Hailing from Simcoe, Ontario former University of Guelph Rugby Union player Kendra Heil has made history joining the Collingwood Magpies. Kendra is the first ever internationally born and developed Australian Rules Football player to make it to the professional AFL competition. 

Kendra first picked up a football in 2012 playing for the Hamilton Wildcats who compete in the AFL Ontario competition. She quickly established herself as a key player, earning selection on the national team, the Northern Lights in that same year.  

Kendra represented Canada against the USA in the 2012 and 2013 Parallel Cups and in 2014 she helped lead the Northern Lights to the world championships in the International Cup in Melbourne. Kendras strong play helped her earn selection to the World Team, being named on a forward flank.

Kendra moved to Australia in 2014 to further her football career and was named joint best and fairest for the Eastern Devils in the Victorian Football League. Cruelly, she suffered a torn ACL in 2015, hampering her 2015 and 2016 season. However she had shown enough prior to her injury and during her recovery for Collingwood to select her with their free agent draft selection.

While the AFL has had a number of internationally born players, including Canada’s own Mike Pyke, she is the first player to have been born and learnt to play outside of Australia. Although she is the first, with the strength of the Canadian leagues and national team program, she won’t be the only one.


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