There's a distinctly English feel to the Italian club with Launceston City's new coach Roger Hardwicke adding Rob Gerrard to his clutch of compatriots.
The former Northern Rangers figurehead teams up with fellow imports Sam Ridgard and Louis Anthony as the club seeks to improve on its seventh-place finish in last season's NPL Tasmania.
Arriving into Launceston this week represented a happy return for the 23-year-old whose 23 goals fired Rangers to last season's Northern Championship title.
"I had a taste of Tasmania last year and now I'm excited to have the opportunity to play NPL so I'm looking forward to stepping up," Gerrard said.
"Northern Rangers are a really good family club who looked after me well and treated me like a star player.
"I saw four or five NPL games last year and feel like it is not a massive step up but think it will be a good challenge."
Hardwicke previously lined Gerrard up with NPL clubs in Queensland and was delighted to add him to a formidable City strikeforce already including new captain Ridgard, Australian futsal international Jarrod Linger and Tasmanian state representative Noah Mies.
"By all accounts he was the standout player in the Northern Championship last season and it's great that he wants to test himself in the NPL with City," he said.
"Rob was someone we wanted to add from day one and I reached out to him late last year. When he expressed an interest to come to City we didn't hesitate.
Rangers treated me like a starRob Gerrard
"He is more than just a goal-scorer, he has played a lot of his football as a defender so he understands the defensive aspect of the game plus he has a great engine. I expect Rob to be a great box to box player for us."
Gerrard, who was born in Watford, lived in Reading and supports Chelsea, is loving the English invasion at Prospect with Ridgard and Anthony having previously played together in their native Derbyshire.
"It's fantastic," Gerrard said.
"That was another reason to get down here. I was the only import last year living on my own but this year I'm sharing a place with the two Derby boys and we also work together.
"They're a couple of jack the lads who are always joking around and I know Roger has had a lot of experience on the mainland. He helped me find another club before I ended up here and his kindness was another factor in my move."
Delighted to report that Shaw Things ($29.95, Forty South) is now available at 56 outlets around Tasmania and selling well.— Rob Shaw (@TheShawThing) January 24, 2020
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Cornish-born Hardwicke, who has spent the last 30 years in Queensland, has been delighted with the English influx at Prospect.
He said Anthony represented "a significant upgrade to our defence" while Ridgard has "tremendous workrate" and an eye for goal.
"As a club we are trying to build a side and a culture that allows our best young players an opportunity to flourish and compete so that they can fulfil their footballing goals with City," he added.
- "I don't want the club to just stay where it is, I want to take it forward to where it wants to be." ROB SHAW profiles new City coach Roger Hardwicke in The Examiner on Wednesday.
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