Tasmanian tackling machine inspired by star Roos


WITH a clear pathway ahead, Tasmania's Perri King has her eyes firmly set on this year's NAB AFLW Draft.

The bustling midfielder has been playing for four years now, having sat on the sidelines eagerly watching her older brother and cousin play.

With few opportunities when she was young, she got her chance as a 13-year-old with New Norfolk (half-an-hour north-west of Hobart) before graduating to state league seniors with Glenorchy at just 15.

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Tasmanian young gun Perri King is looking to take the next step

King started in the Tasmanian state team around the same time and was one of the Tassie Devils' stars in this year's NAB League season, named in the best in six of nine games.

She had an opportunity to play a VFLW game with North Melbourne earlier this year, recording 15 disposals and a signature seven tackles against Essendon.

King is no relation to the Kangaroos' many other (all unrelated) Kings in Emma, Mia and Elisha.

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"Jasmine Garner is my favourite. She's just a ball-magnet, she always has a footy in her hands, and when she doesn't, she still helps the team out," King told womens.afl.

"She just loves the contested ball and I just love watching the way she plays.

"I definitely look at players like that and am just inspired to be like that and work harder, because I know that if I work hard enough, maybe I can be how they are one day."

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The NAB League season gave King a good understanding as to what's required at the top level.

"I've spent a year and a bit just training a bit harder so I can improve, so then I can make myself and the team better," King said.

"It wouldn't be (necessarily) my fitness, but I've gotten a lot faster than what I was a couple of years back. My decision-making and footy smarts have gotten a lot better.

"Juniors was just a bit of fun, no real structure or anything like that, but since I've been focusing with seniors and the Devils, we've been working on structures and stuff like that."

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A member of the NAB AFLW Academy, King is a fierce ball-winner whose workrate can never be questioned.

She has quick hands out of packs and a strong defensive ethic when it comes to tackles.

Studying a disability and aged care course, King has a few keen training partners in her two dogs.

"I've got a husky and a malamute, and I love them. One's a puppy, so she's [now 10] months old, but she's quite big," she said.

"They're very energetic so when I used to go for runs, I used to take them with me because that would be pushing me the whole way."