The Tasmania Devils jumper is revealed during a launch on March 18, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

TASMANIA has its name, its colours, its logo and its jumper.

But what's next on the 19th AFL club's lengthy to-do list?

With the Tasmanian side slated to enter the League ahead of the 2028 season, looks at the next priorities to make the club a powerhouse from the outset and lists five things to keep on the agenda in the coming months and years.


Tasmania wants to hit the ground running. Therefore, its initial list build will be crucial. The club will clearly target a host of players hitting their free agency years in 2027, which therefore makes the 2019 AFL Draft crop an interesting watch. Gold Coast duo Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson, Fremantle pair Caleb Serong and Hayden Young, Greater Western Sydney's Tom Green, Melbourne's Kysaiah Pickett and Hawthorn's Will Day are among those currently set to become free agents in that season. But the new Tasmanian side is also expected to be armed with a host of draft picks that it will trade away, so contracted and uncontracted stars that aren't free agents will also likely factor into their thinking. Whether they're Tasmanian – like North Melbourne's Colby McKercher or the Western Bulldogs' Ryley Sanders – or whether they're simply a young star of the competition who can be lured south with a big enough offer, expect them to be on the side's wishlist. There will also be veteran Tasmanians the team could look to entice back home to be guiding heads of the new club, like Fremantle captain Alex Pearce or Richmond skipper Toby Nankervis. There will also be a watch on the top-20 picks in this year's draft. As of last season, all top-20 picks earn initial three-year contracts. Therefore, their first renegotiations will likely take place in 2027.



The established stars will be crucial. But the young talent Tasmania will look to bring through via the draft will be what sets the foundation for this club's long-term success. Therefore, Tasmania will likely have to learn from what worked – and what didn't – when both Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney entered the competition in 2011 and 2012 respectively. The Suns claimed eight of the first 15 picks in their maiden draft, while the Giants used 11 of the first 15 picks at their first time of asking. Gold Coast also went for more experience, using their priority signing period to land Gary Ablett jnr, Nathan Bock, Jared Brennan, Campbell Brown and Josh Fraser – all over 25 years of age when they signed. The Giants, meanwhile, claimed Tom Scully (20 years of age), Phil Davis (21), Callan Ward (21) and Rhys Palmer (22) as their maiden signings. It set them up for the long term, with Davis and Ward ultimately captaining the club to a Grand Final in 2019.

Leon Cameron, Callan Ward and Phil Davis ahead of the 2016 preliminary final against Western Bulldogs. Picture: AFL Photos


This one should be easy. As of Wednesday morning, barely 48 hours after its campaign launched, Tasmania had already amassed more than 120,000 foundation members. But the process of continuing to unite the state behind one team will persist. Tasmania hopes to become one of the world's largest community sporting clubs, with its launch on Monday night featuring a heavy historical focus on the passion and dedication of Tasmanians towards football. Six separate locations – in Hobart, Launceston, Devonport, Queenstown, St Helens and Oatlands – all hosted launch events, while there were 18 more at community venues across the state. The jumper launched on Monday night, the name of the 'Devils', and the colours of the club all featured a nod to Tasmania's history in football, a further attempt to unite all corners of the state behind one team. There will also be an added push in the future towards luring the 300,000-plus expat Tasmanians to have moved to mainland Australia – with over a third of those now living in Victoria – behind the new team.

Emma Humphries (left) and Jack Riewoldt (right) pose for a photo with Tasmanian students during a Tasmania Devils media opportunity on March 19, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos


Tasmania's inaugural playing group is obviously going to be important, but building its dream team of off-field recruits will be just as crucial to the club's initial success. Speaking on Monday night, Tasmania's inaugural chairperson Grant O'Brien said he expects the process to start in the near future through the hiring of a veteran chief executive. Richmond's Brendon Gale has already been heavily linked to the role and is looming as a strong candidate. After that, identifying the club's maiden coach will become a top priority. Do they target a coaching veteran, like a Chris Scott or a Ken Hinkley? Or do they try and poach the biggest and the best, like reigning premiership coach Craig McRae? There could also be a view to appointing the next best assistant from the coaching carousel, attempting to potentially land the next McRae instead. Just as pivotal to the team's start will be its list and recruiting managers. Collectively, they will be in charge of ensuring the Tasmanian side can immediately challenge in terms of playing finals but is also built for sustained success long into the future. A senior head of football, in charge of knitting the on-field components together, will also be invaluable. Just look at the impact Graham Wright had at Collingwood to gauge how important this role can be.

Devils chairman Grant O’Brien speaks with media during the Tasmania Devils media opportunity at Campbell Town Football Club on March 19, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos


It was almost 12 months ago that Tasmania's new $715 million stadium at Macquarie Point in Hobart was given the green light following the announcement of federal government funding, ensuring Tasmania would finally be handed the 19th AFL licence. However, there remains conjecture over the execution in building the stadium. So much of that could depend on the results of this Saturday's state elections. The League has remained adamant that the Tasmanian side's entry into the competition is dependent on the new stadium being built, so getting the first spade in the ground will be crucial to the team's establishment. The cost of the stadium is currently tipped at around $715 million, featuring $240 million of federal government funding and a further $15 million being tipped in by the AFL. The latest concept designs, revealed in November last year, were for a fully roofed stadium with a capacity of around 23,000 fans.