The best young soccer player in Tasmania would be expected to have plenty of optimism about the future.
But Jarrod Hill is as excited about what lays ahead for Riverside Olympic as for himself.
The 18-year-old goalkeeper was named the NPL Tasmania rising star following a stellar maiden season of statewide soccer.
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He said even the awards night dinner in Hobart reminded him what he loves about the club where he has spent more than a decade of his young life.
"The club culture is phenomenal," he said.
"At the dinner, we had two full tables while some of the big name clubs only had one. The environment is what all sporting clubs should be like. We had 150 people at the final club tea the other night. You just feel like you belong.
"It was an awesome first year and I'm looking forward to the next."
Having kept for Lynden Prince's 2018 Northern Championship-winners, Hill stepped up to play an equally pivotal role as Alex Gaetani's side returned to statewide competition after two decades away.
Hill said there was no honeymoon period with the transition.
"The first couple of games were a massive shock. We lost the opening game 5-1 to Glenorchy and knew we were on a huge learning curve.
"I learned that the margin for error is very slim. If you make a mistake, you get punished.
"Games where we would switch off for five or 10 minutes we could let in two or three goals and were out of the game. At the weekend against Zebras we conceded four goals in 17 minutes - you just can't switch off like that.
"But I thought it was awesome that this was where Riverside wanted to be and by the end of the season we did not look out of place. We were drawing and getting close to top teams which is what we wanted at the start.
"At the moment I'm enjoying some time off - this is probably the first night I haven't been at training since January. But I'm really excited about next season.
"This year we had four or five players starting consistently that could still have played under-18s. Now they've got that experience, they will be so much better.
"We want to continue our improvement and hopefully taking points off top teams will be our main focus."
The former Riverside Primary and High student is now at Launceston College and seeking to study secondary schools maths and science teaching at UTas.
Having emerged through Olympic's juniors and become a regular in Northern and state rep teams, Hill has enjoyed coaching under-10 and under-12 sides this season with his regular goalkeeping coach Chris Rademacher and long-time teammate Liam Gilmore.
He said the club's coaching structure should guarantee plenty more aspirants to follow the footsteps of A-League graduate Nathaniel Atkinson, although he played down himself being the next in line.
"I do have aspirations to try and play at the highest level, maybe on the mainland, but for now I'm happy to wait and see."
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