ANDREA Walsh is no stranger to captaincy, but after retiring from basketball it is a role she didn’t see herself filling again.
But after just one season with the Bendigo Thunder, Walsh is back in the top job she previously filled for the Bendigo Lady Braves and Bendigo Spirit.
Walsh was named the team’s 2018 skipper earlier this week after a standout 2017 season in which she played a key role in guiding the Thunder to premiership success, winning the Northern Football League goalkicking award.
“It is funny how things happen, I retired from basketball playing and then stepped aside with the coaching and just wanted to do something different, and here we are,” she said.
“I can’t speak highly enough of how much I enjoyed last year, it was one of the best years I’ve had in a long time.”
Following the departure of 2017 skipper Leah French, destined for VFL side Collingwood, Walsh will step into the role in just her second competitive season of football.
That may be an unusual step, but with Walsh’s years of experience and brother Darren and father Brian both successful coaches, leadership runs in the family.
“The Braves I was captain for five or six years and one or two at the Spirit before I retired,” Walsh said.
“It’s just something that… I have qualities that I suppose I get from my brother and my dad coaching as well, and of course a special mention to mum – because she gets annoyed if I don’t mention her.
“I enjoy it and just playing a team sport and it gives you confidence as a person. Early on I was put in a leadership role and it does make you come out of your comfort zone, and you become a lot more confident as a person.”
The Thunder also confirmed its reserves leadership team, led by coach Terry Burt and captain Molly Metcalf.
Metcalf was a premiership player in the team’s win over Benalla last year, with the team’s reserves set to move to the newly-formed AFL Central Victoria Women’s competition.
With new coach Luis Alvarez-Harris in tow, the Thunder are four weeks out from the first match of the season on April 15.
Walsh said things are tracking well for the side, which faces Diamond Creek in its season opener after a round one bye.
The fixture for the AFLCV competition is yet to be determined, but the league has secured naming rights sponsorship from Champions IGA for a three-year term.