Collingwood star Brianna Davey’s childhood note to former AFL boss Andrew Demetriou is warming hearts across the footy world after her victory in the AFLW best and fairest awards.
Davey’s handwritten letter, written in third grade has been declared an instant part of footy “folklore” after she completed her fairytale of playing professional football.
Davey and Fremantle’s Kiara Bowers shared the AFLW’s highest honour as they were crowned the best and fairest winners this week.
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The count was close throughout with the winners claiming 15 votes, ahead of Bulldogs’ Ellie Blackburn and Giants’ Alyce Parker on 14 and Melbourne’s Karen Paxman on 13 votes.
Davey said she was “overwhelmed” as the vote went right down to the wire.
“It’s an honour and obviously it went right down to the wire which I thought it would,” she said. “I didn’t even think I’d be up there in all honesty. But I’m just overwhelmed, which is my main emotion at the moment.”
Davey played Auskick as youngster and was told there wasn’t a place for her in the sport. She switched to soccer and played for the Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City as a goalkeeper as well as representing Australia 17 times before the AFLW allowed her to come back into the sport.
Her rise from being exiled from the sport to reaching the pinnacle of the game was summed up by her letter to Demetriou, the former AFL CEO, who left the game in 2014.
“Dear Andrew Demetriou, today I’m going to talk to you about girls to be able to play AFL footy,” the adorable note starts.
“The first reason is girls who have always dreamed to play AFL footy and love it, don’t get to because only boys are allowed to play footy. You have wrecked their dreams because girls really want to play AFL footy.”
The letter goes on to point out that the sport risked losing its female fanbase without serious advances in promoting a women’s professional competition.
The letter is signed off: “So come on Andrew, let these young girls wishes come true. All the girls will love you. From Bri Davey.”
Davey also posted her not to Instagram in the inaugural season of the AFLW – and the story of her football dream now has another chapter.
Her fairytale was discussed on AFL360 Wednesday night.
“So from that moment to the pinnacle of her sport, is just gorgeous,” Fox Footy host Gerrard Whateley said of the letter.
Footy journalist Mark Robinson said: “That is part of AFLW folklore now, the letter from the league medallist”.
Davey did not receive a reply from Demetriou, but said this week she isn’t sure if the letter was ever sent to the former AFL boss.
“I believe I was in year two or three, and we had to write a persuasive essay. Straight away I knew who I wanted to write to, and it was Andrew Demetriou,” Davey said on the Credit to the Girls Podcast.
“I basically told him how it was. ‘That’s it, women need to be playing AFL, end of story’.
“It probably got us over the line to where we are now. I think the letter pushed through 2017, that’s how we got there.”
Full list of 2021 AFLW Awards
Best and fairest: Brianna Davey (Collingwood) and Kiara Bowers (Fremantle)
Rising Star: Tyla Hanks (Melbourne)
Goal of the Year: Courtney Hodder (Brisbane)
Mark of the Year: Danielle Ponter (Adelaide)
2021 AFLW All-Australian team
Sarah Allan, Adelaide Crows
Meghan McDonald, Geelong Cats
Ruby Schleicher, Collingwood
Kate Lutkins, Brisbane Lions
Janelle Cuthbertson, Fremantle Dockers
Monique Conti, Richmond
Kiara Bowers, Fremantle (VC)
Georgia Patrikios, St. Kilda
Jasmine Garner, North Melbourne
Katie Brennan, Richmond
Ellie Blackburn, Western Bulldogs
Erin Phillips, Adelaide Crows
Chloe Molloy, Collingwood
Breann Moody, Carlton
Brianna Davey, Collingwood (C)
Alyce Parker, GWS GIANTS
Ebony Marinoff, Adelaide Crows
Brittany Bonnici, Collingwood
Darcy Vescio, Carlton
Karen Paxman, Melbourne
Emma Kearney, North Melbourne
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