The relationship between the North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos and the Tasmanian football leagues has gone from strength to strength in recent years.
From the likes of Tassie natives Daria Bannister and Mia King making waves in North’s AFLW side, to 11 Tasmanians playing in North’s Round 12 VFLW clash with Essendon, the pathway from Tassie football to North is a well-trodden one.
One of those 11 Tasmanians to play the Bombers was Perri King, who has since been acquired by North’s senior side, being selected with the 43rd pick of the recent NAB AFLW Draft.
With so many ex-Tassie Devils on North’s list, King says she already feels right at home at Arden Street.
“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 and play VFL with them,” King told The Inner Sanctum.
“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.
“They’re Devils girls … my old teammates … it will be a less stressful experience.”
“We love adding Tasmanian talent to our list and Perri has put together a great body of work and deserves this opportunity.”— North Melbourne AFLW (@NorthAFLW) July 27, 2021
Watch Perri King in action! pic.twitter.com/RCQ6Oa9JoG
Due to the player zoning rules of the NAB AFLW Draft, King was almost a certainty to end up at North if selected, however that didn’t make the experience of being drafted any less emotional.
With the draft being such a high stakes moment for so many players around the country, nerves and elation are all part of the deal if you’re hoping to hear your name called out.
“It was crazy, I’ve never experienced anything like it, obviously it was a very nerve-wracking day,” King said.
“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.”
A midfielder by trade, King will be aiming to break into one of the classiest and most competitive on-ball groups in AFLW history, with the likes of Jas Garner, Emma Kearney, Ash Riddell and Jenna Bruton all amongst the best players in AFLW.
While that may seem like a daunting prospect, King says she can’t wait to prove her value on the field.
“I love a good tackle. 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.”
“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 lifelong friends.”