It's a long way from home in Germany to Warrnambool's Friendly Societies' Park for Paula Vogel

FRESH SPORT: South Warrnambool German import Paula Vogel has thrived in her first season at Friendly Societies' Park.
FRESH SPORT: South Warrnambool German import Paula Vogel has thrived in her first season at Friendly Societies' Park.

South Warrnambool import Paula Vogel is a long way from her home nation of Germany, but she has found a new home at the Friendy Societies’ Park in the Deakin University Female Football League.

Vogel, 16, who has been on exchange at Warrnambool College from the south-western German city of Heidelberg for the past 11 months, ditched her traditional sport of soccer in favour of giving Australia’s national game a try.

“I wanted to get an experience of something local and I’ve played soccer in Germany and I was looking for a team sport and then I saw footy on Facebook,” the year 10 student said.

“I was then told by a girl at school to come down to train at South Warrnambool and I got to training and loved it from the moment I tried it.”

Vogel said it took a bit of time and research to get adjusted to playing Aussie rules.

“It took me a couple of training sessions to get used to the game and I watched a lot of matches on television, because my host family are Carlton supporters,” she said. “I’ve now learnt the rules, but it was a little difficult to get used to in the beginning.” 

Roosters coach Alicia Drew said Vogel had invested her time and energy.

“It has been really cool having her,” Drew said. “She has really bought into the game and she hasn’t missed many training sessions.”

Drew said the German was a “natural sportsperson” and that one of her favourite memories of Vogel was based on her phenomenal fitness.

“Paula came to training one night and she said her legs were sore,” Drew said.

“I asked her if it was from the weekend and she replied ‘no, I’m sore because I wanted to see if I could run a half-marathon and I did it’. That moment highlighted to me just how fit she is.”

Drew started Vogel at centre-half forward and in the back line before switching her into the ruck, where she has excelled in the past five weeks.

Vogel in action for South Warrnambool.

Vogel in action for South Warrnambool.

Roosters coach Alicia Drew said that Vogel had really invested her time and energy.

“It has been really cool having her,” Drew said. “She has really bought into the game and she hasn’t missed many training sessions.”

Drew said the German was a “natural sportsperson” and that one of her favourite memories of Vogel is based on her phenomenal fitness.

“Paula came to training one night and she said her legs were sore,” Drew said.

“I asked her if it was from the weekend and she replied ‘no, I’m sore because I wanted to see if I could run a half-marathon and I did it.’ That moment highlighted to me just how fit she is.”

Drew started Vogel at centre-half forward and in the back line before switching her into the ruck, where she has excelled in the past five weeks.