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AFLW: Tayla Roberts bounces to North

PRESS PLAY above to watch the Tayla Roberts interview. Former WNBL player, Tayla Roberts spoke with North Media upon signing on to try her skills in AFLW.

From basketballer to footballer, Tasmanian-born Tayla Roberts is the first cross-code rookie to sign with the North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos.

Hailing from Launceston, the 192cm ruck prospect is no stranger to an elite training lifestyle, having established herself with the Dandenong Rangers in the WNBL. Her athleticism and height putting her in good stead for the challenges ahead.  

“I think I’ve got a lot to learn and a lot to work on but I definitely back myself and I think kind of already being involved in a professional sport will definitely help me in that respect,” Roberts told North Media.

“I think being so tall and kind of using basketball to my advantage, I think that would be a really good position [ruck] for me to play.

“I’m really excited, a little bit nervous but overall really excited and I can’t wait to get started.”

Already a life-long fan of the Kangaroos, Roberts admitted it would be an honour to pull on the royal blue and white stripes.

“I think it would be a proud moment for anyone to be able to go out there and  put on those colours but I’m just really excited to get the opportunity either way and can’t wait to get started.”

AFLW coach Scott Gowans said Roberts' potential speaks for itself.

“After having a kick with Tayla it was a no-brainer really to sign her up,” Gowans said.

“We got her down to Arden St, had a kick with her for maybe about half an hour, and kicking’s got some way to go with some improvement, but agility wise she was fantastic.

“She takes the ball at the highest point which is something you look at for marking and her hands just wrap around the ball like it’s a tennis ball, I think she can be really damaging in the competition.”

Roberts' connection to the southern-most state was also appealing.   

“She can’t wait to help grow the next level behind her,” Gowans said.

“She’s hoping to inspire others to not only play AFL football but come to the Kangaroos in the years to come.”