AFLW star inspires footy hopefuls

The Officer Junior Footy Club were thrilled to have AFLW star and assistant coach Natalie Wood join them at training last Thursday. Pics: SUPPLIED, OJFC

By Gabriella Payne

Excitement was in the air at the Officer Junior Football Club last week, as the girls team welcomed a surprise visitor at their training – the AFLW Western Bulldogs assistant coach, Natalie Wood.

Having played 190 games of womens’ football over 16 years and being named an ‘all Australian’ three times in the past, Ms Wood knows a thing or two about footy.

Taking the reins for the under 12, under 14 and under 16 girls teams training sessions on Thursday 22 April, Ms Wood guided the young footy hopefuls through a range of exercises and shared her expertise along the way.

The sessions focused on “fundamental skills” as well as specific parts of the game that each of the teams’ coaches had identified as areas to improve on.

It was clear to see that all the girls involved had a great time learning from the AFLW star and soaked up all her coaching wisdom, with most describing the experience as simply “awesome”.

The girls football operations manager at the Officer Junior Football Club, Kim Isaacs, said that having Natalie Wood come along to their Thursday night training sessions was a fantastic experience and proved how important it was to the club to develop their players and shine a light on girls footy.

Ms Isaacs said that by Ms Woods coming down to the club, it “not only gives the players and coaches the development from an AFLW coach” but it also “gives the girls a great role model to look up to, and we can’t thank Natalie enough for giving our club this opportunity,” she said.

For more information about the girls’ footy program at the Officer Junior Football Club, visit