Glory’s Westfield W-League Head Coach Bobby Despotovski has claimed that Natasha Rigby’s football career to date is like something from a Hollywood film script.
And it’s hard to disagree.
Rigby will play her 50th game for the club against Sydney FC on Saturday, proudly wearing the skipper’s armband that she was handed at the start of the season.
But what makes that achievement all the more impressive is that this is just her fourth season of W-League football, during which the versatile defender has not missed a single game.
Throw in the fact that she holds down a full-time job in addition to playing for Glory and, it’s fair to say, is no shrinking violet when it comes to the physical aspects of the game and the magnitude of this milestone grows even larger.
Having been born and raised in Margaret River before moving up to Perth, Rigby’s performances in the State League caught the eye of Despotovski and her career has only gone in one direction since.
“It sounds a bit cheesy,” she said, “but my story fits in with the whole idea of never giving up.
“I played at State level when I was growing up, but I never dreamed that I’d be able to be a part of something as special as this.
“I just continued playing and doing my best and this is where I ended up.”
As much of a team player off the pitch as she is on it, the hugely-likeable 27-year-old is quick to acknowledge the role that others have played in her success.
“I’ve been thinking about my time at the club and how I have so much gratitude to Bobby [Despotovski] in particular,” she replied when asked about her upcoming milestone.
“He gave me my shot pretty much out of nothing and had the faith in me that I could compete at W-League level.
“To not have missed a game since I started has just been so awesome and I’m so thankful to Bobby and the club for giving me the opportunity.
“I’d also like to thank the girls because obviously I wouldn’t be there without them.
“Every year we’ve had such a good group of girls in terms of being great players and having lovely personalities.”
Rigby remains extremely proud of her Margaret River roots and continued connections with the south-west and is therefore particularly thrilled at the prospect of leading Glory when they visit Bunbury later this month to take on Western Sydney Wanderers (tickets available HERE).
“Going down to Bunbury next weekend is so special for me,” she said.
“I love going back to the country and to be able to go down there and play in front of a home crowd is fantastic.
“Those people appreciate it so much and if you show that you’re invested in country people, they’ll give you so much back, so it’ll be so great to go and play in that environment.”