'Sheer joy': Footy fans melt over 'wonderful' AFLW image

Australian Associated Press
·3-min read
Western Bulldogs AFLW coach and St Kilda great Nathan Burke embraces his daughter Alice, following the Saints' six-point win. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
Western Bulldogs AFLW coach and St Kilda great Nathan Burke embraces his daughter Alice, following the Saints' six-point win. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

His Western Bulldogs might have lost their AFLW season opener but Nathan Burke still had a beaming smile on his face post-game as he enjoyed a proud father moment.

His daughter Alice celebrated a win in her AFLW debut as St Kilda secured a thrilling nine-point victory over the Bulldogs on Friday night and Nathan embraced her on the ground afterwards.

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The 18-year-old entered the competition in last year's draft as St Kilda's first father-daughter selection.

Nathan is a legend at Moorabbin, captaining the club in a decorated 323-game career from 1987 to 2003.

He admits the build-up to Friday night's match was different but was too focused during the game to take in much of Alice's performance.

"Once the game started, there's so much going on, I didn't really concentrate (on Alice)," Nathan said.

"So if you ask me how she went, I'm probably going to have to watch the video.

"After the game she said she loved it so hopefully she did well enough to get another go next week where I can sit down and play the dad role.

"I'm conscious of potentially something I might tell her to do is not what the coaches here (at St Kilda) want her to do so it's best to keep out of that and work on the mental side of it."

Alice concentrated on soccer for most of her youth before switching to Australian rules football in 2018.

She started on the bench and had little involvement in the contest but will improve considerably as St Kilda look to challenge for the finals.

AFLW fans explode over Nathan, Alice Burke

AFL photographer Michael Wilson shared his picture of Alice and Nathan on social media, where fans were quick to enjoy one of the more wholesome moments footy has seen.

On commentary for Fox Footy after the game, Kelli Underwood said the sight of the father and daughter catching up after the game was something to behold.

“Look at that beautiful shot. This is what footy and sport’s all about,” she said.

“You can’t get the smiles off their faces. These are beautiful scenes.”

All-Australian forward Caitlin Greiser has lifted St Kilda to a thrilling nine-point, opening-round AFLW victory over the Western Bulldogs.

One of the breakout stars of last season, Greiser picked up where she left off in 2020 by kicking two vital goals and playing a key role in setting up another at RSEA Park on Friday night.

The Bulldogs defence had no match for the powerful 21-year-old as the Saints kicked the highest score in their short history - 8.3 (51) to 6.6 (42) - to secure the nail-biting victory.

The Saints were comprehensively beaten in the corresponding match last year, but held off the fast-finishing visitors this time around.

The Bulldogs narrowed the margin to just two points late in the final quarter, but Darcy Guttridge's second goal with less than two minutes remaining sealed the result.

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