Ex-local makes history
Wednesday, 3rd July, 2013
By Emily Roberts
Ex-local Natalie Thomas has made football history after playing in the first AFL sanctioned women’s match at the MCG on Saturday during Women’s Round.
Thomas, who now lives in Queensland, was among 50 of the country’s best female footballers selected to take part in the exhibition match.
The one-time Institute of Sport recipient played for the team representing the Western Bulldogs against a team representing the Melbourne Football Club.
Thomas, who is in her sixth season of competition and currently plays for South Brisbane, said being chosen for the curtain-raiser was an honour.
“In May, the word was put out for the first Women’s AFL draft. Coaches nominated who they thought should be in it and I was one of the lucky ones,” she said.
“I was draft number 20 out of 50.”
Thomas, who recently captained Queensland in the national championships, said being part of the first AFL sanctioned women’s game was a great experience.
“It was a high quality game - unfortunately Melbourne won.
“We played in front of 7,500 people.”
She said while the game couldn’t be live streamed for television, it was put on YouTube.
“There has been great exposure and lots of hits.”
Thomas left Broken Hill when she was 18 to pursue a career in soccer. She represented Australia in the sport and trained with the South Australian Institute for Sport.
She said it was great to hear a women’s competition had started in Broken Hill.
“It’s fantastic, there will be some talented sportswomen out there,” she said.
“Hopefully the Broken Hill girls can keep it moving forward and get the chance to play against representative teams.
“It is only going to make the League better.”