By Melissa Marsh
For this talented youngster there are only a few things that are left to achieve but ultimately Tiah Haynes has that burning desire to see the Women’s AFL introduced into our country.
There is no denying that Haynes has what it takes, related to the great Polly Farmer and fourth cousin to Mark Williams you can certainly see why Haynes has already represented and captained her state and been around football since the tender age of six playing for the Karoonda Junior Football Club.
Having a strong father figure in football Haynes spent many weekends and evenings watching her father, John Haynes represent the Perth Demon’s. “I’ve always looked up to my dad as an idol with his footy career with the Demons. I followed him everywhere he went, trainings and games.”
It was at Willetton High School a few years later that Haynes felt at home with football and joined her school team. From here Haynes was snapped up by the Sharks and most would agree that this was one of the Sharks great recruits. Playing the wing or up forward this feisty pocket rocket has her dreams set high.
Hayes gained valuable learning of leadership at the Under 18’s State Tournament in 2011. Voted in as Captain amongst her peers and coaching staff Haynes felt extremely proud of this moment. “I felt very privileged to have been voted in by the players and coaching staff. The pressure of being a leader became easier the more confident that I was in my game. I felt that I had to perform well every game for my team” Haynes said.
And this she did. Haynes made the All-Star team from that tournament.
“I want to continue to make as many state teams as possible and high performance academies. Long term football, you can’t really get that far but most certainly if Women’s AFL comes in whilst I’m still young enough then I would really hope to play that” Haynes said.
Like many, it is a shared goal to see equality across the board and to make AFL accessible to the talented female footballers in this country. This goal is being driven by many powerful and passionate women and the fight will continue until equality has been reached.