PLAYER SPOTLIGHT 2012 #1: Kendra Heil
The start off our 2012 PLAYER SPOTLIGHT series, what better player to showcase than the Captain of our Inaugural Women's team, Kendra Heil. We sat down with Kendra earlier this week to discuss all things footy, her thoughts on playing a new sport, being named Captain of the 1st ever Women's team in Hamilton and her expectations of the team it's their inaugural season!!!
PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Kendra Heil (Hamilton Wildcats AFC, 2012 Women's Captain)
POSITION - rover/fullback
JUMPER - #12
AGE - 24
GAMES PLAYED (2012) - 4
CAREER GAMES PLAYED (for Hamilton) - 4
2012 GOALS - 8
CAREER GOALS (for Hamilton) - 8
JOINED CLUB - 2012
PREVIOUS CLUB - Norfolk Harvesters RFC (rugby)
HIGHEST LEVEL PLAYED - Varsity Rugby (Unviersity of Guelph)
GRAND FINALS - none
FAVOURITE AFL CLUB - Richmond Tigers
FAVOURITE FOOD - steak
OCCUPATION - painter/artist (Artwork: kendraheil.wordpress.com)
WC (Wildcats) - "What was your deciding factor to make the switch from rugby to Australian Football?"
KH (Kendra Heil) - "I'd have to say the deciding factor was the overwhelming team comradery and the excitment of being part of a new sport for women."
WC - "How did you learn about Australian Football and/or the Hamilton Wildcats AFC?"
KH - "Through current Men's player, Charles Thompson. He played baseball with my sister and we started chatting about rugby after one of their baseball games. He eventually talked my ear off enough (laughs) about trying footy, so I thought I'd give it a whirl."
WC - "What has been your favourite/most surprising aspect of Australian Football to date?"
KH - "I'd have to say how quickly all the players are progessing with learning a new sport, as it's exciting to see first hand. I'm also very impresses with everyone's willingness to learn the game, and the patience of our Head Coach (Harley Graef), as he's teaching every single one of us from scratch and doing a great job."
WC - "What's been your least favourite/most challenging part about playing Australian Football to date?"
KH - "Unlearning everything I know or have been taught in rugby, and converting those skills to play Aussie Rules."
WC - "If you were sent out by the Club to recruit new players for the Women's team, what would you tell someone wanting to learn/play aussie rules or about our Club?"
KH - "Well, first of all, the Club is aamzing. Everyone has been so welcoming and i'm really proud to be a part of the Hamilton Wildcats AFC, especially the Women's team. It's also different than anything I've done before but it still combines a lot of what I already know/have learned in other sports so it's not as scary of a learning process as you'd think it would be. It's definitely something you have to see/experience for yourself."
WC - "As Captain, who of your teammates has really impressed you so far this season?"
KH - "Definitely all the girls that have come out to play so far this year have impressed, but as far as on & off-field leaders, I've been impressed by Danielle Comolli & newcomer Candace Kwan. I'm also really proud to see the progession and improvement each week from players like Georgia Reid, Emily Spicer & Jenn Newton. It's really exciting to see everyone grow with each game we play."
WC - "Personally, what do you see/hope for/expect from yourself as a player?"
KH - "I'm a competitive person by nature, so I expect a lot of myself and I'm hoping to continue to learn the game, improve my skill set and get my game to a high enough level that I will be selected for the Women's National team (Northern Lights) this season."
WC - "What are your expectations of the Women's team this season?"
KH - "Although we're only 4 games into our 1st season, the sky is the limit...we're hoping to make it to the Women's Grand Final this year!"
WC - "Is there a player on the Men's team that you like to watch/learn from or look up to?"
KH - "Justin Johns. I think he's smart about the game, I like watching him play because he doesn't try to be a player that he's not and works hard for all 4 quarters."
A special thanks to current 2012 Hamilton Wildcats AFC Women's Captain, Kendra Heil for taking the time to be our first victim as part of our 2012 PLAYER SPOTLIGHT series. Stayed tuned for PLAYER SPOTLIGHT #2, as Club veteran, Justin Johns will be featured in the coming weeks!!!
C'arn the WILDCATS!!!