Surprise Women's Super League front-runners Launceston United say they can't wait to share a national stage having been handed a place on the undercard of Tasmania's upcoming A-League fixtures.
Having canvassed opinion throughout the state, Football Tasmania has taken the decision to postpone all fixtures in the state on Saturday, April 17, except two which will serve as curtain-raisers at UTAS Stadium.
Just two matches into their inaugural Women's Super League campaign, United sit three points clear at the top of the ladder and will take on reigning champions Olympia in an 11.45am kick-off.
"We are delighted to be involved with the big day," said co-coach Frank Compton.
"It is a huge opportunity for the players and one I'm sure they'll enjoy."
Initially, four NPL Tasmania matches were to be played in the South on the day, including Launceston City and Riverside Olympic visiting Clarence and South Hobart respectively, but FT decided to clear the schedule to give all involved the opportunity to watch the national men's fixture featuring new franchise Western United against current league leaders Central Coast.
The only local men's game to be played will be Kingborough against champions Devonport in the second curtain-raiser at 2.15pm.
Western United's second Launceston fixture, against Wellington Phoenix at 7.05pm on Thursday, April 22, will be preceded by Tasmanian women's senior and under-16 teams playing against Calder United at 2pm and 4.15pm.
Football Tasmania chief executive Matt Bulkeley has written to all Tasmanian football community members urging them to support what is being dubbed a festival of football.
"It is critically important that this partnership is able to provide tangible benefits to football in Tasmania," he said.
"This is a great opportunity for our football community to enjoy elite football in this state for the first time in eight years. We also believe that strong support for these matches will demonstrate to Football Australia as well as to the other A-League clubs, that Tasmania is deserving and ready for our own team.
"These matches, together with other elite football content including national teams, will help us build towards this outcome in the next two-three years.
"2021 promises to be a big year for the most played team sport in Tasmania and we look forward to seeing you in Launceston next month."
All junior football scheduled in Launceston for the morning of April 17 is expected to continue as normal.
It is a huge opportunity for the players and one I'm sure they'll enjoy.Launceston United coach Frank Compton
Saturday, April 17
- 11.45am Women's Super League: Launceston United v Olympia
- 2.15pm NPL Tasmania: Kingborough Lions v Devonport Strikers
- 5.05pm A-League: Western United v Central Coast Mariners