFL talent and some young talent straight out of their academies,” Taylor said.
“We’ve been keeping an eye on them but it is probably more important that we get the mix of our players right.
“We’ve got a lot of midfielders and backs so we need to get the right mix.”
Glenorchy coach Aaron Cornelius is Taylor’s midfield coach with Burnie’s Clint Proctor handling the forwards and Hobart City coach Kane Richter in charge of the backs.
Mathew Armstrong is the chairman of selectors with Tigers coach Adam Henley assisting on the bench and doing opposition scouting.
Taylor said he was confident that Tassie could defeat the NEAFL in Hobart.
“Time will tell and we will see how the boys fare over the next few weeks but I’m very confident we can get the job done.
“There is a lot of quality in this competition and we might not have the 200-centimetre guys like they have but we have a lot of very good, ground level players.
“I am looking for guys that want to play for Tassie and guys that are playing good footy are here at the moment.
“We have to make sure we have a good positive session and get to know one another and build a mini-culture within the team.”
Taylor said the squad will be trimmed over the coming weeks but other players could still be added to it.
“We’ve got four games still until the representative match so we will be watching and making sure we pick the right mix.
“I’m rapt with the squad we’ve got.
“There are always going to be players who are playing good football who miss out that should be disappointed.
“But we’ve got good versatility and guys that use the footy well.”