Draftee Perri King is ready to get stuck into life as an AFLW footballer, after being selected with pick 43 in the AFLW draft off to Arden Street.
The Inner Sanctum spoke to King on her draft experience and the Tasmanian pathway that saw her find her home at North Melbourne.
As long as King can remember, she was always involved in football. It was only a matter of time before she put on the boots for herself.
“I first got into footy when I was really little, when I was in a pram and stuff,” King told The Inner Sanctum.
“My dad used to coach and train my brother. So I’ve been around footy since I was really little, but I first really got into it when I was about eight. I only started playing footy when I was 13-years-old.”
The North Melbourne, Tasmanian connection has helped King get to where she is now, with chances to play in the VFLW putting her on the Kangaroos radar.
“It’s [the Tasmanian pathway that’s] given the opportunity to play with North, I had a connection with them from my Tassie team and then it gave me the opportunity to come play VFL with them,” she explained.
Some of King’s teammates from Tasmania are already at North Melbourne as well with Ella Maurer (Pick 56) also drafted to the club. King said having those girls there will make the experience easier to adapt to.
“It feels very relieving, I feel like the experience won’t be as stressful because obviously they’ve been through it and they can help us through it, being your mates as well,” King said.
“They’re Devils girls… my old teammates and my teammates, Ella and that are in it now so it will be a less stressful experience.”
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King’s draft experience will be one that she’ll never forget. It was filled with nerves but turned to pure joy once her name was read out.
“It was crazy, I’ve never experienced anything like it, obviously a very nerve-wracking day,” she reflected.
“I was on edge all day just stressing and worrying about it and it was so overwhelming and exciting, I felt like I was just walking on air when my name was read out it was unreal.”
Coming into a star studded midfield may scare some, but King is ready to bring the ferocity onto the footy field once she gets her chance.
“I love a good tackle so I’m I’m a very fierce player and I’m a player that if I don’t have the ball nobody is going to have the ball,” she said.
“If I don’t have the ball one of my teammates is going to get the ball, because I’m going to tackle and tackle until I get my hands on the ball or I give it to my teammates.
“I’m a contested ball winner so I love a contested ball, and I just love the hard footy. [I’m a] get inside and hit the ball out to my teammates sort of player.”
Having spent a full season playing up against the very best young talent in Australia, King is fit and firing to go when called on at the Kangaroos.
“I played against the best girls in the NAB league and it wow it was just unreal,” she reflected.
“The game sense, the speed of the game was a lot quicker. I think it gives us some experience of what to expect because we’ve been playing against the best in the ‘biz, and it’s given us that experience for when we do play AFLW.”
Looking forward to her first day at North Melbourne, King is more than excited to meet everyone within the AFLW program.
“I’m looking forward to meeting all the girls and all the staff so much, I feel like this is going to be the greatest opportunity of my life to make new friends and life long friends.
“I just can’t wait to be apart of the team and meet all my new teammates and my new friends.”
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