'We're dangerous': Blues star fires warning shot to AFLW rivals

CARLTON is looking "dangerous" ahead of the 2021 NAB AFLW season, according to star forward Tayla Harris. 

The Blues had qualified for a preliminary final against North Melbourne before the 2020 season was abruptly brought to a close due to COVID-19.

And they've only been strengthened by the inclusion of veteran midfielder Elise O'Dea, crossing from Melbourne for pick No.15 (initially given to the Blues by Richmond in return for Sarah Hosking). 

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"We're pretty lucky to have such dedicated and really personable fitness and S&C (strength and conditioning) staff. Josh (Milner) in particular, he was on the phone whenever we needed, and he was amazing through that period," Harris said.

Grace Egan, Tayla Harris and Lucy McEvoy will all be key ingredients in Carlton's push for an AFLW flag. Picture: AFL Photos

"I felt like we had everything we needed. It was a difficult and unheard-of time, and they made it work. I don't know how they did it, but we've come back, and we're dangerous, I wouldn't want to be another team this year, because we're looking pretty good.

"When I stand there, and we've got all these young girls, Winnie (Laing, draftee) is running around with this golden tan, we're looking pretty good. 

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"We're hitting targets and the skill level has gone up another notch. As a footy fan, I play, but I love watching. Half the time I stand there on the field and I'm thinking 'this is really good' as a spectator, being a full-forward, you sometimes get that tag.

"I'm really excited, this season should be one to watch."

Harris slots it off one step

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No need for a run-up for Carlton's star forward Tayla Harris

Harris spent some time in Queensland – via quarantine in Darwin – with her family, who live there, and it's helped rejuvenate her ahead of the season.

"It gave me a chance to reflect on a lot of things and appreciate what I have. I understand there's so much worse in the world, and thankfully we're on the brighter side, but it was certainly really difficult," she said.

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"But I was thankful to get back to family and that really helped reset me, and now I'm back here, loving life and happy to be back with my 30 besties and ready to get back into the season."

Harris is thrilled with the addition of O'Dea, who was contemplating giving the game away before moving to Carlton.

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"We love 'Junior'. She's seamlessly slotted in and you would think she's been here for years. She's been embraced, everyone loves her, she's such fun and enthusiastic to be around," she said.

"I've known Junior since I was young, and she took me under her wing in the first place, years ago, so when I saw she was joining the Baggers, I couldn't be more excited.

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"I couldn't think of anyone better to have got in the Trade Period than Junior, I think we're going to be so well-represented in experience and leadership and enthusiasm and just fun." 

Harris was speaking at a press conference announcing a new co-major partner, wheezo (an asthma management device and app), for the AFLW side.