Tayla Harris marked the ball early in the first quarter at Whitten Oval against the Western Bulldogs. She went back and coolly slotted the goal from 45 metres out. When I watched the ball fly through the posts I said what I normally say after a classy goal: “Good finish.”
Set shot, 40 plus metres out. Slight angle. They’re not easy.
When I saw the replay I was even more impressed. The vision of that trademark kicking action in full flight is something to behold. It’s what nearly every kicking coach tries to make you do as a young footy player.
I would’ve done anything for technique like Tayla’s and I would tell every young football player today to look at her follow through as a strong end point for a great kicking action.
Over the next few days I saw the image of Tayla’s kick posted on a number of social media pages. It’s a tremendous photo in and of itself but, when put in context of the incredible social change it will help usher in by giving so many young girls an idol to look up to, it becomes something even greater.
But, as we’ve seen time and time again, it seems impossible to have these photos without the influx of trolls.
That photo is inspirational; it shows the majesty of sport encapsulated in a single, brilliant frame.
Comments saying, “that’s not the kitchen” and “big stretch for a 20m shank” were mixed with predictable, yet still sickening (and unprintable), commentary on the female body.
These are the stock standard, incredibly unoriginal and unintelligible, catch cries of sad men who confide in the support of fellow sad men all over the internet.
I remember a few weeks ago the same Instagram page at the heart of this incident posted a video of Tayla missing a kick from point blank range. I went on last night to re-read the comments. All to the same effect.
“This is women’s sport.”
“What more do you expect?”
Well, my friends, let me remind you of Round 16, 2013. Early in the first quarter a young B. Jack runs into an open goal square. It’s his fourth game – first time starting on the field – and 40,000 people at the SCG are screaming in anticipation of the certain goal. You beauty.
Shame I shanked it.
I hit the post from literally three metres away. Hell, I could make a list of AFL players who’ve done the same. So, to all those guys saying how terrible women’s sport is because of a miss like that: what do you say to me?
– Brandon Jack, The Sydney Morning Herald
Feature image source: Tigerman2612, Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 4.0]