By Holly Slattery
Foundation Bull Sharks player Paris Lightfoot has been named captain ahead of the opening round of the Bond University QAFLW season.
The 25-year-old started her career at the Bull Sharks in 2015 while studying and later graduated with a Bachelor of Law at Bond University.
“It feels amazing [to be voted captain] because I’ve been here for seven years now,” Lightfoot said.
“I have been around the club for the longest out of everyone.
“It’s just been amazing seeing different players that we’ve had come through, and we’ve got a really amazing playing group at the moment so it is an honour to be voted by them as captain.”
Lightfoot will be joined by Annie Muir, Mardi Hornby & Boston Jackson in the leadership group.
The Bull Sharks are motivated to taste premiership success after failing at the final hurdle the last couple of years.
“We’ve had an interesting few seasons and been the talk of the town in the lead-up to grand finals but just haven’t always been able to bring it home,” Lightfoot said.
“We’ve got a lot of new talent coming in to join our existing girls this season and compared to most clubs I think we have a really strong depth of list.
“I think we could be really successful this time around.”
Bond were minor premiers last year but lost the Grand Final to UQ, and coach Luke Mansbridge has no doubt this season will be just as strong, if not even stronger.
“I think this year we’re actually in a better position than we’ve ever been,” he said.
“Particularly in terms of numbers and the culture that we’ve built and driven over the last few years.
“We’ve restructured our coaching groups and have a really strong leadership group, which is setting us up for a really strong year of developing our girls as people as well as footballers.”
Lightfoot is thrilled about the development of Bond’s AFL women’s teams.
The club stalwart is looking forward to playing her 100th game with the club – the first woman to reach the milestone at Bond University.
“My 100th game will be a pretty special occasion and I’m just excited to get out there and see how we go and grow as a team,” she said.
“It’s always exciting getting new players in and continuing to work together to improve throughout the season.
“Just from our pre-season training I can tell we’ve already improved from last year, and now it’s time to show what we’ve got."
Bond will open their campaign against Wilston Grange at home on March 26.