Multi-talented Giant happy with career choice

IT certainly has been a whirlwind 18 months or so for young Giant Zarlie Goldsworthy, who went from playing Under 18 level footy in January last year to AFLW by years end.

Goldsworthy did say that the lead up into last season felt a bit rushed.

“I definitely think for me it did,” Goldsworthy said.

“It felt like just in January I was playing my first NAB League game, and then one thing led to another which led to another and then I was playing a season of AFLW and it came around very quickly, but you also have to realise that some of the AFLW girls played a season that year too, so it probably felt a bit rushed all round.”

The build up to season 2023 however was vastly different.

“It’s been much more relaxed and I’m feeling much more comfortable, just feeling a bit more settled being in Sydney that extra year and getting an extra season and preseason under my belt,” Goldsworthy said.

Goldsworthy has become a staple in the Giants’ forwardline, but it was the excitement potential of being a forward that led her to become a forward in the first place.

“I just love the excitement of some of the forwards of the game, like your Toby Greene’s and your Eddie Betts’. They really put bums on seats, they make the game much more exciting, that just really drew me to the position.”

Hailing from Albury, Goldsworthy was in a unique position ahead of last year’s draft to realistically nominate for either Victoria or New South Wales, but a good presentation from the Giants ultimately swayed the young star.

“I think I was about 80 per cent sure I would end up in Victoria,” she said. “I love football so much, I just love Melbourne’s atmosphere around football, but once I spoke to the Giants they just blew me away with the support they were giving and just how much they felt like a country club and a family club and I knew that if I could I really just wanted to end up there.”

Goldsworthy did admit that when she did eventually land at the Giants, coming into a forwardline alongside someone like Cora Staunton was a bit daunting.

“I think there’s always going to be pressure when you’re an 18-year-old coming in,” she said. “I also think that along with Cora there were also some other young girls who were basically in my position too, which made it feel a bit more comfortable and obviously just having such a young side, just the support was amazing from everywhere. Even Cora, she was a great leader while she was there, [I was] under her wing a bit.”

Goldsworthy confirmed that the pressure to fill the hole left by Staunton’s departure had not fully shifted to her.

“I think that it’s not just up to me, I think it’s been more of a team effort,” Goldsworthy said. “As I said we’ve got such a young group and if everyone just plays their role then we believe that the goals will come from everyone.”

Aussie rules is not the only sport that Goldsworthy has shone at, with a pretty high level soccer career under her belt too, reaching as high as the Junior Matildas.

“I used to live in Sydney in 2019 and 2020 and went to Westfield Sports High and played for football NSW Institute and I guess I was at a pretty high level up here in Sydney but unfortunately I just got a bit burnt out from training,” Goldsworthy said.

“I think we were training somewhere between 12 to 14 times a week, and for a 14/15-year-old, I just got a bit burnt out, so moved back home to Albury and I put the lid on it temporarily. Might go back to it in the future, but just not at the moment.”

She even played a bit of Aussie rules alongside all that training for soccer for Western Magic in Blacktown, but kept it on the down low in case she got in trouble from those in the soccer system.

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