Tasmania's bid to rejoin the VFL competition ahead of any AFL licence should be known by the end of May.
Recent feedback from the Tasmanian AFL Taskforce on the back of filing its report to state parliament could well delay entry by a further year.
Taskforce chairman Brett Godfrey and Premier Peter Gutwein have been in talks with the AFL over findings that call on the state to join the national competition.
The outcome of a series of meetings that have involved AFL boss Gillon McLachlan may hamper the state returning to the VFL, not only next year for the first time since 2008 but possibly ever again.
AFL Tasmania chief executive Trisha Squires has been listening to the advice from the sidelines before making a decision on what should be the state's next crucial move.
"We do have a provisional licence for 2021 after we first had discussions with the VFL football operations team last year," Squires said.
"The taskforce have asked if we can pause these conversations until this process takes place. I'll honour that commitment to pause those conversations until this process has been played out.
"By May, if this process is still going, we would have to reconsider our potential year of entry as we wouldn't want to rush into 2021 if we weren't ready.
"There would be a deadline of when we make this decision on entry into the VFL."
ELSEWHERE IN SPORT
It is the second occasion the taskforce has asked AFL Tasmania to delay its process over committing the Devils to a 2021 VFL entry.
The first occurred in October that had delayed issuing the licence.
But the taskforce's request to wait was so AFL Tasmania and in particular the government should not fund a VFL side should AFL head office in Melbourne turns down its AFL ambitions for good.
Squires remains optimistic for the future of the game in Tasmania regardless of the coming months ahead that could be without not only an AFL side proposed by the taskforce for a 2025 start but without one in the VFL.
"There is a live process happening at the moment that the state government is leading," she said.
"Throughout this process, AFL Tasmania and I have supported the state government and provided any information that they've needed.
"I have also met with the Tasmanian Football Board and we have worked closely with the taskforce in regards to what they have presented to the AFL.
"My lens looking at the taskforce report is all about participation.
"Our focus at AFL Tasmania is to unite and grow footy in the state.
"We want as many people playing football and being involved in the game."
Subscriptions are available here.
Sign up to our Sport email here.