The 2021 TSL season got under way on Friday with the final match of round one taking place at Lauderdale on Saturday.
The Examiner looks at how the Southern clubs are shaping up in pursuit of last year's grand finalists Launceston and North Launceston.
RELATED:Launceston 2021 season preview
LAST SEASON: Third (Played 13, won 7 lost 6).
COACH: Daniel Willing
CAPTAIN: Josh McGuinness
INS: Allen Christensen (Brisbane), Joseph Salmon (St Mary's), Billy Rolfe (Langwarrin), Taine Sookee (Dodges Ferry), Ed Stanley (Dodges Ferry), Luke Paton (Cygnet), Braden Culhane (South Cairns)
OUTS: Nic Baker (Sorell), Mitch Anderton (Sorell), Ben McGuinness (Dodges Ferry), Phil Bellchambers (North Shore), Luke Nelson (Coburg), Adrian Kalcovski (Box Hill), Nathan Oakes (Richmond)
FIRST GAME: Clarence at Lauderdale,2pm Saturday
COACH SAYS: The transition [taking over from Clinton Brown] has been pretty easy - having been at the club for the past 18 months has made it easier.
We've lost a few quality players but we've brought some quality players in as well, so we feel our list's strong enough to compete.
Launceston are going to be extremely hard to beat and North Launceston have been the powerhouse of the competition for a long period of time, so we're aware the Northern sides will be the hardest to beat.
We've probably changed our game plan a little bit from the last few years, but we'll still be a really good hard contested footy team which has been our brand over a long period of time.
ONE TO WATCH: Joseph Salmon's a young kid that we got over, he played some underage footy in the WAFL last year and he's got some speed and flair and is a beautiful kick of the footy.
Billy Rolfe we got over from Victoria, he's a good-sized forward-mid. He's been over for a few weeks now and fitted in really well.
I think what people need to remember about [Allen Christensen] is he's only 29, so he's still got some really good footy ahead of him and he'll play a number of different roles for us throughout the year.
LAST SEASON: Fourth (Played 13, won 5 lost 8).
COACH: Jeromey Webberley
CAPTAINS: Jarrod Harper, Zac Buechner
INS: Mitch Rainbird (Glenorchy), Colin Garland (DOSA), Jake Steele (North Hobart), Baxter Norton (North Hobart), Ole Angerstein (Port Melbourne)
OUTS: Chris Nield (Mooroopna), Brady Jones (Huonville), Ryan Bailey (Brighton), Clint Riley
FIRST GAME: Lauderdale at Lauderdale, 2pm Saturday
COACH SAYS: I look at our group and we've had some guys come into our club that are A-grade talent - Baxter Norton, Jake Steele and Mitch Rainbird are three really good players with high talent in their early 20s.
Colin Garland, who's my age as well at 32, he's played over 100 games of AFL footy and I think when he's up and going he's just about the best player in the competition.
Ole Angerstein is a 210cm ruckman that we're pretty excited about - he won't play the first couple of games, he's got a sore ankle - we're just going to make sure he's 100 per cent right to go.
We've brought some guys in but on the flipside to that we've lost a fair bit.
We'll probably have up to 10 changes this week from our prelim final team last year so we think we've brought some players in, but I think it's finger-deep analysis to say that we're a premiership contender.
Do we think we can get there at the end of the day? Yes, but it's going to take us a while.
ONE TO WATCH: I think Baxter Norton is going to be an outstanding player for us, he can play multiple roles and he's really solid defensively.
I've been really impressed with his ability to defend and his knowledge of the game for a young guy is outstanding.
Josh Green has had a much better pre-season this year and looked really good over the first two practice matches and OIlie Preshaw, he's a young developing tall who missed basically all of last year with a collarbone injury, he's had an outstanding pre-season.
LAST SEASON: Fifth (Played 12, won 4 lost 8).
COACH: Trent Baumeler
CAPTAIN: Lachie Clifford
INS: Eddie Cole (Sydney Uni), Tom Dwyer (Longford)
OUTS: Kieran Lovell (West Adelaide), Mackenzie Willis (Southport), Ollie Burrows-Cheng (Southport), Lachie Watt (Cygnet), Bailey Gordon (Cygnet), Eddie Burrows-Cheng (Hutchins)
FIRST GAME: Defeated North Hobart 10.18 (78) to 10.7 (67)
COACH SAYS: We just want to keep improving and we feel we are.
From my first year here we've generally won more games the next year, we haven't gone backwards.
They're a very tight group which I think is really important.
Lachie Clifford has taken the [captaincy] mantle from Sam Rice and he's been fantastic with the group.
He was captain of the Mariners in his top-age and bottom-age years and I think he's a very good player.
ONE TO WATCH: Elijah Reardon - I think everyone loves watching Elijah play.
Hopefully being involved in the North Melbourne VFL program as well - we've seen little bits and pieces like the confidence he has more at training, he's starting to becoming a leader and use his voice.
We know what his tricks are and what he can do well so hopefully he can become a really strong consistent senior State League footballer.
LAST SEASON: Sixth (Played 12, won 3 lost 9).
COACH: Clinton French
CAPTAINS: Jack Sandric, Hugh Williams Jr
FIRST GAME: Lost to Kingborough10.18 (78) to 10.7 (67)
LAST SEASON: Seventh (Played 12, won 3 lost 9).
COACH: Paul Kennedy
CAPTAINS: Brayden Webb, Josh Arnold
INS: Chris Howard (University), Darrean Wyatt (Frankston/ Noble Park), Bayley Bester (Claremont), Nick Reibelt (Coburg/ Eltham)
OUTS: Jaye Bowden (retired), Aiden Grace (Central Districts), Mitch Rainbird (Clarence), Ryan Banks-Smith (Apsley)
FIRST GAME: Clarence at KGV, 1.30pm, April 10
COACH SAYS: Pre-season was good - we came back with a different feeling.
The club had played six years of finals and this year we came back after a really disappointing year so there was a lot of drive amongst the group.
There were a lot of players who perhaps hadn't had leadership roles in the past who really helped drive the training standards and culture.
The thing about last year is we didn't have many season-ending injuries that carried over to this year.
There were players last year like Brayden Webb, Harrison Gunther, Ben Kamaric, Daniel Joseph and Cam Goodsell who missed quite a bit of the season, if not all the season, and Chris Howard's in that group as well. We expect those guys to improve as the season goes on.
ONE TO WATCH: We're really hoping Brayden Webb gets a good season - he hasn't really played much footy for a couple of years now and he's such a great leader for us.