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Jerri Jones on life with an AFL star husband, and the "WAG" myth.

This is another instalment of Mamamia’s ‘Sport Siren’ series – where we will shine a spotlight on a brilliant woman involved in Aussie sport every single Saturday.

This is Jerri Jones’ story…

You can call Jerri Jones many things. A businesswoman. A mum-of-two. Someone with a double degree in commerce and communications. A wife to Nathan Jones, the co-captain of the AFL’s Melbourne Football Club.

But don’t call her a ‘WAG’.

“I don’t like the term WAG at all,” the 29-year-old laughs over the phone, having just put the kids down for a nap. “I am [Nathan’s] number one support person. And that’s obviously for his sport, but also for his life.”

The tired trope that partners of professional AFL athletes spend their days in J’Aton Couture gowns and lounging by infinity pools understandably wears Jerri thin. Besides pursuing her own career and being a mum, there’s so much more to what she does behind the scenes, and what being married to Nathan entails.

Jerri isn’t just a fan of Nathan’s. In many ways she’s also a confidant, a therapist, a first aid assistant, a manager, and a sounding board.

“Just like any partner, I’m the person he bounces things off. Often, because he is a captain, Nath is working through different things across all aspects of the club and he will come home and talk through things with me, even just to have a listening ear.

LISTEN: Nadia Bartel on what a “footballer’s partner” does in a day. (Post continues…)

“Obviously we also go to games and support him – it’s important for him to know that we’re there.”

‘We’ includes the pair’s two children, a daughter who’s almost three, Bobbi, and Remy, their five-month-old son.

“Nath loves us being involved, because he spends more time at the club than he does at home. Having us a part of that is really important to him, so I facilitate that and make sure home life runs smoothly as possible.

“The kids are growing up at the football club, and around the football club, and it’s great. Honestly, it’s like a family.”

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Jerri and Nathan have been together for 11 years, since they were fresh faced 17-year-olds, years before the perks of the AFL world were on offer. While Jerri loves her life, and makes a point of telling me how grateful and lucky she is, it’s not without the occasional downfall.

For instance, the small but niggling fear that Nathan might walk onto the field, only to not walk off it.

“If I see him down for a long time, I do worry. Especially if he gets knocks to the neck or head,” Jerri says. “But we’ve been lucky compared to lots of others.”

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‘Lucky’ means two major surgeries in the space of a few years, one of which saw doctors cut into Nathan’s neck to operate on a prolapsed disk. It was a solution to the chronic injury that gave him “crippling pain” for the majority of the 2015 season, through which he survived on cortisone injections.

I query the use of this term with Jerri. Surely “lucky” means a bit of a rolled ankle here and deep heat there, I ask? But no, she says. Nathan is one of the lucky ones.

Teeth clenching injuries aside, the fashion label owner still can’t escape the wild misconception that her husband is a party boy, and that their relationship is shallow, simply because he’s good at footy.

“When we’ve been at events I’ve had comments like, ‘So how do you know that he doesn’t cheat on you?’ and I was just so gobsmacked. Why would it be any different? How do you know your partner isn’t cheating on you?

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“I just think to myself, ‘What makes you think it’s okay to say that to me?’

“There’s this notion that people who go out with football players have ‘chased down a sportsman’. I’m sure in some circumstances that may happen, but certainly in our case it couldn’t be further from the truth.”

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While we may only see the glitz of the Brownlow, Jerri is like any busy mum behind the scenes. A successful one in her own right, too.

“I always thought I was going to do PR,” Jerri admits. “Then I got into online retail. I love beautiful clothes that are really high quality, and I always wanted to buy investment pieces, but found the leather pieces out there were either really cheap high street stuff, or high end designers over $2000.”

And so JerriJones.com, a label committed to rediscovering the quality of leather pieces, was born in 2014 – just weeks before daughter Bobbi arrived.

“I wanted to be able to do something from home while I was a mum,” Jerri says. “It was important for me to be present at home.

“But the timing of our launch might not have been perfect,” she adds with a titter.

But for now, her “most important” role is with the family, Jerri says, and she’s rightly thrilled to be sharing these early years with Bobbi and Remy as they grow.

“Once the kids are school aged and I have more time I’ll be investing more into the business. I might look at opening a concept store too.”

See? So much more than a “WAG”.

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