Tasmania's push for an A-League side won't be hindered by the seemingly imminent procurement of an NBL licence, says Football Tasmania chief executive Matt Bulkeley.
One of 15 bidders for two A-League expansion licences in 2018, Tasmania was one of the first to be removed from the shortlist with Western United and Macarthur FC eventually selected to join the national competition for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons respectively.
Asked whether the state government's likely support for an NBL side would leave the purse empty for soccer, Bulkeley indicated future Tasmania A-League bids wouldn't rely on ongoing taxpayer support.
"We remain very confident that we will have a team in the A-League in the future," Bulkeley said.
"We know that there's going to be expansion in the A-League, that's part of the strategy of the new management model and we think we're in a really good position to be a part of that competition in the future.
"We're the biggest team sport now in Tasmania and we're very confident that we'll be embraced by the football community and the broader Tasmanian community.
""We still have strong interest from investors who want to support a team in Tasmania."
Tasmania has had precious little involvement with the A-League since its beginnings in 2004.
UTAS Stadium hosted a handful of A-League matches between 2006 and 2013, while North Hobart Oval hosted a pre-season fixture between Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC in 2014.
Bulkeley said an A-League team would be instrumental in solidifying the pathway to top-flight competition for Tasmanian players.
"That remains a gap in that pathway, there's no question about that," Bulkeley said.
"Even though we have an NPL we'd love to have the opportunity to have not only an A-League [team] but a W-League and Youth League age group so our best young players and indeed referees and coaches have that opportunity to compete in a national competition."
Melbourne City's national under-23 star Nathaniel Atkinson and Melbourne Victory's Josh Hope are the only Tasmanians plying their trade in the A-League this season.
ELSEWHERE IN SPORT