Hillwood have become the third NTFA club to publicly declare their interest in joining the top-tier Northern Premier League set to be introduced in 2025.
And president Max Pearce, who said the Sharks submitted their comprehensive application early doors, feels they are a strong candidate despite not currently having a junior program.
"We just feel as a club that we would like to stay in the highest league we can," he said after pointing to the Sharks' success across the past 20 years.
Fellow NTFA premier club Bridgenorth expressed their interest in joining the six-team NPL in December before South Launceston announced they had applied last week.
Bulldogs president Steve Hibbs gave insight into the criteria required at that press conference.
"They've already sent out the criteria we need to tick, you need the four teams being the men's seniors, reserves, women's and under-18s and also a stable junior pathway," he said.
Pearce is aware of that and feels the Sharks are still in with a good chance despite pulling out of the under-18 competition in recent years.
"We've got a bit of work to do, we haven't got under-18s which we need to do, (with) some of the criteria and that sort of thing, we need to get a junior pathway," he said.
"We have spoken to the Tamar (Valley) Demons but they've declined to do anything until the end of the year which is fair enough, that's fine.
"But some of the criteria I feel from the NTFA has changed a little bit and if you haven't got the under-18s and so forth they'll work with you if you're successful to get into the premier league and help you to establish an under-18s team."
Pearce is confident the club can re-establish a junior program.
"We've actually appointed (past premiership captain) Todd Russell as our under-18s coach yet we haven't got an under-18s team but that's to investigate trying to get under-18s," he said.
Pearce provided perspective on why country towns like Hillwood struggled for under-18s players.
"A lot of kids nowadays finish school, come into town and go to college and play with teams in town," he said.
While the Sharks don't have juniors, they do have a women's team which started in 2021 and an army of volunteers which Pearce feels works in their favour.
"Once we get people to Hillwood footy, we tend to keep them for a few years and they tend to stay on," he said.
Hillwood has a population of about 600 and is about a 25-minute drive from Launceston.
The Sharks' senior men's side played in last year's grand final while the women's team made the NTFAW division one semi-finals.