By Alice Barker
Tarni White is among perhaps the most talented female footballers emerging through the talent pathway.
As a junior, she made history at her local footy club, Wynnum Vikings, where she became the first female player to play 100 games.
But after switching clubs to Coorparoo in 2015, where she soon would join the senior ranks in 2017, White’s progress would soon unravel.
In Round 2 of the 2018 QAFLW season against Wilston Grange – a precursor for the Grand Final later that year, White torn her ACL.
After missing the remainder of the year where she was ruled out of QAFLW, Brisbane Lions Academy and Queensland state selection, White is back and eager to make history all over again.
White made her full return in Queensland second Round 1 showdown with West Australia at Subiaco Oval and featured again in their recent loss to Victoria Country at Metricon Stadium.
Speaking to aflq.com.au, following the country game, White says she has loved returning to action and continues to gain confidence every game.
“It’s a pretty indescribable feeling [returning from injury], not many people will know that feeling unless they’ve had a long-term injury, but if I could put it into some words, I’m so grateful just to even be out there again,” Tarni told aflq.com.au.
“I can’t get 100 touches like I used to, but what’s keeping me in the game is my talk and organisation.”
During her hiatus, Tarni sat down with Lions coach Craig Starcevich to deliberate where her focus should be throughout her recovery; they decided on leadership.
“As much as talking is good, making it directional talk is a really big thing in footy these days,” Tarni said.
“So if you can nail that, it’s really good.”
Tarni was able to represent her state in their game against Western Australia and this week’s match against Victoria Country. The team didn’t come away with either win, but the Queensland side hope to keep intensity at a high.
“We’ll do a game review tonight, have a little kick around tomorrow, flush everything out… go 100% every game,” says Tarni.
With this year being her draft year, Tarni remains focused on the task in front of her.
“I’ve just got to keep chipping away at the little things first before I can worry about the big things,” Tarni says.
“I’m really proud of the girls around me that are helping me.”
Under 18 AFL Women’s National Championships Round 2
Queensland v Victoria Country
Monday July 8, 11:00am
Queensland: 3.1 (19) def. by Victoria Country: 9.7 (61)
Queensland goals: D. D’arcy, Z. Farquharson, T. Smith.
Queensland v Victoria Metro
Wednesday July 10, 10:00am
Fankhauser Reserve, Southport
Queensland v Eastern Allies
Friday July 12, 2:00pm