AFL just what the doctor ordered

August 21, 2019
Lucinda Pullar

Bond University medical student and QAFLW player, Lucinda Pullar

Lucinda Pullar gave up a burgeoning soccer career to focus on a Medicine degree at Bond University.

Incredibly, less than 12 months later, she has made her first QAFLW Grand Final and is on the verge of being picked for the Gold Coast Suns.

The former Brisbane Roar midfielder gave the beautiful game away to focus on her study and started playing her first season of AFL as a bit of fun between classes after meeting some players in the campus gym.

Just months into her first season, the Bond University Bull Sharks defender was picked for the Queensland Emerging Talent team earlier this year in Perth and is known to be on the radar of the Suns.

Her undoubted skill in the new code could have her right back where she started in elite sport.

“I got into Medicine at Bond University and had to make a decision between soccer and study,” Ms Pullar told the Gold Coast Bulletin.

“Did I want to continue my sport career or pursue my academic career? I chose Medicine.

“Literally two weeks later I got really bored and talked to some girls in the gym and ended up in AFL.

“I honestly played AFL for the pure joy of team sport and I still do, I didn’t have an intention to play at the elite level.

“But if the opportunity came around, I wouldn’t turn it down, the experience in Perth was so good and showed me the door to an elite sport career isn’t closed.

“I’d be honoured to be a part of something like the AFLW. It is a cool time to be involved in women’s sport, it is flourishing.”

Pullar will line up for the Bull Sharks in the QAFLW Grand Final in two weeks, after helping the side to a dominant 68-12 win over Yeronga in the major semi-final.

The former Australian schoolgirl soccer player toured the UK and was awestruck when her opposite number was Arsenal’s Jordan Nobbs – now England’s vice-captain.

Pullar’s talent for soccer landed her a scholarship with the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where she studied and played for two seasons, also winning a NCAA division 1 national title.

After playing soccer all over the world, she has found her home in Bond University’s AFL team.

“Coming from soccer, I’ve played in elite sport teams all over the world,” she said.

“I just don’t think you get the comradery that we have at the Bull Sharks, everyone is having such a good time. It’s a special connection we have.

“It has taken me awhile to embrace the contact, not that the contact wasn’t in soccer, but it is a different kind of physicality.

“It is really satisfying when you tackle someone and you do something good for the team.

“I wasn’t expecting to be picked in the Queensland Emerging Talent team, it was such a surprise. We played in Perth and it was awesome. I really loved it.

“I walked off the field and thought it was the most fun I’ve had playing sport in a long time. It was a turning point for me in AFL in some ways. I was thinking about going back to soccer, because I’ll have more time to pursue sport next year.

“That game, made me want to persist with AFL, it was so much fun.”