It will be a ground-breaking day for Tasmanian football this Sunday as Hobart hosts its first ever clash between two Hyundai A-League teams.
It will be a ground-breaking day for Tasmanian football this Sunday as Hobart hosts its first ever clash between two Hyundai A-League teams as the Melbourne Victory and Western Sydney Wanderers come to town.
With Tasmania's showpiece football events traditionally held in Launceston, it will be Hobart-s turn to shine as the sport continues to grow in the region.
The match is set to take place at Kingston Twin Ovals and will also feature a Tasmanian select side that will take on a second Melbourne Victory outfit.
Football Federation Tasmania (FFT) CEO John Boulous admits there is a lot of buzz in the local community as the matches draw closer.
“With two of the A-League's top teams coming to Hobart it is a huge double header for us and a fitting end to the Victory League season,” said Boulous.
“It is a massive event on the calendar for all involved from the fans to the Tasmanian players that are getting the opportunity to play on the day also.
Boulous is hoping that the excitement surrounding the event will bring a strong crowd through the gate.
“We are really hoping that the crowds are bursting at the seams for the event.
“This is the first time two A-League teams have played each other in Hobart so we hope that fans vote with their feet and turn up to the match so we can continue to attract such events to Hobart and the Tasmania region in the future."
The match will also give a host of Tasmanian players an opportunity to put their skills on show in front of two of the A-League-s top coaches.
“The players playing in the first game get the opportunity to play in front of top coaches and thus have the chance for talent identification which is a great opportunity for them,” said Boulous.
With the sport growing strongly in recent times in the state, Boulous believes that the region-s partnership with the Melbourne Victory has done wonders for the promotion of the game.
“Football is growing and growing in Tasmania and with the partnership with the Victory we have had unprecedented exposure.
“The sport regularly features on nightly news broadcasts, on the radio and in the newspapers, ensuring there is a constant buzz state wide about the game and more and more money being put into its development.
“From that then we are able to provide a pathway for juniors to come through the ranks and have a realistic shot at achieving their dreams.”
Recognising the need for more facilities due to the sport-s growth, FFT have put in a proposal for a dedicated football district at Cambridge.
“There is a proposal for a football precinct in Cambridge that will act mainly as a junior participation hub.
“It will be a training base for teams and also have a feature ground that will allow teams to play all year round."
Furthermore, the future could see a rectangular stadium be erected in Hobart that would bring fans closer to the action.
“A rectangular stadium would be great for the region. It wouldn-t need to be a huge one and it is something that a few sports could utilise.
“It would bring a greater atmosphere and no doubt bring a tremendous atmosphere to football in Tasmania.”
This weekend-s matches are the first of a busy period for the state as they host a number of high-class fixtures.
“We have a few big matches coming up with the Victory League winners South Hobart taking on South Australia-s Campbelltown City in the NPL Finals series.
“We also have a team from Malaysia in Sarawak that are hosting a fourteen day camp in Tasmania and will play a host of local teams.”
Such events will continue to build the profile for the sport in the region but Boulous does not believe a Tasmanian A-League team is viable in the near future.
“A crucial part of the partnership with the Victory is to bring more feature matches and A-League teams to the area. It is also to help increase the standard of football here.
“It is not a strategic priority of FFT at the moment to attain an A-League license as we know that it is not sustainable at the moment.
“We are looking to consolidate what we currently have, increase football content across the state and increase exposure of football to the community.”
The opening match between the Tasmanian select side and the Victory kicks off at 12.00pm this Sunday at Kingston Twin Ovals before the Victory and Wanderers clash at 2:30pm. Tickets can be purchased from Yes Optus stores, Kingsborough council and FFT Headquarters.