Q&A: Tara Harrington (Suns Academy)

QUEENSLAND AFLW Draft prospect Tara Harrington is a top-ager who has cut her teeth in a range of positions, with the predominant midfielder boasting skills and smarts. We spoke to the teenager at the recent Queensland Preseason Testing Day.

Q: Tara, tell us about your footy journey, and what did you take from that?

TH: “Going through the Suns Academy we got to train up and train with older girls which is always good experiences. I’d say the Suns were really helpful in that way.”

Q: You made the AFLW Academy and played in the Under 17 Futures game as well as making Queensland’s side, what does that mean for you?

TH: “It means a lot, it obviously puts your name out there and gets you noticed by different clubs. This year playing the games I reckon it will be a really good opportunity to show your talent, your skills and what you can do.”

Q: You’re currently not testing because you’ve got a knock, tell us how you’re going with your rehab process?

TH: “Back into running now and then I’ll just slowly move into change of direction and then go back into the training so I should be good for Round 1.”

Q: That’s a positive. What was the Injury?

TH: “It was torn ligaments and bone bruising in my ankle.”

Q: That sounds nasty, how you’d do that?

TH: “I was playing basketball. I just landed on someone’s foot and rolled it out.”

Q: Are you still playing other sports?

TH: “I play a bit of golf. I’ve grown up playing golf and footy mostly takes up my time.”

Q: How’d you get into footy?

TH: “My brother played at a young age and I just trained with him and my dad, kicking the footy out the back.”

Q: What lead you to choose football exclusively?

TH: “I think it’s just been the team environment. I grew up playing golf, very individual, very one-minded I guess. It’s good just being around the girls in the team environment.”

Q: When you’re back on the field, what role will you play?

TH: “Hopefully mid, I’m a bit of a utility player so I can play back, forward, wherever I get put, but mid is my main position.”

Q: Will your role change with each squad you represent?

TH: “I reckon relatively the same, but rotation will just get chucked in a couple of different positions.”

Q: You’ve got plenty of talented kids to play alongside this year across every squad particularly here (Queensland), who you looking forward to playing with?

TH: “I always love playing with ‘Hav’ Havana (Harris). Good in the ruck, she always taps to me which is always good. Ava (Usher) alongside in the mid is always good, and then Dekota (Baron) always a good leading target in the forwardline.”

Q: You were down in Melbourne and Geelong for AFLW Academy and of course there’s the decision around national nomination and state nomination, are you open to play footy interstate?

TH: “I’m open minded. Pretty much whoever wants me, happy to talk to other clubs and everything and open to moving. It would be a big change, but open to it always.”

Q: Do you support the Suns?

TH: “Yeah grown up a Suns supporter.”

Q: Do you have any mentors or people you look up to try and mould your game on?

TH: “I’d say a couple of girls from the Suns like (Charlie) Rowbottom and (Claudia) Whitfort. They’re always rolemodels at the Suns. Sometimes when we get to train with them, it’s always amazing seeing them out on the track. I like to play similar roles to them in the midfield.”

Have you set up goals for the year?

TH: “Well obviously a big goal is to get drafted. But smaller goals like fitness wise and in the gym.”

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