Soccer has strengthened its hold as the state's most popular sport by participation and Football Tasmania chief executive Matt Bulkeley fully expects the trend to continue.
Recent EMRS polling showed that one in five Tasmanian households were directly involved in soccer matches in 2019, a rise of three per cent from the previous year.
Soccer has a considerable edge on Australian Rules for participants, but still concedes the title of the state's most popular sport to its footballing counterpart.
Bulkeley said a Tasmanian A-League team would go a long way to increasing the number of soccer fans across the state.
"[Boosting soccer fan numbers] is not necessarily a primary objective of Football Tasmania because we don't have a high-profile team, we'd love to have one or at least support one," Bulkeley said.
"Not having an A-League team in Tasmania makes that more difficult, so that's another reason - as well as the pathway gap - to have local high-profile, high-level football content for our code that our young players or players of all ages can access."
About 38,000 Tasmanians play soccer in some capacity, a figure which typically rises in spurts with each men's and women's World Cup.
Just two Tasmanians - Nathaniel Atkinson and Josh Hope - have an A-League contract this season, but Bulkeley expects homegrown talents will come as a by-product of a Tasmanian A-League side.
"In terms of bridging that pathway gap, there's no question about that having an A-League team - and a W-League team and a youth team for that matter - would bridge a gap that does exist," Bulkeley said.
"At the moment unfortunately there are young players boys and girls who might have to go to the mainland to pursue their football career as young as 14 or 15.
"We know if they have a localised pathway that that would be different.
"They'd at least have an opportunity to stay and play for a Tasmanian A-League team and we really believe that's a very realistic ambition to have, even within the next five years."
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