Port Broughton local Tait Mackrill debuts for GWS

DEBUT: Tait Mackrill is pictured receiving her AFLW jumper from her dad Jamie (left) and GIANTS AFLW coach Alan McConnell (centre). Image provided.
DEBUT: Tait Mackrill is pictured receiving her AFLW jumper from her dad Jamie (left) and GIANTS AFLW coach Alan McConnell (centre). Image provided.

Port Broughton local Tait Mackrill has debuted in her first Australia Football League Women's match, being drafted and now playing for Greater Western Sydney. 

The 19-year-old who spent her childhood playing for the Broughton-Mundoora Football Club had her dream come true when she took to the field against Carlton at the Blacktown International Sportspark on February 16.

She read several cards which said  'this weekend we take on the Blues at Blacktown. There is plenty to see and do, but the best part is,' and the next card stated 'I will be making my AFLW debut'. 

Brought to tears with announcement Tait says at that moment she could not comprehend what was going through her head. 

"There was so much excitement and joy and a bit of relief because I had worked so hard to try and get a game. To be told I was going to get a game was crazy. I was feeling every emotion under the sun," she said.

Leading up to this milestone, Tait moved to Adelaide to play in a women's competition for Morphettville Park Football Club before moving to Adelaide University. 

She says that her recruitment happened so quickly, with her hearing about a testing day at the GWS to a month later being drafted for the team.

"I am very happy with the decision to move over here. To be at the Giants, who are a great club and are very family orientated which is great," she said.

News of Tait's debut started to reach back home, but first to hear the news were her parents Jamie and Jodie and siblings Jemma and Tarrant.

"Mum and Dad were really proud. Mum was crying in the video. They were just over moon. I have a younger brother and sister and they were exactly the same, as well as Nan and Pop. 

"The whole community rallied around me. I was getting messages from people left, right and centre- it was a bit crazy. Mum and Dad were being flooded with messages as well. The support was unreal from the Broughton community. 

The forward hopes to have a long career with the Giants and she reflects on the feeling of running out onto the field for the first time and compares it to a five-year-old on Christmas morning. 

"It was crazy, running through the banner to the song and having people cheer for you. Especially running out with 20 of my closest mates, it was just unreal. It was a lot more of what I thought it was going to be."

Whilst playing footy, Tait will be pursuing her tertiary studies, starting a Bachelor of Psychological Science this year and majoring in Criminology. 

"The goal is to have a long career in footy. At this stage I love the Giants and don't see myself going anywhere else. But footy is a funny game, you have just got to take each session as it comes and give it your all." 

"I think South Australia is catching up. They have a summer and winter competition at the moment and the pathways are really great. I think for footy in South Australia it is a matter of persisting at what they have got at the moment and getting it to a really high standard. I think it is really good at the moment."