TAYLA Harris has officially joined her third AFLW club after Melbourne sealed a trade for the high-profile forward.
The Demons secured the wantaway Carlton forward via a three-way trade with GWS that saw classy midfielder Jess Dal Pos join the Blues – Chloe Dalton and Katie Loynes head north to the Giants.
Harris, 24, and Carlton parted ways after the Blues baulked at her contract demands for next season – reported to be $150,000.
The move sees Harris’ AFLW career effectively come full circle.
“I am really excited to be part of such a great club with a talented group of girls, all pushing to be their best,” Harris said.
“I can already tell this will be a great environment for me to be the best version of myself.”
The Queenslander made a name for herself as a raw, high-flying forward as a teenager for Melbourne in the 2014 exhibition match – almost three years before she became one of Brisbane’s first marquee players.
She also attracted attention for her spectacular kicking style at the time.
Once her AFLW career kicked off, Harris became a three-time All-Australian and arguably the best contested mark in the competition.
But she became the most high-profile player in the league in 2019, skyrocketing into cultural significance on the back of a photograph of her kicking for goal, while she is also building a promising boxing career.
The 2021 season was Harris’ worst in the AFLW but Dees skipper Daisy Pearce last week threw her support behind the 24-year-old, telling SEN she’d be “excited” to play alongside her again.
Harris will add serious marking power and athleticism to a Melbourne forward line already boasting Kate Hore, Shelley Scott, Tegan Cunningham, Alyssa Bannan and Eden Zanker.
Midfielder Olivia Purcell will join Harris at the Demons.
Purcell, 20, was taken by Geelong at pick No.14 in the 2018 draft and played in their first two AFLW seasons – winning the Cats’ best and fairest in 2020.
She is recovering from an ACL injury suffered in Geelong’s loss to Richmond on February 27.
The Cats have secured 2019 Adelaide premiership forward Chloe Scheer, as well as Melbourne’s Chantel Emonson, in return.
Victorian midfielder Dal Pos, 27, spent four years at GWS and was All-Australian and the Giants’ best-and-fairest winner in 2017.
Dual-code athlete Dalton took this season off to focus on her Rugby Sevens career ahead of the Tokyo Olympics and returns home to Sydney, while former Blues co-captain Loynes will continue her career at GWS.
(C) AAP 2021