Isolation has produced some quality social media content, with hilarious team videos being one result of bored athletes trying to band together to kill time. Maddie Shevlin has taken the Pies' reins, taking it upon herself to coordinate a number of videos that have entertained their widespread fans.
The first video came out less than a week after the AFLW season was cancelled, and has players receiving a roll of toilet paper from the left of screen and handballing or kicking it out to the right.
Maddie says the inspiration came from the genuine love and respect the team have for each other. After a couple of unsuccessful seasons, this year there’s been a much bigger focus on team culture and cohesion. It turned things around on the field, and it’s made them a tighter knit group off the field as well.
When footy was suddenly over there was a gaping hole, and they needed a new focus. It wasn’t just for the team, they also felt they owed the fans something.
“It’s tough for us but it’s tough for them too. This shows that we’re all in it together.”
She organised it through the group chat, and chose “Pump It Up” as a fitting soundtrack, given it’s the song they run out to on game day.
The next video, “Get to know what my mates are really like”, has players doing something unusual. Each player chose and filmed their own activity - sometimes just to get a laugh but sometimes it’s real.
“Ebs (Ebony O’Dea) is eating burnt toast. But the thing is, she really likes burnt toast. What’s weird to everyone else is normal to her.”
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The third video has the team singing to “Man After Midnight”. Fair warning: this gave me an earworm that lasted a week.
It takes a few days to organise each time, Maddie reveals. They have players in Perth and the Northern Territory and Ireland, and the timing and co-ordination can be a bit awkward. Most of the team are on board though, and get into the spirit of it.
“They might just be pleased to have something to do,” she says.
Even though the AFLW season would be over by now, they’d normally be training for and playing in the VFLW season. Everyone still has a fitness program including running, gym and touch sessions; but it can be hard when you live alone.
She’s philosophical about it though.
“I’d rather not be playing footy, and saving 60,000 lives.”