Mcleod's Daughters: articles

Acting won't take Josh's eyes off the ball

JUST as Kylie Minogue took the step from television soapie to pop stardom, Josh Willoughby wants to leave soapies behind – but for football.

Willoughby, 17, of Gawler, has made several appearances on the South Australian-produced McLeod's Daughters, including roles as a stunt double.

But dabbling in acting has been "just some fun" before attacking his real goal – AFL football.

Willoughby leaves for Ireland today with the Australian Institute of Sport AFL squad contesting a three-Test International Rules football series. A rover and centreman, he plays for Sacred Heart College and Glenelg reserves and dreams of being selected in the AFL draft.

Originally from Bordertown, Willoughby got some small roles on McLeod's Daughters through his father, who cares for the animals on the set.

"It's nothing really serious," he said of his brief acting "career". "I just do it for the good fun.

"I've only been on the show because I can ride a horse and ride a motorbike. I had one line once – I had to say 'get an ambulance'."

Willoughby said he "can't wait" to get to Ireland. "It's my first time overseas and it's going to be a great trip," he said.

"There's a really good group of guys coming along." Willoughby has just recovered from osteitis pubis and is looking forward to regaining his spot in the Glenelg reserves after his taste of International Rules. Ultimately, he has dreams of an AFL career.

"A lot of scouts are going over there (to Ireland) to observe us," he said.

Lately, Willoughby has been spending his spare time getting used to the round ball.

"Since being selected in the squad, it's been the first time I've picked up the International Rules ball," he said. "It's taken me a while to get used to it." The AIS squad of 30 is coached by former Footscray coach Terry Wheeler and leaves for its three-week tour today.

By Bronwyn Hurrell
April 08, 2003
The Advertiser