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Q&A: Canberra Raiders Holden Cup Captain

Zac Woolford is a young footballer at the Canberra Raiders with a lot of expectation placed upon him. His father, Simon Woolford, played over 200 games for the Raiders in a career that spanned over a decade. Not only does he have his dad’s reputation to live up to, Zac also captains the Raiders’ National Youth Competition side.

Earlier in the season, Jon caught up with Zac to see how he copes with the pressure of playing in the same position, at the same club as his father.

Photo1

Photo taken by Michael Gosman. Used with permission.

With your dad, Simon, being a legend at the Raiders, how do you find playing for the club where your dad is such a renowned player?

It can be hard at times. There are a lot of expectations. It feels like I’m carrying a lot of the expectations on my shoulder. People expect me to be just like dad but at the same time, he doesn’t put a lot pressure on me. He’s happy for me to make my own name, wherever that is and whatever way I want, so he helps me out a lot to relieve the pressure a little bit. I always get people every now and then ask what it’s like to play the same position as my dad for the same club, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do so I don’t really mind.

How do you deal with that pressure and expectation?

That’s a good question, I just try and forget about it really and play my own game. The more people that are watching me, the more that I realise that I’m trying to do my own thing and be my own person.

How do you find being captain of the side? How is that experience?

photo2

Photo taken by Michael Gosman. Used with permission.

It’s been a role I’ve been wanting to step into for a little while. Obviously I had a bit of maturing to do but to get that opportunity this year means a lot. Obviously, it’s such a great club like Canberra, it’s such an honour and privilege.

So do you have any plans for next year? Any idea what next year holds for you?

Nah, mate. At the moment, I’m just focusing on playing my best footy and hopefully I get an opportunity to stay here or pursue my dreams elsewhere but at the moment I just want to play good consistent footy for the team and I’m sure those opportunities will come.

Jon Kroiter is studying a Bachelor of Sports Media at the University of Canberra. You can follow him on twitter at @JonKroiter.

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