Originally a netballer, Leading Aircraftwoman Olivia Tannock started kicking a soccer ball for fun and has been hooked ever since.

Last year, Leading Aircraftwoman Tannock played in the ADF Football women’s team for a match against Newcastle Jets’ W-League on Remembrance Day. 

“It’s one of those things I won’t forget," Leading Aircraftwoman Tannock said.

"It was eye-opening to see the standard of W-League and how hard they train; they’re very professional.

“We got annihilated, but when you put a lot of people who’ve trained once together in a team, it’s a bit hard.”

In an earlier Air Force promotional event, she was invited to train with the Newcastle Jets A-League men’s along with several RAAF footballers. 

Nestled between her side’s defenders and forwards, Leading Aircraftwoman Tannock can usually be found playing as a midfielder.

“I like being in the middle as you’re always involved in attacking and defending and get to create lots of plays,” Leading Aircraftwoman Tannock said.

She played netball at school and club level before deciding on a change, switching about 13 years ago inspired by a school friend.

“I don’t think I was very good at the start, but I really enjoyed it and kept playing – I didn’t know I was going to play for years to come,” Leading Aircraftwoman Tannock said.

I missed the season start because of COVID-19, but training starts next week so I’ll be meeting a whole bunch of new people. 

She played every season and futsal in the off-season before joining Air Force as an avionics technician.

After posting to No. 2 Squadron, she competed in the 2017 and 2019 interservice tournaments, only skipping a year due to a deployment.

“Last year we had the Royal Navy here and two years ago the NZ Army and Air Force joined us; they were very skilled,” Leading Aircraftwoman Tannock said.

“Not only being able to play against our Army and Navy but also other country’s military teams has been a privilege and a wonderful way to meet new people.” 

In 2017, she was on the inaugural ADF Futsal women’s team in a national competition against state sides.

She recently dropped to the Zone League after playing two seasons in the higher-class Newcastle Premier League.

“With work trips and night shifts it’s been hard to make all the training, so this year I’m taking a break and playing a league down,” Leading Aircraftwoman Tannock said.

“I missed the season start because of COVID-19, but training starts next week so I’ll be meeting a whole bunch of new people. 

“It’s been good to have a break but I’m ready to play again.”

The next ADF Football interservice tournament is proposed from October 23 to November 6 at RAAF Base Richmond.