Every time Noah Harrison ran out on the footy field this season, he could not help but think of his mum.
Sally Harrison suffered a debilitating stroke in April that left the dedicated 33-year-old mother-of-two paralysed and forced to undergo surgery last week for a hole in her heart.
The family rallied behind her and after coming to grips, Noah made a point to kick on for the Hillwood Sharks and Prospect Hawks teams.
“His footy didn’t change at all,” dad Shane Harrison said.
“He had a lot to deal with for a while, but he still went out there determined to perform every week for his team.”
But the kid, who refused to quit the game he loves, pulled a season out of the blue.
The 10-year-old would star for the Sharks under-12s, accurately kicking 58 goals from 69 shots in 14 games.
The full forward also went on to win the Tamar Valley association’s goalkicking and tie for Hillwood’s best and fairest award.
Dad believed Noah was motivated by playing to bring happiness back into his mum’s life.
“I think Noah did really get some sort of inspiration,” he said.
“He started off the season a bit slow, but then when he got going, well there was no stopping him.
“Everyone was very proud of him, he’s quite humble, he takes it in his stride and doesn’t like a fuss.
“But I just feel with what he’s gone through this year off the field and what he’s done on the field, I’ve been a bit surprised.”
There proved no better example of showcasing his talents than in Tamar Valley’s representative clash with the NTFA under-12s.
That day he kicked three goals inside the opening five minutes, including two remarkable snaps from the boundary line.
It has almost made the pounding he has given to the clothes line and the back fence worthwhile.
“He’s always in the backyard kicking the footy,” his dad laughed. “He’s just got a ball everywhere.
“There’s a soft ball inside that he kicks around and practices all these set side shots and that sort of stuff.”