THE centre corridor – it shapes as a crucial area for the Bathurst Giants in Saturday’s Central West AFL women’s grand final but there’s no place that Tamara Thompson would rather be.
Thompson will be one of the Giants tasked with trying to stop the Dubbo Demons from getting on top in the centre clearances and as a result, feed plenty of ball inside 50.
It will be tough, but when Thompson steps out onto George Park 2 it is a challenge she will embrace.
“Their centre is a strong point, so hopefully we can shut that down and make the most of the scrappy, off-the-ball play that we are really used to,” she said.
“They’re a pretty physical side, so it will definitely be a good contest for us. We are just hoping to run the run the legs off them.
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“It’s the same sort of mindset as last week when the pressure was on the Bushies – they were the three-times reigning champions and this is our first year. We weren’t even expecting to make the finals at the start of the season.”
When it come to challenges, season 2018 has been full of them for Thompson. While she is a sporting all-rounder – she will play in the Bathurst Netball Association’s A grade grand final for Collegians next Saturday – she had never even contemplated Australian rules.
But she made the move and she is glad she did.
“I’ve played a few different sports, but this has got to be my favourite change. I’ve played netball, league tag, league, basketball, AFL, volleyball – I’m in for the participation award,” she joked.
“A few of the girls had asked and I knew a couple of the girls through netball. I was umming and aahhing at the start of the season, I was late to join the pre-season, but changing codes has been good.
“It’s kind of an easy transition from netball because a lot of the skills are the same, but definitely there are a lot of different aspects to it. The kicking and the running and the contact are very, very different, but at the same time, very, very fun.
“This for us is just a dream come to true to be in the grand final.”