HAVING switched back and forth between the oblong and round ball games of football, Glenelg’s Tamsyn Morriss eventually picked the Australian version after falling in love with the community on and off the field. Unlike many female junior footballers coming through the pathway, Morriss picked up a Sherrin when she was quite young, and while there were times where she did not play, returned to the sport and has not looked back.
“I started when I was five,” Morriss said. “My dad back in the day used to play footy so I obviously got it from him and he obviously enforced it into me and I’ve loved it ever since.”
“I started at Auskick when I was five, so did that when I was five and six. “Moved over to soccer, did a little bit of soccer. “Came back, played with the boys for about three years. “Then obviously went back and forth between soccer but then found girls footy and haven’t moved back to soccer ever since.”
Morriss said she just “loved the community” and that it was different to all other sports in the way teammates and those within the club supported each other. That feeling was maximised during the SANFL Women’s season, with Morriss playing in a premiership alongside her Glenelg teammates. When speaking to Draft Central at the AFL Women’s Under 19 Championships, Morriss said she has moved into a higher backline role which released her to provide more offensive drive, and that in term improved her game exponentially.
“Yeah I feel like I’ve definitely grown since my last season,” Morriss said. “Obviously because of COVID we couldn’t have a full season, we played four games at SANFL and then had a break and played another six. “So I feel like it’s definitely better having a structured season.”
“I’ve been playing more of a higher backline role. “So being moved from a back pocket and midfield to just a straight run through the half-back flank and I’ve been loving it, loving the run”
Whilst the South Australian said she was hoping to add more offensive elements to her defensively-minded game, Morriss said it was improving and regarded her disposal and run as some of her strengths.
“Definitely my run and carry and being able to hit targets downfield (are strengths),” Morriss said. “Obviously if you get further down back, you’re kind of stuck in between halfway mark and the goals. “But half-back flank you can run up and down the field, get a bit more run through your legs and what not.”
Balancing her football with working as a lifeguard at a local swimming centre, the Brisbane supporter said she looked up to Lauren Arnell for her leadership around the field, as well as the Adelaide Crows players who filter through the SANFL Women’s. Closer to home, it was no surprise to hear of her main inspirations along the journey.
“I definitely have to say my mum and dad,” Morriss said. “Mostly my dad because he used to play football back in the day and he obviously gives me little tips and tricks to do on the field and encourages me all the way.”
But has Morriss overtaken her father in terms of ability?
“I don’t know, maybe not yet, but hoping to one day,” she said.