Launceston has recruited the NTFA's reigning WC Curran Medallist Jacob Knight in a push to add more middle-aged talent to its list.
A key cog in St Pats' run to the division one grand final and their best player on the day, Knight made it two league best and fairest medals in three years at the NTFA's awards night earlier this month.
Known as one of the most explosive and hard-running players in the NTFA, the former Prospect Hawk will add another element to a Launceston side which came within one goal of a TSL grand final appearance this season.
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"He's 24 - again all targeted in that age demographic we're after - and he adds a bit of speed to our group," Launceston coach Mitch Thorp said.
"We're a little bit one-paced through the middle of the ground and it was no coincidence that on the really wet days we were at our best.
"On the drier days we didn't quite have enough toe through the middle part of the ground and that's not just inside that's outside, so we feel like Jacob Knight on a wing could be really beneficial for us.
"We're really excited to have him on board."
Knight's arrival comes in the wake of Windsor Park returns for powerful midfielder-forwards Michael Musicka (26) and Jamieson House (19).
The Blues have also secured the services of South Launceston's 2018 premiership defender Bowen Pearce, while Stewart Williams will return after missing the past two seasons.
"[Williams] played in 2017 as a hard-nosed lock-down defender, he's 26 years old - again in that demographic we're after - so that will help release a Ryan Tyrrell or a Jake Smith or a Jack Tuthill," Thorp said.
"Bowen Pearce is a nice-sized defender who again can release some of the more talented guys to play some attacking roles behind the ball."
Midfielder Tom Sheppard will also return to the club in 2020 after being cleared of a health scare, while nuggety forward Ben Killalea (travelling) is the Blues' only departure to date.
Thorp conceded his bulked-up side would have to bear the weight of extra expectation heading into 2020.
"It changes pretty quickly - last year we went from the underdog and no one really gave us much of a chance," Thorp said.
"[Now] I daresay there'll be quite a bit of expectation on where we need to get to and improve on this season so we need to make sure we have a really strong block between the end of November and the end of March.
"There's no secrets in footy - the harder you work the luckier you get, so as simple as it is we need to make sure we're head down, bum up, and North Launceston have been good at that for a long period of time."
Knight is the second NTFA league best and fairest to cross to a State League club in as many years after South Launceston's Hec Smith Medallist Jordan Tepper joined North Launceston at the start of this year.
Tepper and Pearce played in the same 2018 South Launceston premiership side.
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