ONE of the more influential players in the TAC Cup Grand Final, Northern Knights speedster Marnie Jarvis has used her athletic abilities to impact on the football field.
Jarvis said her speed and endurance are key attributes to helping make the transition from basketball to football a few years ago. In 2018, she has improved across a number of areas in her game to become an important player in the Knights midfield.
“I was at basketball and they needed players for our team, so they were like ‘come down and try’ and I’ve loved it ever since,” she said. “I started playing for Yarrambat which is in the NFL (Northern Football League) and then Calder, and then when they got split, to the Knights.”
Jarvis said the 2018 group of Knights were close, and that had brought them success on the field, winning eight of a possible nine games to reach the grand final, and show they deserved their place in the decider, being up at half-time before going down by just 11 points – the game and season etched into the midfielder’s mind as her favourite football memory.
“I felt like all the girls at the Knights have developed really well, and bonded, which has helped us get to the grand final which was really good,” she said.
For Jarvis, she too has found that little tweaks in her game have helped her improve this season compared to last.
“I’ve been working on my ground balls and overhead marks instead of going for the easy chest marks,” she said. (Then) bringing into my chest straight away so it doesn’t get knocked out, which helps a bit.”
Her preferred position is the wing, and it’s easy to see why. Her ability to run at full pace and burn off opponents, or side step them with her agility has added a point of difference to the side. Her improvement was recognised by Vic Metro selectors, when Jarvis was picked for the team with two other top-age Knights players – captain Maddy Brancatisano, and ruck Neve O’Connor.
“It’s been really exciting,” she said. “It’s been one of my goals to get in and I’m happy to do it in my top-age year.”
Reaching the pointy end of her school journey has made her work-life balance a challenge, but the support through the TAC Cup and Northern Knights programs have helped.
“It’s been hard but easy because Knights is like close,” she said. “So I’ve had enough time to get home, do some more study.”
Her focus is now on Vic Metro duties at the National AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, as well as playing Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s for the Darebin Falcons.
“I’m playing VFL for Darebin Falcons,” she said. “I’ve been doing two nights a week with them, Tuesday and Thursday, which has helped with the bigger bodies and then to come here and show what I can do. “Just being selected to get to the Gold Coast and play a few games (for Vic Metro) would be good.”