• Jayden J Bartlett

Tayla Day - the Nairne Product

The Nairne Bremer United Football Club has recently wrapped up a heavily improved home and away season.

The Rams finish the 2019 regular season in second place; a contrast from their two-win season back in 2017.

And at the forefront of this impressive season for the Rams, is Tayla Day; whose 34 goals not only helped reach second place but also saw her become the league’s leading goalkicker for the home and away season.

2019 marks Tayla’s third season with the Rams;

“Unfortunately, no premierships as of yet; however, this year is looking brighter. In the first two seasons I was awarded Best and Fairest runner up.”

As a proud Nairne product; the 34 goals are impressive enough without mentioning that originally, Tayla was a defender;

“I actually started playing in the backlines.”

As for how she went from a defender to the league’s leading goal kicker;

“We got a new coach at the start of last year and I was adamant that I could only play defence but one day he put me up forward and I ended up kicking four points; from then on I really focussed on my goal kicking and here I am.”

“I’m pretty grateful he did that to me because I much prefer to play in the forward lines than back lines now.”

And not only was this strong forward originally a defender, but she is also a gifted netball player;

“I play netball for the Onkaparinga Netball Club. I’ve also had lots of tennis success for the Onkaparinga Tennis Club as well.”

“I’ve been playing netball for 13 years, have umpired for possibly seven years and coached for the last three years.”

Despite being a very humble player; she is generous enough to share some of this “success”;

“I was a part of a very good team throughout my junior playing days and we would’ve won about six premierships including a very exciting Under 17 div 1 premiership.”

The exciting U17 Division One premiership was in fact an underdog story; as her team beat a previously undefeated team in the Grand Final by two goals. Which is made even more remarkable as the closest they had gotten to beating them before that, was a 16-goal loss.

“I also made the association team for three years and SAPSASA team for two years. I’ve coached an Under 11 div 1 premiership and am looking to take my undefeated Under 11 team to another one this season. I’ve also umpired four grand finals.”

All of this adds up; however, Tayla’s passion seems to rival any amount of hard work or stress that playing multiple sports causes;

“Thankfully footy is on Sundays and netball is Saturday’s. Footy Training is Tuesday and Thursday and netball is Wednesday. Then I have work Monday nights so I’m a busy girl, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

And she has some advice for others who are trying to juggle a busy schedule like herself;

“Probably to not overthink or put too much pressure on yourself because that can suck the enjoyment out of everything. It’s all about balance! Sport is my passion, so I find it easy.”

And despite being a local to the Onkaparinga Valley sporting clubs and even having family connections within their football club; she is admitted that she will stay loyal to her beloved Rams.

“I haven’t moved and won’t move.”

This seems to compliment not only the high loyalty she holds; but also, the close, family like culture of the Nairne Bremer United Football Club.

“I have made lots of friends since playing footy at Nairne but to play alongside my cousin Alice Perkins has been a great experience and one that I won’t forget.”

“I also love watching our captain and reigning best and fairest Dani Barolo do her thing on the footy field, she is very inspiring!”

Whether it is her number;

“I wanted number 29 because that’s my birth date but we couldn’t have higher than 25; so, I went with number 8 because it’s my birth month. I then found out that my dad used to wear number 8 when he played for Nairne.”

Or her fitting nickname ‘Tex’;

“I think it started because I was a very strong player and was able to take contested marks and kick the ball pretty far (like Tex walker) haha and it helps my name is Tayla.”

It all seems to help highlight the laid back and close-knit community of local sporting clubs.

However, Tayla hasn’t just been a part of a local football club;

“I was selected in the inaugural Sturt Women’s Team Squad in 2018. However, I did not play a game, only trained with them the whole season.”

But despite not getting a game, she is extremely grateful for being given the chance to learn and grow;

“It was a great learning experience. It was after my first year of football, so I was honoured to be selected in the first place.”

“To be able to train with girls like Jess Foley and Georgia Bevan at Sturt who have played at the highest level was incredible.”

With plenty years of football left; Tayla is beginning to forge a promising path;

“I’m only 20 years old so hopefully I can have a long and eventful football career.”

Going forwards for the humble forward;

“I would love to get back down to Sturt and hopefully get a game. I just really want to keep developing my skills.”

“I definitely don’t have my eyes set on a career in the AFLW, I just want to keep pushing myself and enjoying my footy as much as possible.”

“A premiership at Nairne would also be pretty amazing.”

Considering the outstanding season Tayla has had this year; it seems that she may have just found her biggest strength.

Which she will undoubtedly continue to display as her career continues to grow.

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