Brenna Tarrant - the Demon from the East Coast
Updated: Jun 3, 2020
'Good personalities make a successful team. The win comes from the team, not an individual. The team is not competing against each other, but against the opposition.'
Brenna Tarrant is an East Coast Eagle turned Melbourne Demon – but despite reaching the top tier of women’s football, her laidback personality still remains.
On one side we have the humble girl from the Blue Mountains, and on the other side – we have the young gun defender who made her AFLW debut during Round Five of the 2020 season.
And Brenna manages to keep the best of both these worlds – talented and upbeat, skilled but humble. But while she has a great attitude – its her performance on the field where Brenna truly shines.
Today she proudly represents the Melbourne Demons, but this is far from where she began – in fact, most of her early sporting life was spent playing ‘Very female dominated sports’ such as netball and dancing.
… ‘While I thank them for giving me the leap of a kangaroo – I found the atmosphere of the games and training just always had that competitive vibe around it.’
‘Literally after the first gala day, I knew this was where I was meant to be. There was something about how every female treats one another in AFL that just made me play better and feel comfortable.
‘I always thought that I was hiding in my shell when I was doing netball and dancing. If I had the word bank to say, “see mum, this definitely isn’t a phase,” I would have ripped that sentence out in the middle of my old home ground so the world could hear me.’
Fast forward, and now 2020 marks her sixth year of football. The first two of which were spent playing with the Emu Plains/Glenmore Park Lions in their U15 girls’ team – which was in fact the ‘First ever Western Sydney Youth Girls team’.
‘Probably the most memorable football memory was my first youth girls’ gala season and training with so many other young girls.’
From here, she then ‘Went for a 45-minute drive to Kellyville to play for East Coast Eagles in their runners-up U18 girls’ team’. She would then remain with the East Coast Eagles, during which time she got to play in both their Women’s Division One and inaugural Premier Division teams before she was selected with pick 72 during the 2019 AFL Women’s draft.
While it took ‘Three years, and eyes on the footy boots in sports stores’ before she was able to convince her mum that it wasn’t just a phase – it didn’t take long for Brenna to make an impact.
In just her second year of football and at age 14, she made the U15 State team. This would be far from her only state appearance as well, as she would go onto play in the NSW/ACT U18s team every year from 2017 to 2019. She would also go onto be labelled as the joint NSW/ACT MVP during Round One of the 2019 National Carnival.
As well as this, she won the inaugural U15s Western Sydney Youth Girls League Best and Fairest – and she would also claim the U17s State Cup Best and fairest when she was just 15.
If that was not enough, she was also named as the Player of the Tournament during the U15 girls school trials and was named as the 2019 Sportswomen of the Year at her school.
Finally, to top it all off – she was also named as an U18 All Australian, which to date is still one of her favourite footballing moments.
By now, most people would have probably seen the viral video of Brenna when she finds out that she has been drafted – but the fact that she managed to juggle so much during the build-up to the draft makes it worth a mention as well.
‘I drove a minimum of half an hour to get to training or a game so usually a family member would drive me around and I would sit in the car and do homework.
‘That did not always go to plan, so I would usually end up going to school early in the morning, making study sessions and all that then.’
As a player that has been through the hard-final year of school and managed to make it to the AFLW, she puts it down to ‘Just working hard now before it is too late’.
‘Yes, people are going to be juggling a lot with school, footy and maybe even a job but it helps in the long run, if you work hard not only will you be smarter in the future but it is good to build up independence.’
While she has certainly built up her independence – especially moving from Sydney to Melbourne to play in the AFLW. There are still those that she would like to thank for helping impact her very bright football career.
This includes her mum for agreeing to let her play, and her dad for driving her everywhere and helping her with her kick. Also, ‘All the talent staff across all my teams for helping me away from home and giving me elite facilities to train from.’
‘Trish Doyle for sponsoring me with my academy and other footy related stuff, and school for helping me when I’m away from school to help me stay on top of everything.’
While she will likely disagree, Brenna has quite a valuable skillset and mindset. A skillset that has seen her claim a lot of accolades over the past six years and a mindset that sees her remain humble through it all.
It is also this same mindset that sees her hold both her past and present teammates and clubs in such a high regard.
This includes former East Coast Eagle and fellow 2019 draftee Georgia Garnett – who ‘Has been a teammate of mine for years now, we’ve played together from grassroots to national level, we link up really well and have gotten along well since we met.’
‘Emily Hurley is also another close friend of mine and is a good person to hit up down in the forward line.’
So, what is next for this promising Demon from the East Coast?
Well, when we last spoke to Brenna it was just prior to the 2019 AFL Women’s draft, and her goal was simply to ‘Get drafted, play footy in the AFLW, win a premiership and eventually retire, which would equal happiest person alive’.
She has already achieved have of this, and by the time she reaches retirement age – we are certain that Brenna Tarrant will have much more than just a Premiership too her name.
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