Tayla Harris kicks the ball for the Demons during last year's AFL Women's exhibition match against the Western Bulldogs.
Tayla Harris kicks the ball for the Demons during last year's AFL Women's exhibition match against the Western Bulldogs. Michael Dodge

Lions spearhead thrilled to make AFLW debut

AFL: Brisbane Lions women's star Tayla Harris is about to live her dream. And she has the T-shirt to prove it.

The 19-year-old will be one of the attacking spearheads for the Lions in the round-one clash with the Demons in Melbourne on Sunday.

Harris has been one of the faces of the push to establish a women's AFL competition after providing a handful of spectacular highlights from the series of exhibition games in the past three seasons when she played for Melbourne.

The Zillmere product was the first signing for the Brisbane women's team and has been working in the club's communications department.

In the build-up to the first game, Harris even rolled up her sleeves and helped build the banner the team will run through before the opening bounce.

To top it all off, she features in the Lions women's merchandise range, with T-shirts including her name and number.

"Mum has already made me buy some and bring them home," she said.

"There's plenty of nerves and excitement at the moment. All of the girls are excited. We just want to get through training and travel down as a team and spend some quality time together and gel even more."

Harris does not take her role as a women's football pioneer lightly and encouraged all football supporters to get behind the competition.

"I think it's really cool to be a part of this," she said. "I feel fortunate to be where I am. All the girls playing this weekend can say they were a part of something special.

"I think if you are a footy fan at all, you should do yourself a favour and get along to it.

"In 20 years' time when it's more massive than you can possibly think, you can say you were there when it started."

Harris missed Brisbane's practice game with a shoulder injury but has won the race to be fit for the trip south.

"It feels really good," she said. "I've always had a few shoulder issues and in the past I probably wouldn't have done much about it but coming into this environment, I've worked with the medical staff and I'm ready to go."

News Corp Australia


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