Star Melbourne recruit Tayla Harris is determined to return to her best form after officially joining her third AFLW club.
- Harris joins the Demons after four seasons with the Blues
- The Blues chose not to meet Harris’s contract demands
- She previously played for the Demons in exhibition matches before the AFLW was established
The Demons secured the former Carlton forward via a three-way trade with GWS that saw classy midfielder Jess Dal Pos join the Blues, while Chloe Dalton and Katie Loynes head north to the Giants.
The 24-year-old Harris parted ways with Carlton last month after the Blues baulked at her contract demands for next season, which were reported to be as high as $150,000.
The move sees Harris, a three-time All-Australian selection and arguably the AFLW’s highest-profile player, effectively come full circle.
The Queenslander made a name for herself as a teenage high-flying forward for Melbourne in exhibition matches before the establishment of the AFLW.
She was one of Brisbane’s marquee players in the inaugural AFLW season in 2017 before joining the Blues the following season.
Harris said she was excited about joining the Demons.
“I can already tell this will be a great environment for me to be the best version of myself,” she said.
“I want to be a positive voice around the club and for my teammates.
Harris became a figure of cultural significance on the back of a photograph of her kicking for goal in 2019 while playing for the Blues.
She was a target for trolling when the photo appeared on Twitter, but she hit back at the online abuse both publicly and on social media.
The image of her kicking was immortalised in a bronze statue, which was unveiled in Melbourne’s Federation Square in late 2019.
Harris will add serious marking power and athleticism to a Melbourne forward line already boasting Kate Hore, Shelley Scott, Alyssa Bannan and Eden Zanker.
Tegan Cunningham was also expected to be part of that forward group, but on Tuesday announced her retirement via Instagram.
Electric midfielder Olivia Purcell will join Harris at the Demons having been traded by Geelong.
The Cats have secured 2019 Adelaide premiership forward Chloe Scheer, as well as Melbourne’s Chantel Emonson, in return.