Jobi Harper believes Launceston is well ahead of where it was 12 months ago as he prepares to skipper the side into a new decade.
Co-captain with fit-again midfielder Jay Blackberry last season, Harper will shoulder the on-field load in 2020 with the former taking on the role of forward line coach.
The 26 year-old pointed to the development of young defender Ryan Tyrrell - who has succeeded Hamish Leedham and Simon Vandervelde as vice-captain - and leadership progression of Blackberry as evidence of Launceston taking the next step.
"Jay had a large chunk of the year out through injury and he took on a coaching role while he was off so it was just a natural progression for him," Harper said.
"He's going to more of a line coaching role this year and I'm going out in the captaincy by myself and it also gives Ryan a really good chance as a good young leader to come up as vice-captain.
"Hopefully he'll be leading the club one day - he's a good young kid, his head's in the right place and he's a good young leader."
A Darrel Baldock Medallist and premiership player with South Launceston in 2013, Harper joined Launceston in 2018 and spent a season at centre half-back before relocating to the midfield.
The electrician singled out Tyrrell, young forward Alec Wright and speedster Grant Holt among the biggest improvers over pre-season as Launceston looks to better its preliminary final run of last season.
"It's been very positive, the young fellas have got a really good vibe and the environment of the footy club is probably the best I've been at," he said.
"That's where our progression is going to come from, our young fellas, so hopefully they'll keep taking a step forward and will get a bit better this year than we were last.
"Our younger core are ahead of where they were last year - I think this time last year they were a little bit unknown whereas now they know where the standard is.
"We debuted 10 or more last year so now they know what senior footy's like, what finals footy is like and where we've got to be at and I think it's made them pretty hungry."
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Not long 21, Tyrrell arrived at Windsor Park as a 16-year-old and has been a part of the Blues' senior ranks since 2015.
The former St Patrick's College and Exeter High student stood up to lead a youth-heavy back six last season but was surprised to have official leadership thrust on him by teammates.
"I'm pretty pumped, I wasn't expecting it at all," the apprentice plumber said.
"I've never really had a leadership role at the club, this is my first one so I'm pretty proud that the boys voted me in.
"Our backs are pretty good - we all work with each other pretty well so I'm pretty lucky there."
Tyrrell is as fit as he's ever been after putting in big on the track during pre-season.
"That's probably my biggest area I needed to improve so I can run out the games a bit better and I've focused on that a bit," he said.
"Everyone's improved a bit and we're aiming for the flag, that's everyone's goal here."
The Blues get their 2020 campaign under way with a home clash against North Hobart on April 4 before taking on reigning premier North Launceston at UTAS Stadium a week later.
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