Madison Sharp thrives after move to the Tamworth Swans

SWAPPING CODES: Madison Sharp made the move to the Swans in 2019 and hasn't looked back. Photo: Gareth Gardner 231220GGC03
SWAPPING CODES: Madison Sharp made the move to the Swans in 2019 and hasn't looked back. Photo: Gareth Gardner 231220GGC03

As Madison Sharp prepares to enter her third year of AFL, she only has one regret about making the jump over from soccer.

"I really regret not deciding to play sooner," the Tamworth Swans midfielder told The Leader.

Following a year of "pestering" from the Joices - best friend Gabby and Swans manager Nathalie - Sharp made the move into the world of AFL.

Sharp had never played the game before having grown up in a soccer-loving family.

Her dad Steve coaches Quirindi FC and Sharp had followed suit.

Leaving a sport that had created an incredible bond with her father - the pair won a grand final together in 2018 - was tough, for both father and daughter, but Sharp couldn't be happier with the decision.

The new challenge also excited the code-hopper and the chance to play with best mate Gabby, added even more incentive.

"It was unreal. I'm so glad I took the leap of faith with my best mate and tried something different," Sharp said.

Sharp also said she'd found the right fit with the Swans.

"It was a new environment and an opportunity to shine in that new environment," Sharp said.

"The Swans had equal thoughts on both the men and women. It was satisfying to see."

Sharp added: "I can't believe how far women's sport has come.

"It's really important having the boys help us out and stay behind. I hadn't had that before."

The 2021 season will be Sharp's third in Swans colours and she'll play an integral role for the Tamworth side across the midfield.

Andrew Donohue and Nathalie Joice will again mentor the side as they chase premiership glory.

The 2021 side is set to look different to the 2020 outfit that went down in the grand final to Gunnedah, but Sharp said the Swans had the right players to go one better next season.

"After being unlucky the last two years, we've got that fire burning in our belly," she said.

"It's such a tough game and fierce competition, to see another team get the trophy, it gives you that extra motivation."

This story Madison thrives following switch to AFL first appeared on The Northern Daily Leader.