• Jayden J Bartlett

Tahlia Fellows - the Dedicated Demon

Injuries in footy – as much as they can ruin a player’s season or hamper a team’s finals chances, they are unfortunately part of the game.

For Tahlia Fellows, she thankfully managed to stay off the injury bench for the majority of her footballing journey so far. That being said, the 2021 season “was just a rough one”.

What started as an exciting year, with Tahlia getting recruited by the Casey Demons, turned into a rather sour run of bad luck.

In total, the prospect suffered back-to-back injuries; the first being a shoulder dislocation and then a broken finger, which required surgery. This added up to see Tahlia spend 12 weeks in total on the injury bench – certainly not the best way to spend a debut season.

“It’s had its ups and downs, but it’s taught me to have a great mindset to be honest and I am still extremely lucky to be able to do what I do,” Tahlia said when asked about how she coped with rehab.

“And there are less fortunate people in the world. It’s all about perspective.”

However, this rough injury patch didn’t ruin her attitude towards Casey, time with which she says “has been amazing”.

“… Very rewarding and has pushed me to the best version of myself.”

'A Delightful Demon' - image kindly supplied by Tahlia.

Although we did not to see Tahlia in-action that much during 2021 – her previous years of footy tell us that, when she isn’t injured, she is a rather exciting prospect.

Originally however, footy was not on her mind much while growing up.

“Honestly it was never an interest as I grew up playing tennis and basketball, but I always enjoyed any sport,” Tahlia said when asked what brought her into the footy world.

“The reason I started was because the local team was struggling for numbers and girls.”

Coming from an unorthodox sporting background, yet with a massive passion or sport, Tahlia quickly found herself loving the game. Quite simply, “it went from being a hobby to a lifestyle”.

Tahlia’s first experience of footy came when she was 16 years of age, where played half of the junior season at the Narre South Lions.

The next season saw her move and play juniors at the Lyndhurst Football Club – but she didn’t get to play that full season as she broke her finger, which also required surgery. However, once recovered, she would go onto play her final season of junior footy with Lyndhurst.

Tahlia then joined the Cranbourne Football Club, where she played two years of senior footy, before being picked up by the Casey Demons' VFLW side.

During this time, Tahlia found her fair share of success, with the future Demon claiming two Junior Football Best and Fairests as well as a couple of junior and senior Interleague appearances.

To top it off, she was also a member of the 2019 South East League Team of the Year.

Yet despite the decent number of accolades to her name, and the fact that she climbed the football ranks rather quickly – her favourite footy moments have nothing to do with this on-field success.

“Honestly my favourite footy moments would involve the footy community and the friendships and diverse people you meet along the way,” she responded when asked about what her favourite footy moment has been.

And this goes to show how much passion Tahlia holds for her sport and her team – which offers an insight into how she managed to remain strong during the 12 weeks of being sidelined.

Of course, she has also been lucky enough to have some great support behind her during this relatively short but exciting journey.

“The main ones would be my family and close friends, especially my brother and all the coaches along my footy career so far.”

So, what is the next step for this resilient and dedicated Demon?

“The big goal I aspire to is AFLW hopefully. Otherwise, being the best version that I can be.”

Her advice for those who are just starting in footy is to “do what you love, enjoy it and pursue it if that’s what you want, don’t listen to other people opinions”.

Keeping this advice in mind, Tahlia has certainly taken it to heart herself, with the Demon remaining determined to pursue her footy despite the major setbacks this season.

So, if she can return to having a great injury-free run, who knows how exciting and bright that run could take her.

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Article #199

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None of these photographs is owned by MWM; all images have been supplied by the player and were personally took.

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