Belushi’s Presents: Player Spotlight
Each week, AFL Europe in combination with Belushi’s will take a look at one of our star players competing in fixtures across the continent in Player Spotlight.
Will Taylor – AFL Europe
Born in Coventry and now a PE teacher in Nottingham, Laura Turner has always loved the spills and thrills that sport has to offer.
A North London Lion and a Nottingham Scorpion, Laura has played Australia’s game in a few places and for a few teams both at a club and national level.
For the 35 year old ruck-rover, her football journey began after an exchange to one of Australia’s most popular universities.
“I started playing for Sydney Uni Bombers in 2014 when I spent a year living in Sydney.”
“I wanted to try a new sport and immerse myself in Aussie culture so went to watch a game and although it looked brutal I spotted one woman who was a similar size to me so I thought I would give it a try!”
Although the skills may of been foreign to Laura, the fitness demands of the game was an aspect to the sport she really admired once becoming involved in the sport.
It’s this part of the sport that has helped build Laura’s passion and desire for Australian football.
“I am not naturally a gifted and skilful player in any sport but my strengths are my attitude and my basic fitness levels. I have worked tirelessly, dedicating hours a week to training on the field, in the gym and watching games.”
“I very rarely miss a session and can be obsessive about mastering a skill or technique.”
To her credit, Laura’s passion and commitment to the sport has allowed her to experience the very best competition Australian Football has to offer for those playing the game in the continent.
As a representative of the England Vixens (2014-present) and the Great British Swans (2016-present), Laura is very thankful for the opportunities she has had while playing the sport in Europe.
“I have absolutely loved representing my country.”
“It keeps me motivated to improve and every minute I spend with the England and GB teams is just so much fun.”
“Euro Cup competitions are always really enjoyable and intense days.”
“Representing Great Britain at the International Cup 2017 was an incredible experience, the whole 3 weeks both on and off the field.
“From busting moves with my fellow regular G’s and harmonising with the Swans to Bonnie Tyler, to playing some amazing football against our international counterparts and being introduced to Gill McLachlan and then the Captain’s Corner, it was a special few days.”
2018 has been a big year for the Brit highlighted by a debut appearance from the Nottingham Scorpions women’s side at the 2018 Champions League.
“The Nottingham Scorpions have attracted new female players and I am helping other clubs outside London do the same.”
“In April the Scorpions played in the Champions League for the first time ever and finished a respectable 6th place.”
It is results such as this that make Laura so proud and so passionate to build up the Australian code across a variety of regions.
“One of my main focuses this season will definitely be to continue growing the women’s game in the Central Northern England League.”
“I want Australian Football to be a sport that accomplished female athletes to aspire to play.”
And although Laura admits she is close to retirement, she’s not quite ready to give up playing the sport just yet!
“In regards to my on field performance I want to continue to improve my skills and learn to adapt my game to suit my impending demise in fitness levels as I approach 40!”
“Although I still have a few playing days left in me, these are somewhat numbered and I really want to help grow the game in particular the womens game in both participation but also performance.”