For the third time in four seasons, the North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos have kickstarted their AFLW campaign with a Round 1 victory.
Saturday’s defeat of a young Geelong side can be largely attributed to a strong team effort, with a number of players standing up to be counted in the crucial moments across the game.
With the game on the line in the final term, Mia King excelled for North, kicking the go-ahead goal en route to a Rising Star nomination for the clash.
Entering her third season at Arden Street, King is now physically primed to impact games through both the midfield and forward lines, with her tackling pressure and ability to win contested ball shining through.
She says Darren Crocker’s three quarter-time address is part of what helped lift the team to victory.
“The message from ‘Crock’ was really powerful,” King told North Media.
“He just asked us why we do what we do, and why we spend all of those pre-season hours we do. It's for games like this. That really motivated the girls to put in an awesome, cracking last quarter, and we got over the line.
“We were all just really happy we showed a lot of grit and determination, and we could get the result.”
Aside from the drive provided by Crocker, King, like most people, can find inspiration and motivation in the achievements and examples of others.
A proud Jawoyn woman, the Tasmanian product is undoubtedly inspiring the next generation of footballers.
She credits two women in particular with setting a strong example for her to follow.
“One of my all-time favourite athletes is Cathy Freeman. I remember mum gave me her book when I was in about grade six, and I don’t read books, but I read hers in about a day,” she said.
“She’s really inspiring having achieved what she has … and I think she’s a really powerful and brave woman so I look up to her, but I could name so many.
“Also from my team is Emma Kearney … there’s nobody you meet like her. She’s just an awesome character on and off the field … I think she’s such a powerful leader and she’s just awesome.”