Tasja Batzavalis - the Great Southern Product
Updated: Dec 10, 2019
"I have played team sports my whole life but there’s nothing like the friendships I’ve made from football. Everyone has a similar goal of wanting women’s football to improve as an entire sport so the support from other girls is wicked!"
Who doesn’t love a good story about a country player making it in the big leagues?
Don’t ask us why, but there is also something poetic about these scenarios; and as for the player in question, she may not be the biggest name in the SANFLW at the moment, but she can certainly hold her own.
And we are of course talking about Glenelg wingman and promising Tiger, Tasja Batzavalis.
Tasja’s football journey began with the Willunga Football Club back in 2017, before making the switch to her beloved Mount Compass in 2018;
“I used to live in Mount Compass, but Willunga started a team first. Couldn’t play for them for long so started a team in Compass.”
But how exactly did she get interested in football?
“Being a part of GSFL my netball used to follow the football and I was always kicking with people at the club and have always been interested in the sport. Then my friend asked me to come out to Willunga and haven’t stopped since.”
And despite herself being rather humble about her first two seasons of football; there are several notable mentions;
“Played in the women’s association games when I played for GSFL and I played in Country Champs for Southern District the year before last.”
But the biggest highlight from this time, and the best indication of what she is capable of, comes in the form of the Mount Compass Best and Fairest, which she won in 2018.
And even despite going to the next tier of football, she is still very fond of the Bulldogs;
“It’s a big family and a huge laugh. It’s all about having fun and everyone trying something new. They are super competitive now which is good to see.”
“Didn’t play for them last season after Glenelg but I missed them heaps so I’m excited to go back!”
So, with two pretty impressive seasons of footy under her belt, her skills and potential were recognised and rewarded, as she was selected into Glenelg’s SANFLW squad;
“It is rewarding! The atmosphere is super uplifting which allows us all to grow and a playing team and as individual players. The girls and the staff are extremely focused and passionate about wanting to improve and I think that’s really cool!”
However, going from country footy to the second highest tier of women’s football in the nation, obviously has some getting used to;
“I couldn’t quite understand my role at the start, and I was getting upset/angry that I wasn’t doing as well as I thought I needed to, but the coaching staff are super patient which was so helpful.”
But not only did Tasja get a hang of it, but she also made the most of it.
And that is because in just her first season of SANFLW, she played all 11 games for the Tigers and finished with a total of 82 disposals, which she rarely wasted thanks to her 77% disposal efficiency.
And out of all of these games, her favourite memory came in her last SANFLW game this season;
“They all kind of mash into one but I guess the final against North where I kicked my first goal. Biggest fluke goal ever but I’ll claim it.”
While she puts it all down to luck, we say that her strong skillset is to blame; because, whether she is willing to admit it or not, she has become quite the promising product.
And all of this development is thanks to her hard work and positive attitude, as well as some well-appreciated help along the way.
“Dad has had a massive impact on my football. Always pushing me and supporting. But always has an input in my game too.”
“I couldn’t name one! Everyone has their perks and strengths and I love getting different opinions on how I can improve my game, so every teammate plays a big role in my mental and physical game.”
So, what is next for this humble product?
“I just really want to become a confident, consistent and skilled footballer!”
While her goals on the field are easily achievable for her; her goals off the field are also worth a mention and that is because;
“When I’m not working I love anything and everything outdoors. Surfing, camping, road trips and all of it! Dream would be to somehow make that work.”
“I love finding little gems in South Australia. I think SA is super underrated, it’s the best place when you go looking.”
And this is something we have in common with Tasja, because we like finding underrated and ‘hidden gems’ in South Australian women's football … which is why we are extremely pleased that we found her.
However, if her past three years of football is anything to go by; she wont remain much of a hidden gem for long.
Images by the Ministry of Wow
None of these photographs are owned by MWM.
Please contact for credit or removal.