The Western Bulldogs have secured hockey player Aisling Utri as a rookie ahead of the 2018 AFLW season.

Utri is a 19-year-old Victorian Institute of Sport scholarship holder who has been identified as a future Hockeyroo.

She has previously played football for Melbourne University’s Youth Girls team.

Speaking to, Utri said football was something she always wanted to explore.

“I’ve always wanted to play footy,” Utri said.

“Other sports are very independent, but being in a team atmosphere, I get really excited about that.”

Utri said she’d like to make the most of her attacking style of play as a midfielder or forward.

“My work rate is something I’ve got a lot of compliments on, I like to work really hard,” she said.

“I don’t mind defending, but wherever the coach puts me I’ll do my best.”

Utri’s arrival at Victoria University Whitten Oval follows the signing of basketballer Kim Rennie in June. 

The AFL allows AFLW clubs to nominate two rookies from other sports, who can be upgraded to the primary list in September.

“We’re over the moon.  With her knowledge and training at an elite level previously, to transfer that over to AFL Womens is going to be really exciting,” said Bulldogs’ AFLW coach Paul Groves.

“She’s fast, and that’s what we really need in our team.  It’s also the training standards and the expectations she sets for herself, that we’re really excited about.

“The plan for her is to achieve high levels in hockey, and we think football can complement that with her training in the next six months.

“We can’t speak highly enough of the VIS and Hockley Australia for their willingness to work in partnership with us.”