As Tasmania launches its final push for an AFL license, a number of the state's most respected football figures have come together to help get it over the line.
A new advertising campaign titled 'Last Push To Play' will begin airing from Saturday, highlighting the Tasmanian spirit and how the league will only be a truly nation-wide competition if the Apple Isle has its own team.
North Melbourne coach David Noble believes a Tasmanian side will allow the league to grow and break into a whole new market, which had previously been ignored.
"I think it will help the competition. Another team, from a genuine football environment, is great for our competition on a national scale," Noble said on The Believers: Tasmania's AFL Journey vodcast. "Tassie is in a unique position. If it got itself in, it will come with an in-built cultural piece instantaneously. The Tasmanian people will embrace them like nothing else and get behind them."
Noble, who was born in Tasmania, reminisced on how he grew up wishing he had a team represent his home state.
"It's what I aspired to, funnily enough, when you come through when I was playing at school and we used to go to church, come home, Sunday roast, watch Sydney play. They had the Sunday game, North had Friday, and I'm thinking, wouldn't it be cool if we had our own team. That's what you thought about back then. I would certainly love to see the state have its own team. It's got my support."
Fellow Tasmanian and Richmond CEO Brendon Gale also weighed in, claiming a Tasmanian team comes with many other cultural benefits than just football.
"Having a Tasmanian team would do wonders for the psyche of Tasmania [and it] would manifest itself in a whole range of factors around health and participation and the economy," Gale told The Believers: Tasmania's AFL Journey. "It will be wonderful for the state confidence and self-esteem."
A decision on whether Tasmania becomes the 19th AFL team is expected to be made in August. And while the final verdict lies with AFL Commission, the majority of current clubs must be in favour.
Gale believes the state has never been in a better position to take on a new club.
"We've got strong bi-partisan support in Tasmania, we've got a commitment to a new stadium for cricket, football (and) entertainment which would revolutionise that precinct in Hobart and we've got commitments to infrastructure around the state," Gale said. "That's obviously very important. I think it's never been better placed."
Many other football figures, including Nick and Jack Riewoldt and Alastair Clarkson, have also thrown their support behind a Tasmanian team.
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