After the official 2020 NTFA season was called off in June, all eyes shifted to 2021.
The NTFA Shield provided a shining light during some dark times for players and fans, but a return to footballing normality excites league president Scott Rigby.
"Obviously there is a lot of work being done in the off season in the background of what transpired last year, which we still maintain was a highly successful year for us ... with the opt-in competition," he said.
"That went really well for those clubs who participated, even for some of the clubs that didn't - they did a lot of work off the field and started to shore themselves up for the future.
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"You see some great things in recent media with down the East Coast for instance in shoring up their club [by amalgamating their senior and junior entities] and they are not the only ones so there is a lot of good stuff still happening out there."
Although admitting that participation is an unknown heading into the season, Rigby said none of the league's 19 clubs, which has since become 20 due to Launceston's admission into the women's competition, looked like folding throughout the tough times of 2020.
Nine senior men's sides spread across both premier and division one competition participated in the NTFA Shield while George Town fielded an under-23s as COVID restrictions eased last year.
Describing the restrictions as "part of our everyday lives", Rigby said conditions at the football in 2021 won't differ from those in public places.
"We take a collective sigh of relief that there is some sort of normality or we've got used to what we have to do because obviously the COVID restrictions are still in place," he said.
"The clubs have got to work quite hard to maintain that as well as us trying to support that but AFL Tas has done a great job in that space, same as Sport and Recreation.
"One of the good things about it is we meet quite regularly with Tasmanian Footy Board, so we collectively share some ideas and what has transpired."
When the season starts on April 10, the NTFA is looking at using QR coding, similar to a majority of business around the state, to report their spectators and will have extra time between games for cleaning purposes.
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