A Sainters Tale by Shae

A Sainters Tale

By Shae


It’s cold and muddy and all the boys are playing in their groups but that doesn’t stop me.  

With my duffle coat and #1 on the back of my guernsey, I pretend to be a blonde haired hero in the Red, White & Black.

BARRRRRKKKKAAAAA I’d scream as I take a speccie on my cousins back.

Unfortunately, it’s as close as I’ll ever get.

For girls of my era, there was no pathway to be able to live out our dream. 

Girls played netball, boys played footy. 

That’s just how it was.

But I wanted to play footy. 

I would’ve been bloody good too.

It’s often hard to put into words how much I love footy, how it’s always been the dream for me and how it consumes my life. 

I’m a footy tragic in every sense.

Now, as an adult, I go every week, travel interstate to watch, sponsor players, go to functions, buy the merch, watch every game, read all the articles and follow all the social media accounts and as much as I love it and would never give it away, there’s always that nagging feeling.

I never got to play. I never got to pull on the famous red, white and black and play for my beloved.

Even at 43, it’s still all I really ever wanted to do.

So while I went to uni, travelled overseas, forged my career, it was still lingering. 

Something that I will never get to fulfil.

I’ve resigned myself to the fact I’ll never play. 

Now I get to live the dream through others. 

Amazing, talented, professional, fit women who will for the first time this Sunday, play for St Kilda.

Can you even believe it?! How awesome is this?! The words just sound incredible to me.

Women are playing footy! For my club!

They will represent me and others like me. 

They will live their dream (and mine). 

They will be able to finally do what the boys have always been able to do.

Meeting the players and listening to them and coach Peta Searle speak at the launch last Friday night made me love them even more (if that’s possible). 

Players like Kate McCarthy, who I sponsor, really got a sense of what it means to play for St Kilda and represent girls like me. 

It was emotional and inspiring.  

I will be front and centre on Sunday. 

Loud and proud. With probably a tear or ten.

Stayed tuned for part 2….after we play the game.



  1. What a great read. Thanks for sharing Shae. I can’t say I ever wanted to play footy (too much of a whimp), but I could feel your passion. I personally cannot believe how excited I am for Sunday. Cannot wait to watch these remarkable, pioneering Sainters run out. Good luck to them and I hope you enjoy a great win from the sidelines Shae,

  2. Fantastic piece Shae. Brought a tear to my eye. Must be the Canberra smoke....:)

  3. Brilliant Shae, a great read read, well done :)


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