Anyone who has wanted to see a Tasmanian AFL team in action would do well to visit UTAS Stadium and the NTCA ground throughout this week.
The AFL Inclusion Carnival is being held in the state for the first time, with teams from all around the country taking to the field in Launceston.
Now in its fifth year, the carnival brings together footballers with an intellectual disability for a round-robin competition.
Players also have the opportunity to take part in education sessions and conduct clinics with students in the area.
Tasmania’s participation has grown with every year of the annual event, having gone from forming part of a composite team with Victoria to competing as a stand-alone side.
Team captain Alan Dengate said they were now spoiled for choice with players.
“It’s been a big journey,” he said.
‘We started off with five players, but more people have gotten involved through seeing the enjoyment we get out of it.
“The team now has selections, which make everyone a bit nervous.”
After a welcoming function at UTAS Stadium on Monday night, teams took part in a Lightning Carnival at UTAS Stadium on Tuesday.
Players will head to Youngtown on Thursday for clinics with support schools, before playing division one and two matches at the NTCA ground on Friday.
Saturday’s division one and two grand finals will then act as a curtain-raiser to Hawthorn’s clash against the Gold Coast.
AFL Inclusion manager Tim Nield said getting to share the spotlight with the Hawks was a coup for the event.
“Besides getting to play at a boutique stadium, it’s also a chance to let the community know that disability football is here,” he said.
“People sometimes associate having a disability with not being able to do things, and this will show people at the ground what has being going on in the past week.”
The grand finals will be followed by the announcement of the All-Australian squad.