Q&A: Havana Harris (Gold Coast Suns Academy)

ONE of the top players in this year’s AFL Women’s draft crop is Gold Coast Suns Academy tall Havana Harris. The potential pick one star is as athletic as anyone going around, standing at above 180cm with explosive speed and the capability to roll up to stoppages as both the ruck and a midfielder.

We spoke to the talented teenager at Queensland Preseason Testing Day.

Q: Havana, tell us about your footy journey?

HH: “I started it was a school team in primary school and then from there I played for Burleigh Bombers when I was Under 13s. Then I did that up until Under 17s and now I play for Bond Uni and Suns Academy.”

Q: Who have been your key mentors over the years?

HH: “Definitely (Sam Iles). From an early age, he was my first real proper coach and he’s worked with me a lot with my craft and stuff, so definitely him.”

Q: You worked with Ty Vickery at the AFLW Academy camp too – another one with AFL experience – what did you learn?

HH: “It’s good to focus on it (rucking) because you don’t really get that at club level, to focus on your rucking. The key takeaways were just pushing the person under the ball and better positioning yourself.”

Q: You’re a unique player in the fact you’re pretty athletic and can play midfield. Across every squad, where do you think you’ll play?

HH: “I don’t know. I loved playing in the midfield as a bigger midfielder. That was my favourite thing to do, but maybe like a centre half-forward or a ruck rotation.”

Q: Looking forward to the draft, and if you land at the Suns, have you looked at their makeup where you might fit in?

HH: “I think I’d probably be like a forward and then ruck rotation, but I’m open to anything.”

Q: You’ve trained with the Suns’ AFLW side, what’s it like gelling with the seniors?

HH: “I love it, I definitely think I thrive under pressure and having a lot of role models around me. I think that it encourages me to push myself having the older girls there.”

Q: Has anyone taken you under their wing?

HH:Lauren Bella. Just as a ruck and as a tall, I definitely think she’s helped me a lot and Charlie Rowbottom she’s always nice to chat to, but they’re all lovely.”

Q: Do you watch a lot of football and who do you support?

HH: “Mum was actually from Melbourne, so she grew up watching Essendon, but I’ve always barracked for the Suns.”

Q: Finally, what goals do you have set up for the year?

HH: “Just to have an injury free season. I was lucky to have one last year, but just being consistent with playing as best as I can every game.”

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