NEW Norfolk has produced another top-level AFL player in Perri King.
The local girl was recently picked at No 43 in the AFLW draft by North Melbourne – becoming the latest from the Valley to make her way to the top level.
Perri started her Aussie Rules career when she joined the New Norfolk Junior Football Club in 2017 at the age of 13.
Her only previous experience was time spent watching her dad and brother coach and play.
Perri was at NNJFC for two years, where she won the Beakley Medal for the league’s Best and Fairest in her first season.
“From day one she was such a determined kid, she hated getting beat, she was willing to listen, she was great to coach,” said her proud dad and coach, Dean.
In 2019, at 15 years old, Perri moved to Glenorchy Football Club to continue her development, where she went on to join up with the Tasmanian Devils.
Her new club will probably have to see Dean, a Carlton supporter, test his allegiances.
“I’ll probably have to follow North Melbourne now, at least in the AFLW,” he said.
“I’m proud of the Valley and the football clu, the last person drafted from here was back in 1995, it’s a buzz for the town and football club, I’m thrilled and I’m very proud of her.”
Labor Leader and Lyons MHA Rebecca White congratulated Perri on her selection.
“Such a talent and all credit to you for the hard work over many years,” she said.
“Back in 2018 Labor MLC Craig Farrell and I started sponsoring the women’s team at New Norfolk District Football Club because Perri’s dad was such a strong advocate for the girls and a massive support for Perri.”
“It’s such a thrill to see Perri drafted to the national competition. She has made us all very proud.”
Sport and Recreation Minister Jane Howlett congratulated King, North Launceston’s Ella Maurer and Burnie’s Meagan Kiely for being selected in the AFLW draft.
“This is a tremendous reward for the Tassie trio’s efforts over the past few years and I am so delighted to see three more Tasmanians set to realise their dreams of playing at the highest level,” the minister said.
“It is also testament to the growth and strength of our state’s female football program, as participation in the sport continues to exceed expectations.
“It will also bring the number of Tasmanians in the AFLW to 12, proving that we continue to punch well above our weight as a proud football State.
Thanks to the North Melbourne and Richmond Football Clubs for showing faith in our young talent.”