When I first started talking to my now-boyfriend, we were both naive high-schoolers with big dreams.
I can still remember the balmy evening when he told me he wanted to be a professional footballer. I was in the backseat of my parent’s car, coincidentally near the same fields where my older brother played club footy.
Luckily, my now-partner’s confession came over text, so he couldn’t see me snort with laughter. "That’s adorable," I thought, grin spread across my face. "And I want to be a Victoria’s Secret supermodel!"
I’m happy to report he very much proved me wrong. He did, in fact, get drafted straight out of high school to an AFL club. Nearly seven years later, he’s notched up over 100 games and has a pretty impressive list of accolades to his name.
In his first year of footy, I caught the bus to games and munched on Maltesers I packed myself to avoid paying a premium for stale hotdogs.
By years two and three, I’d made friends with a few of the other partners. I can confirm some of the girls I first met were very glamorous – although being a good three to four years’ my senior, it didn’t take much to impress my adolescent tastes. They invited me to ad hoc nibbles and tolerated my Sportsgirl wardrobe (pieces exclusively purchased on sale).
In year four, I attended my first Brownlow Medal. We were a late invite and I had about two weeks or so to prepare. I wore one of those dresses you can tie up thirty different ways, but it didn’t matter because no photographers took our photo and no heads turned our way.
The silver lining (or downfall, whichever way you look at it) to dating someone on a team that’s struggling to win is cameras never turn in your direction. It’s also the perk of dating a player in a team outside a footy-dominated state.
Watch: Sophie Cachia was an AFL WAG. Post continues after video.