AFL England

Talking IC with GB Bulldog Captain Will Worthington


After catching up with Swans Captain, Laura Turner, and Bulldogs Coach, Dean Thomas, it’s now the turn of GB Bulldogs Captain, Will Worthington, to give his thoughts on how things are shaping up for IC17. Team Manager, Jason Hill, caught up with Will to get his thoughts about the upcoming AFL International Cup. Here’s what he had to say:

1. How did you feel when you found out you were captain for IC17?

It was very surreal. Even though I was skipper at the Euro’s last year, it wasn’t something that I’d paid much thought to, as there’s no shortage of quality leaders elsewhere in the squad. It’s a massive honour and I appreciate the privilege responsibility that comes with it.

2. What are you looking forward to most about IC?

A couple of things. The IC is such an incredible experience. Just being part of an event that brings people together from all over the globe has always been really exciting for me. Pulling on your national jumper, knowing that you’re representing the best of your country against the best of someone else’s country is a real buzz as well. Finally, knowing the potential that we’ve got in this side, I can’t to get going on the field and try to achieve something special.

3. For you what is the key to bringing success to the Bulldogs at IC17?

We’ve got a really strong playing list and a high quality coaching group. On paper we’re stronger than we’ve ever been, so it’s just a case of the our Australian based players assimilating well on the pitch with our GB based boys, who have a great understanding already.

4. You captained the boys at EC16 – how will you use that experience to better the boys at IC17?

My captaincy style won’t change too much. I’ve always tried to be a leader by example and be clear in my instructions. I’m in a fortunate position in having been in London last year and back in Australia now, I know everyone in the side and what they respond to. I’m also lucky to have a number of natural leaders on the field with me, especially my vice-captains. Sean Walton, who was the captain at the last IC, is a proven performer who commands the respect of everyone involved in the squad. Luke Booth continues to grow in maturity, and was very impressive at the Euro’s with his voice on the field. Luke Matias is also a massive influence around the playing group, Sam Willatt will lead by example, and from the new players I expect Mick Sharp and Alex Watson to continue to develop in that area.

5. Who would be your ideal match in Round 1? And Why?

I don’t really care who we play first. Part of the fun of the IC is playing different nations with very different styles of footy. I’ve never played against USA, PNG or Japan, so I’d like to come up against a couple of those at some point.

6. How do you think the boys will go in Australia based on previous experience of International Cups?

Like I said before, it depends very much on how quickly we can jel as a side. If we can do that well, we will be very dangerous. At the last IC we didn’t do that so well, and underperformed as a result. It’s such a small number of games, so we need to be firing from the off, because the margin between our best possible result and something we’d be disappointed with is very fine, considering the quality of the other sides around us.

7. If you could build the ideal AFL player from your teammates what parts would you take and why?

Walton’s running power, Booth’s composure, Spivey’s jump, Cashman’s mitts, Ryland’s speed, Willatt’s leg. That would be a handy player. The only thing left is to do is pick a body to put all those attributes in. Matias is the obvious pick, but judging by his pics on social media recently, Jim Talbot is trying to de-throne Mr Universe!

We look forward to hearing more from Will, the Swans and the Bulldogs in the build up to IC17

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