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Tarnee’s taking it to the limit

Wednesday, 12th February, 2020

Tarnee Tester in action for the West Coast Eagles during her round one debut in the AFLW on Sunday. PICTURE: Michael Willson/AFL Photos Tarnee Tester in action for the West Coast Eagles during her round one debut in the AFLW on Sunday. PICTURE: Michael Willson/AFL Photos

By Emily Ferguson

A dream came true over the weekend when Tarnee Tester became Broken Hill’s first AFLW player. 

Tarnee was one of 10 debutants in the West Coast Eagles side for their inaugural AFLW game against Collingwood. 

After a fiery start the Eagles gave their all but were defeated by 27 points by an experienced Magpies’ side at Victoria Park. 

Tarnee said her aim this season was to improve and adapt to the ever-changing game that is AFL.

An “incredibly hard but extremely rewarding” preseason was how she was making that happen, she said. 

“Preseason is where all the kilometres are made and sculpting your body mentally and physically, to be prepared for what is about to come,” said Tarnee. 

“I made it through pre-season and even beat my personal best, so I am proud of that.”

“It is about preparing your body for tough conditioning but once you get through it you’ve come out a better version of yourself.

“At this level fuelling your body and recovering are the main essentials in all aspects. When you come into the season it is training five days a week with a game, so it is vital to have a really realistic routine with nutrition, hydration, sleep as well as mental toughness to continue to keep going.”

Tarnee believes she is approaching her highest potential.

“There are always things players can improve on and it is about capitalising on the opportunity and putting your best foot forward week in and week out at training to give yourself the best possible shot at being selected.”

Tarnee said she was “stoked” at being named in the inaugural West Coast Eagles team for round one. 

“You are training with 30 other extremely talented players and we as a club are such a close knit group, even though we have only been together for a few months,” she said. 

“We have developed a culture where everyone is putting in the hard yards together and making each other better every training session. It is extremely competitive but to be named was an understatement of a dream come true.”

Emotions were high during her first ever AFLW game.

“We had a debut presentation before we ran out and that was extremely powerful and tears were shed. The first game is done and now my focus turns to round two, the first ever RAC Derby for us which is very exciting.”

The experience of running out as a part of the West Coast AFLW team was indescribable, Tarnee said. 

“It was beyond anything I could have ever imagined, to play in front of more than 6000 people, my family in the crowd, and looking over at your bench to see your other teammates and support staff. It truly is incredible.

“The AFLW competition is competitive and tough, I loved every minute of the experience and opportunity I had been given.

“The atmosphere is through the roof. To play the game you love with incredible people is amazing but what really gets me is, you are a role model to the next generation of young girls who aspire to be an AFLW player.

“But when you run over to the crowd and take pictures and give them your time and you see their little smiles, it truly warms your heart and makes the moment even more incredible.”

Throughout the 2020 season Tarnee hopes to continue growing as a player and as an individual. 

“We are building something pretty special at our club and it isn’t all about the wins and losses but just having each other’s back and continue to just enjoy and love the game,” she said. 

Tarnee wished to thank the whole of Broken Hill and district for following her on her journey.

“It truly is amazing and I appreciate the support so much.”

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