One of Tasmania's most decorated AFL players says statewide unity is the missing element in the state's age-old bid for its own AFL team.
Former premiership Hawk and 1998 All-Australian forward Paul Hudson is one of a select group of Tasmanians to have pulled on the map jersey, famously playing in the State of Origin win over Victoria in 1990.
The 48-year-old, who will visit Evandale Football Club with legendary father Peter later this month, said he believed the state had more in its favour than ever to secure a standalone side.
"My Dad was on the task force when they were originally talking about trying to get a team," Hudson said.
"I think it is a matter of time now, I think the state's in a really good position for a couple of reasons - Hawthorn started it so you've got a really good stadium in Launceston, and you've got a really good stadium with North Melbourne now down south."
Tasmania's push for an AFL side has gathered momentum this year as the clock winds down to the end of the state's deals with North Melbourne and Hawthorn in 2021.
Hudson said reducing the psychological and geographical distance between the state's three major population centres was as big a stumbling block as any, and suggested the continued development of the Campbell Town football ground could form part of the solution.
"I think you could play games at either end of the state however I think the biggest [issue] is you really need buy-in from the whole state," the father-of-three said.
"I'm as guilty as any when I lived in Tassie of whingeing at travelling from Hobart to Burnie.
"Having lived in Melbourne, it's a walk in the park - I sit [stationary] in my car for nearly an hour and a half sometimes when there's terrible traffic.
"If you can break down those barriers and get buy-in from the whole state and it's going to take personnel to hit that on the head ... if people are willing to get out there, get their hands dirty and get around the state ... I think that the state will be in a really good position."
Paul and Peter Hudson will headline a sportsman's night at the Evandale Memorial Hall on May 25.
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