West Coast has bolstered its backline stocks by acquiring former Fremantle defender Tayla Bresland.
The Eagles brokered today a three-way deal with Fremantle and North Melbourne that saw the club secure Bresland in exchange for its fourth round selection (pick No.46) in the upcoming 2020 AFLW Draft.
Bresland arrives at West Coast following four productive seasons in the AFLW.
She has played 17 games at the highest level and was a mainstay of Fremantle’s back line in 2017 and 2019, often taking the opposition's most dangerous forward.
Bresland was unable to break into Fremantle’s starting 22 this year following an interrupted pre-season due to work commitments, but the Peel Thunder product is motivated to hit the ground running in 2021 and slot into a West Coast defensive unit that boasts a healthy mix of youth and experience.
Eagles Head of female football Adam Selwood said the club was thrilled to have secured Bresland’s services for the next two years.
“Throughout the 2020 season we probably knew that Talia Radan might be playing her last year of football, so as part of our prudent list management we kept an eye on several players, one being Tayla,” Selwood said.
“She performed strongly for a number of years with Fremantle and due to a few minor adjustments with their program she was unable to get a game this season. However, she’s a quality player who is proven in the league and someone that we feel will definitely mould into our group.
“She’s a competitor and accustomed to taking on the opposition’s best forward. The key for us is to bring her into our program, understand her body and get on top of all the little niggles that have been there the past few years.
“We feel at 24 years of age she’s got a lot of footy ahead of her and we can’t wait to see her compete the way she has and elevate her game to new standards.”
Bresland said she was excited to continue her AFLW journey in blue and gold.
“Coming off a season where I didn’t play a game for Fremantle, I was looking for a new opportunity to take my game forward and the Eagles offered me an opportunity that was too hard to pass up,” Bresland said.
“I just want to get my body right and complete pre-season. I missed a fair bit of the pre-season last year because I was away with the air force, so I’m hoping this year that I can get a full pre-season under my belt and come round one I’ll be raring to go.”
She might be new to some, but Bresland will be a familiar face to plenty of Eagles.
The Royal Australian Air Force reservist and cabinet maker by trade said she was looking forward to reconnecting with several close friends, including Kellie Gibson and Ashlee Atkins.
“I’m looking forward to playing with Gibbo; we’ve been mates since we were young, so it’ll be pretty good to play with her again,” Bresland said.
“I’m also looking forward to running around with ‘Happy’ (Ashlee Atkins). I’m at East Fremantle with her now and I got along with her really well at Freo too.”