Tag: tamsyn morriss feature

Unique community aspects attracts Morriss to Aussie rules

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.

Competitive Morriss loving community aspect of SANFL Women’s

FOR 18-year-old Tamsyn Morriss, her football journey has been interrupted in patches but overall had a speedy rise through the ranks from a junior level. Starting out at Auskick and limited in her pursuit after a couple of years, Morriss did not give in and returned to Aussie rules after exploring other sports.

“I’ve grown up in like a sporting type of family, my dad played footy. As far as growing up, my mum played netball so I’ve obviously got a lot of sporting genes in there,” Morriss said. “It was obviously dad that made me start footy so I started up Auskick when I was five at my dad’s local club… did two years of Auskick and then there was no pathway for girls back then, so I went and played soccer with the boys. 

“Then when I found out that I can play with the boys at footy I jumped back over to Lonsdale. “That’s where it kind of all started, playing under 10s and under 12s with the boys and then I moved over to girls footy at Kenilworth Football Club.”

Despite all the moving around early on in her football journey, Morriss found herself in the unprecedented position of being a 15-year-old on the edge of a South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s berth with Glenelg.

“I then got asked to train with the Glenelg women’s team as a 15 year old, one training I got asked if I wanted to play a game, obviously, with my parents permission, being a 15 year old playing against women. “And that’s when it all started with Glenelg. This upcoming season will be my fourth season with them.”

While Morriss has a focus on football, her past experience with other sports has certainly assisted in her skillset on the footy field, allowing her to utilise and adapt her game depending on what is required of her.

“I did a little bit of little athletics… I had to stop because obviously my footy was blowing up. And I was also involved with surf lifesaving,” she said. “So soccer, obviously it’s a team sport, kicking around a ball you kick around a ball in football as well. I reckon from little athletics I definitely got fitness, got running technique from there, and then the surf lifesaving, was extra fitness as well. I still do that… training and obviously doing patrols as well.”

While Morriss enjoyed – and still enjoys, in some cases – participating in a range of sports, the Glenelg talent says that the competitiveness and community around football is what drew her back to the sport. 

“I definitely have to say, the competitiveness of it and like, the community around it,” Morriss said. “You have so many people around you and people like you. “So it’s hard to leave it. “Yeah, the competitiveness is what I like as well, competing for the ball, competing against each other.”

With some quality talent not only heading up through the pathways but also already making waves at AFL Women’s level, Morriss says she looks to the experienced names in the SANFL system, inspired by their work ethic and skills.

“I have to say, Nikki Gore and Anne Hatchard,” Morriss said. “So I knew them, well I knew Anne before she got big humongous muscles and super super fit, that’s definitely inspired me, so that’s why I’ve been working on strength and fitness as well. “But obviously Nikki Gore, she’s just a great friend. “And she definitely pushes me along the way on and off the field.”

When it comes to strengths and improvements, Morriss suggested her fitness as a focus, with strength critical especially as the level progresses given the continued development of quality players across not just the state but also the country as women’s football continues to grow.

“At the moment, I’m working on strength and fitness. “So I can run longer, be on the ground for longer and compete better with some of the bigger girls out there. Hold my ground a bit more,” she said. 

“Some of my strengths I have to say, work ethic. “Yeah, and competitiveness, I’m working on that… game sense as well. “So reading the ball, using the ball well when I can. “And using the ball well around my teammates.”

Morriss participated in the 2019 AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships up in Queensland, playing two games for the Central Allies. Still just a middle-ager last year, Morriss was looking to showcase her ability in 2020.

“That was a great experience, it was one of my favourite footy trips away. Just the connections I made with some of the girls, obviously playing with some of the girls from South Australia and then meeting new people from Northern Territory… It was an experience I’ve never done before, but definitely would have liked to do it again,” she said.

“One of my good family friends, Montana McKinnon, I actually grew up with her. “So it was great to play with her one last time. “And then also, obviously, there’s Jaimi Tabb, she just got drafted. “Maddie Newman as well, Hannah Munyard, it was great to play along those girls and then obviously the upcoming girls going up for the draft, Teah Charlton and then like Indy Tahau, it was great to play with them because I’ve obviously played against most of those girls, so it’s good to be on the same team for once.”

While the 2020 championships did not go ahead due to COVID-19 limitations, Morriss instead showcased her talents with a solid performance at the SANFLW All-Stars last week.