• Jayden J Bartlett

Katrice Turner - the Willunga Product

Updated: Sep 14, 2020

"Keep working hard, even though you may be just playing local for now. Put in the effort and you plus your teammates will thank you for it. By working hard and being committed you will get more out of your football and you can achieve so much more."


There are several ways that a local player can make themselves stand out. Some players step up at the big moments, some players wear bright coloured boots, or some players just simply let their accolades speak for themselves.

And as far as achievements go at local level, well Willunga product and new South Adelaide recruit Katrice Turner certainly stands out.

From runner-up Best and Fairests to Association sides, this true local product is certainly worth keeping an eye on.

Katrice’s origins in football trace back to her days of AusKick as well as time spent playing primary school SAPSASA football.

It wasn’t until 2017 that she got her first taste of club football, as she joined Willunga’s inaugural women’s team.

However, as a sure sign of good things to come, she also earned a spot-on South’s inaugural women’s development squad.

But football wasn’t Katrice’s main sport growing up, no doubt due to the lack of opportunities.

In fact, she played netball for the last 11 years and of course she spent that time with her beloved club Willunga.

“Well I have grown up in Willunga and played netball for Willunga for the last 11 years so I guess you could say I’m big on loyalty.”

“My brothers play for Willunga and it’s just a great small family town. I have never played anywhere else.”

But despite her netball career, she had always wanted to play football growing up.

“I have always wanted to play footy growing up, I have two brothers so was always kicking the footy with my dad at half time and going into the huddles.”

However, keeping in mind how long she played netball for, you’d be forgiven if you thought that it would be difficult for her to learn football.

But lucky for us, not only does Katrice have passion and loyalty, but she has also had her fair share of sporting experience during her lifetime.

And it was this same experience that made it easy to pick up the skills and learn the rules of football.

“Well I have always been a really sporty person. I played volleyball all through high school and I have played basketball and rugby, so I just love sport.”

“I found it pretty easy picking up footy, especially since I have been watching my brothers play since I was young, so I guess I just learnt from watching and my netball skills helped me read the ball as well.”

However, her passion and love of the game would no doubt have helped her to develop faster, which does explain how she managed to make an impact so quickly after starting back in 2017.

“I love the physicality of footy, love a good tackle aha. I guess especially being a female I like that we can show how strong we really are and that we can hit just as hard as the guys.”

And “the team aspect and how everyone has to do their job on the field and help each other out to be successful. The feeling you get when you play as a team and the game just flows, everyone backing each other up and protecting each other on the field.”

And as we mentioned earlier, her list of accolades is rather impressive, although we doubt that she will agree.

In just her first season with Willunga in 2017, she finished as the runner-up Best and Fairest.

Likewise, last season, despite missing games due to injury, she narrowly missed out on claiming the 2019 Best and Fairest and once again finished runner-up Best and Fairest.

As well as these, she also played in the 2018 and 2019 Association matches, with 2019 seeing her be named as the Best on Ground for Great Southern.

Last year also saw her make the Southern Districts representative team and she went on to be named in the 2019 Team of the Year.

“One of my favourite memories would have to be the Southern Districts weekend, bunking with the girls and having the best time as well as playing some great footy.”

“Plus, the Association games are always great, especially with the two wins and getting so many spectators to come and watch women’s footy.”

And with a breakout season like this in 2019, it wasn’t a surprise that she was recognised by South Adelaide and rewarded with a spot on their SANFLW squad for 2020.

And as she made the jump from local level to SANFLW level, she quickly noticed the difference.

“It was a big step up, so much more talent around you and the intensity is so much higher, everyone there is there to play hard and you have to really work your butt off to show that you deserve to be there.”

“But it feels good to play at a higher level with great girls.”

As for how she went from local to SANFLW level, well we put it down as her passion, dedication and obvious talent, whereas she likes to think as it as more of a by-product of hard work with some support along the way.

“There is not really been any one individual person, but I feel like I have just tried to work hard and had the support of my mum and dad.”

So, what is next for this talented Willunga product?

“I want to get at least one SANFLW game under my belt. Really improve my football skills and decision making. Playing at a higher level with great talent around me."

And “really try and learn as much as I can from the coaches this season.”

If her past has taught us anything, it is that she has the ability to make an impact at whatever level she plays.

And we will be sure to keep an eye on her, because if she can keep developing this SANFLW season, she will surely stand out even more.

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Article #107

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