The North-West Coast is vital for incoming AFL Tas boss Damian Gill

Incoming Head of AFL Tasmania Damian Gill has pledged his commitment to the North-West Coast.

Gill, who will replace Trisha Squires as the state's football leader from November 1, says that with a role that has a grassroots focus ensuring the Coast can flourish will be a priority.

"The North-West is footy heartland and I really want North-West footy to be strong and vibrant,'' he said on Tuesday.

"Footy is part of the fabric on the North-West Coast and that's what makes it such a special place and we want to make sure we continue to have a lot of North-West boys and girls enter the game and enjoy long tenures in footy."

The biggest change in AFL Tasmania's restructure [where staff numbers have dropped from 32 to 26] has seen the organisation gone from having a statewide leadership model to regional leaders, with talent part of a separate team reporting to AFL House.

Barry Gaby will be the regional manager North-West, with the region's other full time AFL Tasmania staff [Emma Humphries, Jamie Hayward, Vicki Slater and Morgan Hughes] retained, although Humphries no longer has a talent role, with umpires coaching manager Sam Bridges, who is based on the Coast, making up the staff here.

"It takes a very specific lens and awareness and you need that local know-how in each region in order to drive results,'' said Gill, who will become the third leader of AFL Tasmania in as many years and was a key figure behind the scenes as the sport returned from the COVID-19 shutdown.

BIG MOMENT: Aspen Auton, Charlotte Dennis, Amy Bissett, Meghan Gaffney, Charlie Vandenberg and Ruby Mitchell ahead of the AFLW All Stars. Picture: Brodie Weeding

BIG MOMENT: Aspen Auton, Charlotte Dennis, Amy Bissett, Meghan Gaffney, Charlie Vandenberg and Ruby Mitchell ahead of the AFLW All Stars. Picture: Brodie Weeding

"I think it [the regional leadership model] will work really well, especially somewhere like the North-West Coast with Barry Gaby in that role who has a wealth of experience, knowledge and know-how on the North-West Coast."

That and maintaining strong relationships with the region's competitions will be vital.

Gill's pledge comes as the talent side of the organisation prepares for its first big outing since the restructure with the NAB Under 18 AFL and AFLW All Stars double header at UTAS Stadium on Wednesday.

Incoming Head of AFL Tasmania Damian Gill. Picture: Solstice Digital

Incoming Head of AFL Tasmania Damian Gill. Picture: Solstice Digital

The state's best young talent will use the matches to showcase themselves to club recruiters [with the matches live streamed] and make up for lost ground due to the absence of the NAB League and national championships.

"It has been great they have been able to play some [club] footy, but this will be a great opportunity against their peers to show what they can do on a big ground and a great deck,'' said state talent manager and Tasmania Devils head coach Cameron Joyce, whose role now includes male and female talent.

 Jake Dixon, Logan Elphinstone and Jonty McIvor. Picture: Brodie Weeding

Jake Dixon, Logan Elphinstone and Jonty McIvor. Picture: Brodie Weeding

There will be North versus South contests, with Coastal representatives in the Northern team.

Baynen Lowe, Lachlan Cowan, Jake Dixon, Jonty McIvor, Lachlan Blakemore and Logan Elphinstone will be in the boys' team, while Emily Dixon, Amy Bissett, Ruby Mitchell, Meghan Gaffney, Ashanti Jackson, Olivia Smith, Charlotte Dennis, Aspen Auton, Charlie Vandenberg and Candice Belbin will be in the girls' team.

Wynyard ruck Vandenberg will take part after being part of last week's draft combine.

"It is a pretty good opportunity considering the year that we have had hasn't been the best,'' she said.

Cameron Joyce. Picture: Paul Scambler

Cameron Joyce. Picture: Paul Scambler

"I was very grateful for the opportunity, [at the combine] but I probably didn't test as well as I would have liked to, but I can't be too hard on myself as I tried my best on the day.

"Being the only girl playing who went to the combine it does feel like the eyes are a little bit more on me with clubs watching, so I will just have to see how I play."

This story The Coast is vital for incoming AFL Tas boss first appeared on The Advocate.