With reports emerging that AFLW star Tayla Harris will be looking for a third club after talks with current club Carlton broke down, many people have been quick to dismiss her value.

The high-flying forward had a poor 2021 season by her standards - averaging six disposals, two marks and scoring four goals from a total of eight games.

In 2020, Harris averaged 10.4 disposals, 3.7 marks and booted eight goals from seven games.

In previous years, Harris has shown her worth - she is a three-time All-Australian, and led Carlton's goalkicking in three of her four seasons.

With stats like she put season 2021, upping her salary was $150,000 was arguably out of the question for Carlton. But the ex-Lion is worth every cent for a rival club.

So what makes Harris, perhaps the most recognised face of women's football, valuable?

Firstly, if the 24-year old can return to her stellar form from previous seasons, she would be a key asset.

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Harris has been one of the premier contested marking forwards in the competition, but it's not all about grabbing the ball.

In the AFLW, there is a higher rate of contested play, meaning the ball is on the ground more, so crashing packs is highly valued.

Harris is also one of the longest kicks in women's footy, giving her two rare strengths in both marking and kicking.

There is a second element of Tayla Harris that makes her valuable, her off the footy field work.

Perhaps most importantly though, Harris is a dual-sport athlete, as she also boxes in the off season.

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Harris has remained undefeated in her eight professional fights (one draw), winning both the female super welterweight and middleweight championships.

Outside the two sports, Harris' work campaigning against online bullying following her experience with it after the famous 'The Kick' photo, has had a massive impact on not just women's footy, but women's sport altogether.

Last year, Harris was named the Young Victorian of the Year, for not only her footy and boxing but her work with Our Watch and Carlton Respects, which aim to promote gender equality for the prevention of violence against women.

This has all combined to make Harris, as mentioned earlier, one of the most recognised faces in sport. And you couldn't ask for a better leader or public face of your team, who speaks well and perfectly embodies the great spirit of a modern day women's athlete.

And with such a boom of AFLW in the country, clubs should be jumping at the chance to bring in such an influential figure.

The prospect of having Harris front and centre for announcements and such, would entice club sponsors.

Yes, Harris is asking for a big pay day, perhaps more than she's worth on field. But the full package that she brings means teams should be writing their cheques and getting her manager on the hotline.

 

1 COMMENT

  1. Everything you say might be correct….. but there is a salary cap – but good players will have to be sacrificed in order to pay so much…..

    … not a good option for any club looking to win a premiership. She is, after all, only 1 player, and it takes a few more to win the season.

    And she is not Erin.
    Nor is she Chelsea.

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