EASTER has come early for the brave kids at the Royal Hobart Hospital children’s ward, with players from the five southern Tasmanian TSL clubs handing out some holiday cheer.

On Good Friday and Saturday, the first round of the 2016 TSL season will kick off and the players will become fierce rivals but today they came together to visit the kids, hand out some chocolates and footballs — and lift some spirits.

“Obviously the kids are doing it tough in hospital over the holiday period and it’s good to come in and give them a few chocolates, have a chat with them and see how they’re going,” Hobart City captain Hugh Williams said.

Kingborough Tigers captain Tim Peterson with Shannon Melody, 30, of Huonville, and her seven-week-old daughter Charlotte at the Royal Hobart Hospital. Picture: SAM ROSEWARNE

Williams will go head-to-head with his Kingborough Tigers counterpart Tim Peterson when the season kicks off on Friday at North Hobart Oval.

Peterson is set to return to the hospital shortly, with his wife due to give birth to their first son on May 5, but hopes it will be a short visit.

“Certainly puts it into perspective for us,” he said.

“We think it might be hard to go to training when it’s a bit cold, or get a spray from the coach, so for us to see what these kids have to go through it really makes it hit home.”

The ward’s play specialist Andrea Allen said the kids and their parents were thrilled with the visit.

“It was very important for them to get the Easter eggs, meet people and have some fun,” she said.