From the Port Melbourne Football Club website:
2021 SIGNING: Tara Jasper Becomes Borough’s Inaugural VFLW Player
The Port Melbourne Football Club are delighted announce the first official signing for the Club’s inaugural VFL women’s team, Tara Jasper.
Jasper, 20, joins the VFLW program having been with Port Melbourne since joining pre-season training on the eve of the 2019 season.
On the eve of the eventually-cancelled 2020 season due to COVID-19, Jasper belied her young age to be named co-captain of the Borough alongside Maegan Harrison.
Jasper said it was an amazing feeling to be confirmed as taking her place in a “brand new chapter” of the Club.
“It’s obviously very exciting and means a lot to me,” she said of being named the first signing.
Originally from Horsham, Jasper said the chance to even play footy wasn’t an option until the Horsham Saints created an Under 18’s team in 2017.
Eventually, Jasper was good enough to earn a place in the TAC Cup in 2017 and 2018 with the Greater Western Rebels before moving to Melbourne for study and join Port Melbourne under coach Harold Hetherton.
“Growing up in country Victoria and with women’s sport not being overly prominent, the last few years have been an amazing journey.”
Jasper said the “culture” of the Borough and her love of the place made it an easy decision to commit once again in 2021.
And although facing the significant challenge of stepping into the higher-standard of competition that VFLW presents, Jasper said she had faith in the impact the women could make next year.
“Seeing the growth of our women into a nice tight group and hopefully putting on a good display for our Borough fans are what will remain key goals for us entering 2021,” she said.
With Port Melbourne having announced a formal alignment with Richmond’s VFLW program recently, Jasper said this itself also represented a fantastic opportunity for the Club to increase the depth of its playing list.
“Being able to combine that skill and team culture that Richmond obviously have will be massive for us,” she said.
“Richmond were such a successful team in 2019, and I’m sure that morale will flow over into our program as well.”
Jasper said she was already beginning to ramp up her training intensity as she set her sights on 2021.
“As we get our squad finalised and together, we’ll be trying to drive really high standards of training and professionalism to match those are needed in the VFL.”
The Borough welcome back Tara for 2021, and can’t wait to see her in the red and blue once again.