Steady gains in Tasmanian women's footy

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PERRI King is an example of the steadily developing women's football scene in Tasmania.

King, 17, plays for Glenorchy in the TSLW, and on Wednesday was Team South's best in their narrow nine-point loss to Team North in the state's NAB AFLW All-Stars match.

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"I've only been playing since 2017. My brother used to play when he was younger and Dad was the coach of his team, so I'd be at the games every weekend and a couple of nights a week for training, and I'd always loved it," King said. 

"I think our state was introduced to women's footy a little bit later than everyone else.

AFLW NAB All-Stars action heats up between Teams North and South. Picture: AFL Photos

"But every year, our standard is picking up so much, our skills are improving, our structures and footy knowledge is getting better as well."

Both Tasmanian sides had three training sessions leading into the match, providing an opportunity to work on game structure and general touch. 

"We had quite a few new players in the South team, and it was good to get to know them because they might come into the (NAB League) Devils program in the future," King said.

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"North had looked like they'd improved so much, and same as the South girls. It was a real high-intensity game throughout, it was quite a hard game to play. 

"The standard on the big oval (UTAS Stadium) was really good as well."

The midfielder was ferocious in her attack on the footy during the game, surprising herself.

Perri King in action. Picture: AFL Photos

"I was pretty shocked, I didn't know what happened there," she said with a laugh. 

"I'm an attacking player, but I didn't realise until I watched the match back how many tackles I made."

This year was the first time Tasmania Devils was a full-time member of the girls' NAB League competition, but the season was called off after three rounds due to COVID-19.

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Unfortunately for the Devils, they had a bye in round one, meaning they played just two games. Both were heavy losses (102 points to Oakleigh Chargers and 57 to Eastern Ranges), but King could see the improvement made over a short period of time. 

"It was disappointing, because when we were starting to play well and gel, that's when it all ended. I'm really excited to see how well we do go when we come back.

"For a new team in the NAB League, I feel like we did a very good job up against some girls who would have played together for quite a few years."

The NAB AFLW Draft will be live on womens.afl and the AFLW Official App from 7pm AEDT on Tuesday, October 6