ON HER dad’s side, Annie Lee has the support of 11 uncles and aunties. On her Mum’s side, she’s getting calls from Scotland left, right and centre.
Tuesday night was a big deal.
When Lee became Carlton’s first selection in the 2021 NAB AFLW Draft, it was a full circle moment for father Laurie. A Carlton supporter since 1979, he has seen five premierships — and, as he told Carlton Media, the last one also coincided with the year of his wedding to Bryony.
It’s safe to say there’s a sense of polar opposites from Annie’s parents when to comes to her football. While her dad grew up in the terraces of IKON Park, her mum was quick to say prior to this interview that her knowledge of the game isn’t a standout.
One thing that is extremely consistent, however, is the support Annie gets from both Mum and Dad.
“It’s awesome, it’s amazing. Since her name got called out on Tuesday night at pick No.10, it’s been a great ride already,” Laurie said.
“It was her dream, it was where she wanted to get to and luckily the cards fell her way.
“It’s an awesome club and I have loved following the Blues, and in the last five years the girls have come along and been a real breath of fresh air. I love the Club and I’m so thrilled that my daughter is here playing footy.”
For mum Bryony, the enduring grin on the face of her daughter in the 24 hours after hearing her name on draft night said it all.
“She’s grinning like a Cheshire Cat and I think that it will take quite a while for it all to sink in — to know that she’s actually officially part of this club now,” Bryony said.
“We didn’t expect it at all and it was pure joy seeing her name come up. Even now, we’re still pinching ourselves.
“I’m getting constant calls from my family in Scotland, asking ‘what does this mean?!’. I’m trying to explain how big this is, it’s a dream come true for her.”
Expecting an uptick in United Kingdom-based Bluebaggers following this news, the family is also planning on putting the blowtorch on those closer to home.
"It was definitely more special, being a Blues supporter. I didn't know what to think, my head was spinning."— Carlton Women's (@carltonfc_w) July 28, 2021
From supporter to player, Annie Lee is two times a Blue. And we couldn't be happier. ??
With Laurie one of 12 siblings, he fully expects the IKON Park stands to be a bit more full come December when the sixth season of the competition officially commences.
“We’re fully on board and Annie has a large family, considering I’m one of 12: there are a few Carlton supporters amongst us, but there are a few others as well,” he said.
“Safe to say they’ll be fully on board the Carlton AFLW program and riding the dream with her!
“From our point of view, we’ve told her to put her best foot forward, to take in as much as she can, to learn as much as she can, to train as hard as she can — you’ll get out of it what you put in.”
As for Mum’s advice?
She may not be able to provide the specifics of all the football-related side of things — but she’s going to give it a shot.
“There’s a bit of a joke in our family that - because I’m not from a footy background - all I ever say to Annie is ‘run fast, play hard’. That’s all I ever say!
“It’s a bit of a running joke now, but all we want is for her to grab this with both hands and just run with it.”