Tasmania's second-ever NAB League Girls campaign may have exceeded external expectations, but it hasn't surprised Jodie Clifford.
Comprehensively beaten in their only two games of 2020, the Devils are second on the ladder and 3-1 heading into Saturday's meeting with Dandenong Stingrays at Penguin.
A one-goal loss to ladder-leader Oakleigh Chargers marks the side's sole loss for the year to date, and given the 2-1 Stingrays lost to the same opponent by one point last week, Saturday's fixture looms as a cracker.
RELATED: Devils pair take Q&A challenge
Midfield coach Clifford was full of praise for her squad after four impressive outings to start the year.
"Through the pre-season we just instilled some belief in the girls - we didn't want to be competitive, we wanted to win games," Clifford said.
"For a few of our girls this is their second go at the NAB League and while last year was cut a bit short, it gave them a little bit of experience and I think that helps.
"I wouldn't say we're surprised [with how we're going], we're really impressed with the hard work the girls have put in to get themselves to that point."
Saturday's match comes as Tasmania's third in just seven days after the Devils took back-to-back wins in Melbourne on Saturday and Monday.
Training this week has consequently been centred on recovery, yet Cameron Joyce's side has made just two changes, handing debuts to North-West pair Joey Revell and Emilie Saward.
Clifford said the Devils would rotate a few more numbers through the middle this week, but backed in her usual midfield brigade to match it with their Dandenong counterparts.
"[We've had] some awesome performances form Ella Maurer and a couple of the Southern girls - Perri King, Jemma Webster and Claire Ransom," Clifford said.
"But Maisie Edwards has come into that group and she's a North girl, she's had that opportunity and fitted into the midfield group really well.
"Their contested ball and their work around the stoppage has been excellent - it's been a real driving force, particularly across the weekend with a couple of games back-to-back."
Saturday's game starts at 12.30pm.
MORE FOOTBALL: Much-improved Devils set for take two
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.