Growing up I always wanted the latest Manchester United kit. As my birthday is close to Christmas, I would pool money together and get the new Man U shirt. Meaning I’d have the mint, official United jersey in my hands and on my back. The present of my team’s jersey was always my most prized gift.
I would get a mixture of Man United heroes on my back including Beckham, Rooney and Scholes. As I wore these shirts playing footy in my backyard every evening, I pretend I was one of them. Wearing the jersey was magic.
I remember watching the Matildas in the 2011 World Cup, the likes of Collette McCallum, Joey Peters and Cheryl Salisbury inspired me. Suddenly I needed a new kit.
It wasn’t nearly as simple as buy a Man United shirt, despite the Matildas being the country I actually lived in. After hours of scouring the internet, I found a long sleeve jersey on eBay. Mum brought it for me. Absolutely stoked. My first Matildas jersey. I could see it, I could be one of them.
Only trouble was I lived in 40 degree summers and 20+ winters. The long sleeves weren’t the most convenient. But still. I had a Matildas jersey.
Fly by to the present. It’s been years since I’ve brought a jersey. Bar one recently my good mate Chloe helped me get, meaning I’ve got a killer Adelaide United Gunny jersey. Super low necklines from Nike kits have stopped me buying many a shirt. You see, I love the women’s fit, but hate the idea of flashing a boob whilst playing.
Now Nike go and create what me as a child of the late 90’s/early noughties (aka the Nickelodeon generation) have always dreamed of. I want that shirt. Not only the shirt, but seeing people on social media opening a box Nike has sent them with a mint jersey in it… I’m sold. I’m in.
As a tongue in cheek type gesture I post on Twitter…
I wasn’t expecting a reply other than perhaps “yeah, damn tooting, Nike where you at?” and for it to go no further than an average tweet. But then I wake up to this…
And I’m left speechless. A jersey means so much. The most important thing is wearing that jersey you’re suddenly part of a team and community. By the Green & Gold Army buying me the new Matildas kit, I remember even more so that football is a community and what it means to wear a jersey.
So thank you Green & Gold Army. I honestly can’t thank you enough, I’m over the moon. Thank you for reminding me of the power of the football community and what it is to have a team of people around you.