Tayla Harris (born 16 April 1997) is an Australian rules footballer playing for the Carlton Football Club in the AFL Women's (AFLW) and boxer. She previously played for Brisbane in the inaugural AFL Women's season.
Early life and amateur career
Harris was born and raised in Brisbane's northern suburbs and began playing competitive football for Aspley at age five. She played in a mixed competition with young girls and boys until 2010.
At the age of fifteen, she began playing senior football for Zillmere in the AFL Queensland Women's League (QAWFL), where she won the league best and fairest award in her first season. In 2017, following a move to Melbourne, she began playing in the VFL Women's competition with the St Kilda Sharks.
She represented Queensland in the youth girls competition, and is a five time All-Australian.
At the age of seventeen, she was drafted to the Melbourne representative side as part of the AFL women's exhibition series. She continued to play for the club through 2016. She also played as part of the Brisbane Lions' representative team in 2016.
She attended primary school at Prince of Peace Lutheran College and high school at Albany Creek State High School.
AFL Women's career
Harris was one of two marquee player signings announced by Brisbane in anticipation of the league's inaugural 2017 season. She made her league debut in the club's inaugural match, in round 1, 2017, against Melbourne at Casey Fields. In round 2, she was nominated for the league Rising Star award for a two-goal, twelve disposal and seven mark performance against Fremantle, and also was named "Player of the Week" by the AFL Players Association. At the conclusion of two rounds she was ranked equal fourth in the league for total goals scored (two) and first in the league for contested marks (eight).
At the end of the season, Harris was listed in the 2017 All-Australian team.
Prior to the 2017 AFLW trade period, Harris expressed her desire to be traded to a Victorian club. The trade period started on 15 May. Early talks between Brisbane and Carlton faltered; although Carlton offered Bianca Jakobsson in trade, Brisbane wanted an additional player. Melbourne also made an offer for Harris. On 25 May 2017, Harris was traded to Carlton in a complex trade involving four teams, five players and a draft pick.
She played six matches with her new club in 2018 and kicked five goals, tying Darcy Vescio and sharing the club's leading goalkicker award with her.
Professional boxing record
|Professional record summary|
|7 fights||6 wins||0 losses|
|7||Win||6–0–1||Margarite Butcher||TKO||2||18 Oct 2019||The Melbourne Pavilion, Flemington, Victoria, Australia||For the Australian female middle title|
|6||Win||5–0–1||Renee Gartner||TKO||2||14 Aug 2019||ICC Exhibition Centre, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia|
|5||Draw||4–0–1||Sarah Dwyer||MD||17 Nov 2018||The Melbourne Pavilion, Flemington, Victoria, Australia||For the Australian female middle title|
|4||Win||4–0–0||Janay Harding||UD||5||7 Sep 2018||The Melbourne Pavilion, Flemington, Victoria, Australia|
|3||Win||3–0–0||Margarite Butcher||UD||6||4 Aug 2018||The Melbourne Pavilion, Flemington, Victoria, Australia|
|2||Win||2–0–0||Tessa Tualevao||MD||4||23 Sep 2017||Eatons Hill Hotel, Eatons Hill, Queensland, Australia|
|1||Win||1–0–0||Margarite Butcher||UD||4||24 Jun 2017||Eatons Hill Hotel, Eatons Hill, Queensland, Australia|
A picture taken by AFL Media photographer Michael Willson showing Harris kicking for goal during a 2019 match against the Western Bulldogs became the target of sexual Internet trolling after it was posted on social media by Seven Network. Harris re-tweeted the photograph with the caption: "Here’s a pic of me at work... think about this before your derogatory comments, animals". Critics of the trolls included fellow AFLW players Erin Phillips and Darcy Vescio, Geelong player Patrick Dangerfield, cyclist Anna Meares, AFLW head of football Nicole Livingstone and Australian Football League chief executive Gillon McLachlan, and federal minister for women Kelly O'Dwyer. Phillips, Vescio, Meares and O'Dwyer joined the chorus of people condemning Seven's decision to remove the photo, which was perceived as yielding to the trolls. It was later reinstated with an apology.
On 11 September 2019, a bronze statue immortalising the image was unveiled in Federation Square Melbourne.
Harris lives in Melbourne with her partner Sarah and dogs Charlie, Oscar and Beans.