Tasmania Devils plan to put the state back on the map on Sunday in front of potentially the biggest crowd to witness the return of the under-18 side back home.
Coach Adrian Fletcher is now keen on his players to exhibit the five months of a hard preseason to a partisan Launceston football public.
The new-look Devils will take on the Western Jets in the UTAS Stadium encounter prior to Hawthorn's home AFL match against Carlton.
Fixtures in the new NAB League - formerly the TAC Cup for close to 30 seasons - are mostly played at one-time, now ageing VFA ovals in suburban Melbourne, but rarely at an AFL venue.
Fletcher said the Devils are looking forward to embracing the challenge of playing on a ground with similar dimensions to the MCG ahead of their AFL ambitions.
"It's a big ground and it suits our style at times if we can get a run on," he said.
"We want people to come along, watch the Devils and get behind our team.
"We had a good crowd at Penguin, but this is a step up.
"We think we can bring in a good crowd at UTAS.
"I just feel we are very lucky here in Tasmania to have the grounds that we do. They are just brilliant surfaces and the facilities are really good, so I am really pleased for our guys to play there Sunday."
The now defunct Tassie Mariners represented the state in the under-18s competition from 1995 until 2002.
The Mariners had returned in recent years to play an AFL academy series against Brisbane, Gold Coast, GWS, Sydney and the Northern Territory on the back of the national championships.
A strong push to fix the flagging game in Tasmania last year led the AFL to appoint a steering committee that included AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan, AFL Tasmania boss Trisha Squires, Carlton coach Brendon Bolton and former St Kilda captain Nick Riewoldt.
The football public later overwhelmingly voted for the Devils moniker to represent Tasmania teams that also involves both a new female under-18s and a VFL side set down for 2021.
Fletcher said the first of four Launceston matches including three curtain-raisers was a great way for the public to envisage the future of Tasmania's AFL recruits.
"We want the local community to understand that this is the pathway," he said.
"Come along and watch who's going to be the next AFL player that comes out of a Tassie jumper. That's what is exciting about it - we don't know even as coaches.
"We will give them the tools of the trade, but we don't pick them where they will go [in the AFL]."
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