Excitement has begun to build around Launceston for the "once-in-a-lifetime" Hawthorn and Essendon match-up at UTAS Stadium.
Sunday will mark the first time the Bombers have played for premiership points in Launceston, only playing in Tasmania once before, against Fitzroy at North Hobart Oval in 1992.
Essendon - led by captain Dyson Heppell (pictured) - sits 12th on the AFL ladder, while the Hawks languish in 17th but news of the Bombers' arrival was music to Tasmanian fans' ears.
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Lifelong Bombers supporter and NTFA footballer Laine Cleaver is one of those eager to see his beloved side play in Launceston.
"It don't believe it's ever happened before and I certainly can't see it happening again unless things like COVID continue, so for a Launcestonian to have the mighty Bombers coming to town, it's big news," he said.
"We've always had teams coming to Tasmania that have had smaller followings.
"Obviously the AFL is a money-making business, so to have two big clubs like Hawthorn and Essendon play in a small stadium like UTAS Stadium, it's not really a financially viable thing for the AFL, so I never thought they would come to town."
Coaching Old Launcestonians, who return to the field on Saturday after a competition-wide bye for the long weekend, Cleaver was thankful for the Sunday scheduling of the game and is hopeful of a large crowd for the momentous occasion.
"Often if they have games on a Saturday, they clash with Tasmanian football [which] is frustrating because obviously you're taking out a big chunk of supporters who would go along and support football," he said.
"But having it on Sunday, especially having that afternoon game [at] 3.20pm, a lot of the junior football families whose games are played on a Sunday morning can get along for the afternoon game as well, so it's perfect timing really.