South Coast AFL player nails iconic Tayla Harris kick in social media challenge

Giant leap: Sophie Phillips (left) and Tayla Harris.
Giant leap: Sophie Phillips (left) and Tayla Harris.

After winning an inaugural AFL South Coast Women's premiership and a Maddy Collier Medal for the league's best-and-fairest, it seemed like it would be difficult to top for Bomaderry's Sophie Phillips this year. 

Then she was recognised by one of her idols.

At 17, Phillips took part in the Tayla Harris kicking challenge, a social media response to online trolling of the now iconic leaping action photo of the Carlton AFL Women's star.

And among the hundreds of shots, Harris included Phillips's effort among a shortlist of the best.

"Tayla Harris is a big inspiration to me, along with so many other AFLW players," she said.

"To see her turn a bad situation into a good one was inspiring all females to chase their dreams.

"It was incredible to be recognised by Tayla. I was very excited."

STRIVING FOR GREATNESS: Bomaderry Tigers' Sophie Phillips will lead her side's AFL South Coast women's premiership defence in 2019 - which starts on Saturday. Photo: TEAM SHOT STUDIOS

STRIVING FOR GREATNESS: Bomaderry Tigers' Sophie Phillips will lead her side's AFL South Coast women's premiership defence in 2019 - which starts on Saturday. Photo: TEAM SHOT STUDIOS

Following in Harris' footsteps is obviously one of Phillips long-term goals and to ensure she achieves it, she has a number of steps in place.

"I have been training with the Illawarra Academy of Sport in preparation for the NSW/ACT under 18s trials at the end of the month," she said.

"If selected, I'll compete at nationals later in the year.

"This would help me achieve my goal of the AFLW, which I hope inspires other young girls to play footy and chase their dreams."

The now 17-year-old was named the best in the league and player of the grand final, kicking a crucial goal in their two-point win over the Wollongong Lions. .

"I feel very humbled and honoured to have won those two personal accolades - as they, and the grand final win, are memories I'll cherish forever," Phillips said.

"It's such a privilege to have the opportunity to play women's AFL and I have well and truly found my love for the game at Bomaderry."