Bonnie debuts in AFLW

Western Bulldogs utility player and former Grimwade House student, Bonnie Toogood (OM 2015), outlines her journey into AFL Women's football.

Western Bulldogs utility player, Bonnie Toogood (OM 2015), made her debut in AFL Women’s football this year. The Monash University student played in the first round against Fremantle, kicking a goal in the last quarter.

Like many of the players in the women’s competition, Bonnie converted to football from another sport. In her case, she was spotted on the netball court playing goal attack for the Southern Saints in the Victorian Netball League.

“I have always enjoyed netball and it offered a clear pathway for me as an athlete,” she said. “Until I was 13, I also played football for South Melbourne in mixed teams, and loved that too, but there was no pathway for girls in football after they turned 13, so I concentrated on my netball – both playing and coaching. It has been really exciting to be able to play footy competitively again.”

From ‘Open House’ 2009: Bonnie (front, centre) with her 6A netball team mates

Bonnie began her netball career at Grimwade House, although she freely admits to regularly joining the boys on the oval for kick to kick at recess and lunchtime. 

“Yes, Emme Richardson (OM 2015) and I were always kicking the footy with the boys,” she said. “It would have been beyond my wildest dreams at that stage to think that I would play in the AFLW!”

Bonnie wears the number 28 guernsey for the Western Bulldogs. She is a defender who can also play up forward.

“I used to barrack for Essendon but I’ve well and truly switched to the Bulldogs,” she said. “It’s an awesome club and they are totally behind their women’s team.”

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