Daizi Blundstone was 12 for much of her maiden season in the NTJFA’s 14-17 girls’ competition.
A ‘country kid’ from Rowella, the 13-year-old progressed from Tamar Demons’ 9-12 youth setup and began the year in the forward pocket.
Her prowess at reading the play - largely developed through three years playing basketball with Japara - gave her an edge over her opponents and bags of goals followed.
Five against George Town in round three, six against Prospect a week later.
Coach Dwayne Beeton - who led Tamar Cats to their 2003 NTFA flag - knew he had a talent on his hands.
“She’s a very quiet kid but she lets her footy do the talking,” Beeton said.
“For someone who’s 13 she’s extraordinary, she’s very gifted - we call her silky or freak. She has great awareness, she’s one out of the box and she has a big future in footy.”
Having grown up playing football in the backyard with younger brother River, Blundstone returned to football last season after three years on the sidelines - but it hasn’t all been easy.
The Exeter High student suffered an injury to her right foot early in 2017, which took a long time to heal and forced her to kick off her non-preferred for most of the season.
The end product was a footballer equally confident off both sides, which ultimately held her in good stead to step up to the next age group.
Blundstone’s Demons finished the 2018 home and away season in third spot and lost one final en route to a grand final against North Launceston, who had lost just one game all year.
The Demons nabbed a two-point win and, despite not getting on the scoresheet, Blundstone was named in the winners’ best.
“I was very proud I guess and surprised,” she said.
“It’s been harder because they’re bigger girls and they’re older.”
Blundstone won the Demons’ best and fairest and finished as the club and the league’s top goalkicker with 35 goals in 20 games.
She could have kicked more but for regularly being sent to the midfield - and for Beeton joking that she was kicking too many and needed to share more of the load.
“She picked (the midfield) up well,” Beeton said.
“She was one of our key players (in the grand final) – we knew she was alright but we didn’t know she’d be this good.”