Tarni time: Father-daughter Pie creates AFL/W first

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TARNI Brown is ready to make her own name at Collingwood.

The newly confirmed father-daughter selection will be joining older brothers Callum and Tyler at the club, after dad Gavin played 254 games for the Magpies between 1987 and 2000.

He captained the club for five years, was awarded three All Australians and won three Copeland Trophies as the Magpies' best and fairest. 

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Callum joined the club in 2016, while Tyler was signed the following year. 

It is the first time three siblings have played for the same AFL/W club at the same time.

"It's pretty crazy and a unique situation. When I do stop and think about it, it's pretty cool to think about having all three kids at the same club that Dad played at," Brown told womens.afl

"Having two older brothers made me a lot more competitive when I was a kid, with them always being stronger and I'd be trying to beat them.

"Tyler's been the tallest for the past couple of years, but when we were younger, we'd do two-on-two. Dad would come out and it'd sometimes be me and Tyler versus Cal and Dad, which wasn't really fair," she said with a laugh. 

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Despite her family history, the midfielder with sharp hands is a relatively recent convert to the game, having grown up playing basketball.

"I think I was 14 when I started (with Donvale in Melbourne's outer east). I wasn't getting much court time with my basketball, so I thought I’d give footy a go. The next year I went to (NAB League side) Eastern Ranges, and I've just played for them over the past three years.

"I was having a bit of a hard time with some of my coaches in basketball, so footy was just meant to be fun and nothing serious.

"But when I got invited down to Ranges, I thought I may as well give it a go." 

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Brown is one of many attempting to maintain her fitness and touch while living in Melbourne, where aside from the Ranges' two NAB League games at the start of the year (where she was named in the best on both occasions), there has been no football due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

Tarni Brown is officially a Magpie. Picture: collingwoodfc.com.au

For the past few months, Melburnians have been restricted to a 5km radius around their house for exercise.

Normally the year 12 student at Yarra Valley Grammar would employ her family, but all have been up in Queensland in the AFL hub (Gavin is now head of development at North Melbourne).

"Two games isn't really much to base things off, and initially I wasn't even really sure if the draft was going to go ahead," Brown said before Collingwood had confirmed she would be on their list.

"I've been working with one of my friends, Jenna, from Eastern, and some of my other friends, but Dad just got back so I'm starting to do some stuff with him as well. 

"He gives me a bit of advice with technique and kicking, but otherwise he just lets me go and have fun. 

"The three of us kids all train together in summer, so the boys help me out a fair bit when I need it. I don't do the running, I'm nowhere near that, I just do the basic skills with them."

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Collingwood coach Steve Symonds was full of praise for his new recruit. 

"When Tarni was born 18 years ago, I am not sure her father, Gavin, would have pictured his daughter playing football, let alone at the same club in which he played with such distinction," Symonds said.

"What a proud moment for Gavin and Kerry to have their daughter join her two brothers in the black and white stripes. To have three siblings play at the same AFL club at the one time is extremely rare.  

"Tarni joins the club with a genuine football talent and quality character. We believe she will become an exciting asset of our women’s program."

Stay tuned to womens.afl and the AFLW Official App for comprehensive coverage of the 2020 NAB AFLW Draft