FOR the first time since she appeared in the AFLW finals, Denmark’s own Docker Parris Laurie returned home last week – with her footballing brother Jesse.
Parris, 24, had not been back in the shire since Christmas. In her debut season playing in the ruck for Fremantle, the club bowed out in a preliminary final against Carlton on March 23.
“It’s really nice to be back in my home town with Mum and Dad,” Parris told The Voice of the South last week at the Denmark Primary School lower oval where she played lots of her early footy.
Parris and Jesse kept a low profile while in town on a whirlwind visit before flying back to Perth from Albany.
“We’ve come back down to Denmark to talk about players from both men’s and women’s football coming from regional areas to then represent those areas in the State league competition,” Jesse explained.
“I definitely remember this is where the Auskick and the Under 10s and the Under 12s really started for me, so it was Denmark Primary School Oval that really got everything going.”
Jesse, 28, also recalled some torrid kick-to-kick matchups back in the day.
“There were four of us, three boys and Parris was the only girl, and she was always in there,” he smiled.
“There was no holding back.
“It didn’t matter – boy, girl whatever, if you were playing football you were going to suffer the consequences.”
Now that Parris’ Dockers games are finished for the year, the siblings were stoked to be playing in the same club in the WA Football league.
“This year is the first season of the WAFLW and that means we’re fully aligned with the men and we sometimes play on the same day, which is great for people like me and Jesse getting to play for the same club,” Parris said.
“Jesse had always been a Claremont boy and then I decided I wanted to come back and play with Jesse, so I went to Claremont as well and even ended up getting the same number as him, so we both run out with ‘25’ on our back now.
“There’s certain players that still come through from their different regional areas, so Claremont is the Great Southern and up in the Kimberley as well.”
Jesse said it was “not often you get the chance to say: ‘I play at the same club as my sister’”.
He said there was a real bond between Great Southern players in the WAFL.
“I know that all the young guys and probably the young girls, soon to be, that‘ll be coming up through the Great Southern, you automatically have that connection with them because they’ve gone through the same things as you, and you want to make sure they make their mark on the competition.”