Part of the elite 2020 AFLW Academy and looming as a father-daughter selection by the Pies in the next AFLW draft, 17-year-old Tarni will spend the next five Mondays training at Collingwood in an accelerated football and personal development program with the club’s AFLW squad.
“Back then I never really thought it would be a thing [getting to train at Collingwood], so it’s come good,” Tarni said.
“They [Callum and Tyler] tried to teach me how to kick sometimes … Yeah [I listen to them], they’ve got a couple of good pointers I think.”
Tarni is also an exciting basketball talent and only started playing football competitively two years ago at Eastern Ranges. True to Brown tradition Tarni is a tough, hard-tackling midfielder, but is not to be discounted on the outside. She averaged five tackles a game in last season’s NAB League and hopes to juggle both basketball and footy in the future.
“Dad’s pretty relaxed but I think he’s pretty excited for me so that’s pretty cool,” Tarni said.
Twenty-one-year-old Callum said: “It’s pretty exciting to think about [us all being at Collingwood]. We all live together obviously still, so me and Tyler come in most days together and then we’ll be seeing Tarni as we’re leaving because they come in at night. So it’s pretty cool but we’re all pretty close mates as well so it’ll be a pretty seamless transition.
“Like Tarni said she wouldn’t have expected to be here five, six years ago. So it’s pretty exciting, it’s good that the girls’ footy’s obviously coming a long way now so they’re taking some really good leaps. And we’ve obviously had it since we were a kid – we knew that we could play professional footy so it’s good to see Tarni get that opportunity.”
Tarni, according to her brothers and her mother, is super competitive, perhaps the most of the lot. Tennis matches between the siblings would often end with Tarni the most fired up.
“I won’t take anything [rubbish from the boys],” Tarni said when asked how she coped growing up with two older brothers.
Tyler added competition was always fierce in the Brown household: “I think it was just every sport we played we all used to have our little challenges.
“I remember playing basketball with Tarni and I probably beat Tarni through then, and now she’s going better than us and she’d probably beat us.”
Anthony is a sports reporter at The Age.