As momentum builds towards a Tasmanian AFL team, the state's under-18 program reports that it is going from strength to strength.
Recruiters from all 18 AFL clubs visited St Patrick's College on Saturday as about 120 of the state's best under-18 and under-16 prospects took part in a series of tests under Rookie Me's high performance team.
Just seven weeks out from the state's second national under-18 campaign in 18 years, the Devils are set to finalise a 45-player squad in the next fortnight and have high hopes of bettering 2019's four wins.
Tasmania Devils state manager Craig Notman says his sophomore group is "a lot further advanced than what we had last year".
"I think we went into last year knowing that we were a little bit thin on the ground in terms of talent, but I think we're looking at boys that are involved in the Allies program at the moment," Notman said.
"We've got five of those boys going around in that and we're hopeful we'll get a few more based on what we've seen over the course of the pre-season so I think it's stacking up very nicely.
"I know you can't say a hell of a lot until you get into a game situation, but the boys are really giving it a good crack and I think there's some really positive signs."
The state's football community is still coming to grips with the Tasmanian AFL Taskforce's findings, which were released on Friday.
The report - which appears to make the most compelling case for a Tasmanian AFL side yet - slated 2025 as the team's earliest start date, by which time this year's Devils will be nearing the peak of their careers.
ELSEWHERE IN SPORT
"I think it's positive for kids and it's probably going to come into play for players coming through now with the timeframes, but who knows what will happen with it," Notman said.
"Every little bit of positive news we can get from a footy point of view helps keep footy at the forefront of people's minds as a first choice program for kids to pursue.
"If they get the opportunity to stay home and play footy that'd be terrific but there's obviously a lot of water to go under the bridge."