LIVING 18,000km away from Fremantle is not going to stop Kimberley Edwards from supporting her beloved Dockers this finals series.
A resident of Georgia in the United States, Ms Edwards became a big fan of the team when she relocated to Perth in the 90s with her Australian husband Grant.
Following the death of her husband in 2013, she moved back to the United States with their two daughters, but her love for the team has not waned with distance.
“My husband introduced me to AFL footy in 1998 and I instantly became a fan and loved the Fremantle Dockers,” she said.
“Going to the footy with my family is one of my most treasured memories I have of living in Australia.
“I always tell people that I have “Purple Blood” coursing through my veins.
“Whenever I watch a game for a brief moment in time I feel as though I am back in Australia with my husband and daughters at my side cheering on my beloved Fremantle Dockers at Subiaco; it is a feeling that I can not describe in words.”
Ms Edwards said she would be setting her alarm clock to wake up in time to watch all of Fremantle’s finals games live online, joking she was worried about neighbours reporting her to the police for all the screaming and cheering.
“It would be fantastic for players like Pav, Sandilands, and my favourite player Mundy to be able to walk across the oval at the MCG with their heads held high and have their pictures taken along with the rest of the team and coaching staff as Grand Final winners,” she said.
“These guys have given so much to the club over the years and this would be the crowning moment of their career with the Fremantle Dockers.
She said the team would have a guardian angel in her husband cheering them on and willing them over the line.
Another fan keeping track of the team from abroad is Jay Margo, who moved to China to work as a teacher in an international school a month ago.
Mr Margo said he made the switch to the Dockers in 2005 when he realised the fans were more passionate and supportive than those at his former favourite club, the West Coast Eagles.
“The camaraderie and passion shared amongst fans is some of the best you will find in any sport league in this country,” he said.
“Our members have been through many years of drought and lack of success, but they’ve never walked away.
“The fans are proud, loyal and passionate and will always get behind our boys – even when things aren’t going their way.”
He said he would be spending finals games in a Shenzhen sports bar, decked out completely in his purple gear.
“I’m confident our boys will give them everything they’ve got and secure a home preliminary final,” he said.
“I’m just so bloody proud of the lads; Let’s keep that focus and fire burning all the way to the G’ on October 3.
“The Purple Army is, and always will be, behind you every step of the way.”
For fans a little closer to home, the Gazette is putting the call out for Dockers fans to head to the Esplanade Reserve on September 14 to be a part of a fan photo.
Visit here for more details.