Tasmania's eight-year wait for A-League action is set to end with plans to bring two fixtures to Launceston early next year.
Victoria-based Western United have confirmed they are intending to play games against league founder members Perth Glory (Friday, March 19) and newcomers Macarthur (Thursday, April 1) at UTAS Stadium.
Football Tasmania and the state government are supportive with hopes it will become an annual arrangement, expand to include W-League fixtures and boost Tasmania's case for its own side in national soccer competitions.
In just their second season in the 12-team national competition, United see Tasmania as both an untapped market and recruiting area, believing they can offer a pathway for the state's aspiring players.
"It's an opportunity to help us grow the game in Tasmania and also expand our brand and grow a loyal fan base," United chief executive Chris Pehlivanis said.
"Noone has come to Tasmania in years and this is a real opportunity to make the state ours and build something special. There are thousands of registered players in Tasmania, what an opportunity to capture them to support Western United if we can grow participation in Tasmania."
The matches would double the number of A-League fixtures played in Tasmania.
Melbourne Victory hosted games at York Park in 2012 and '13, which attracted crowds of 5268 and 6238, on the back of seven pre-season friendlies dating back to 2006 and drawing crowds as high as 8061.
Pehlivanis said United saw the arrangement as at least a two-year proposition saying he did not know why other A-League clubs had not followed Victory's lead.
"We're new boys on the block and are doing things differently," he said.
"We have 13 home games and the ability to move one or two down there is not a bad thing.
"Bringing two games there is a big commitment from our point of view and we really want to make this work and want to embrace the community there."
Asked his thoughts on Tasmania's push for its own team in the competition, he added: "It's hard for me to say because I don't know the demographics but if what we are doing helps then great, if not then we wear the Tasmanian green colours anyway so why not support us?"
United, who have applied for a W-League licence for next year, will also play home games in Geelong, Ballarat and at AAMI Stadium while a permanent ground is being built in the City of Wyndham, west of Melbourne.
Football Tasmania chief executive Matt Bulkeley said the arrangement was close to being finalised.
"It's long overdue," he said. "It's been a number of years since matches were played for points in Tasmania so it's a great opportunity and it's going to be amazing.
"Western United are keen to bring a couple of matches here this season. We have sounded out the Premier and he is positive about it. We're in discussions with the club and government and there is more work to do but it's an opportunity for the broader community to witness the very best players in Australia and would be great.
"The state government are very open to the possibility and excited about it. We have not nailed down the exact dates yet but that is close."
Bulkeley confirmed the matches would be played at UTAS Stadium with an eye on adding W-League matches in a bid to lock in fixtures for the 2023 Women's World Cup at the venue.
"We are also looking to get W-League fixtures down here and are working with Football Federation Australia and clubs on that which would be a real positive particularly leading up to the Women's World Cup. There has never been one in Tasmania before and we hope it would be the first of many."
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Wednesday, February 1, 2012: Melbourne Victory 1 (Kewell 65), Gold Coast United 1 (Thwaite 90). Crowd 5268
Saturday, January 12, 2013: Melbourne Victory 1 (Flores 42) Central Coast Mariners 1 (McBreen 77). Crowd: 6238
Sunday, July 16, 2006: Melbourne Victory 0, Adelaide United 1 (Veart 65). Crowd: 6834
Sunday July 15, 2007: Melbourne Victory 1 (Allsopp 77), Adelaide United 1 (Dodd 9). Crowd: 8061
Sunday, July 20, 2008: Melbourne Victory 1 (Ney Fabiano 8), Adelaide United 2 (Cristiano 32, 90). Crowd: 4720
Sunday, July 26, 2009: Melbourne Victory 2 (Brebner 19, Thompson 29), Adelaide United 1 (Cassio 57). Crowd: 6257
Sunday, July 25, 2010: Melbourne Victory 0, Central Coast Mariners 0. Crowd: 4670
Sunday, September 11, 2011: Melbourne Victory 2 (Hernandez 39, Allsopp 58), Brisbane Roar 0. Crowd: 6300
Friday, August 24, 2012: Melbourne Victory 4 (Allsopp 6, Thompson 10, 35, Finkler 77), Adelaide United 2 (Vidosic 45, Van Dijk 90). Crowd: 3147
Western United v Perth Glory, March 19
Western United v Macarthur, April 1
- UTAS Stadium