A friendship founded in football, Georgia and Steph have been attending Victory games together since they were 16.
“Steph and I went to the same high school, and in year 10, we got randomly seated next to each other in Maths,” Georgia said.
“We realised that we were both Victory fans, but we both didn’t really have a lot of other people to go to games with, so it kind of became a thing where we started going together.
“So we were these two 16 year-old girls going to Victory games every week and it became the basis of our friendship, and it’s the reason why we’re still best friends nine years later.”
Despite Steph moving to Canberra for work at the start of 2018, the duo hasn’t let it hinder their tradition.
Not long after Steph’s move, Georgia went to visit for the first time.
“We watched the Semi Final game in Sydney, where Antonis scored the winning goal, and I literally decided right there that I was going to come back to Canberra the next week.”
And sure enough the two drove from Canberra to Newcastle to watch the Grand Final.
The passion for Melbourne Victory for both Georgia and Steph developed long before meeting in Maths class.
Says Georgia; “I started going to games with my dad in the 2006-2007 seasons, and I just loved it. And then my sister is actually an incredible soccer player, but I can’t play to save myself – I tried to pick it up at 19, and quit very soon after – but I love the sport.
“So we have this joke with my family that if I had my sister’s skill and my passion, I’d be playing for the Matildas, but I don’t! So I’m just a really big Melbourne Victory fan and put that love into the club instead.”
For Steph, her passion for Victory came from her older cousins who took her along to games growing up. Steph mentions that while she didn’t have Foxtel growing up, she was still sure to get her Victory fix.
“Instead of watching the games, I remember I used to listen to the games on the radio on SEN.
“Soccer is a big thing in my family and we’ve always loved it. So when we got a Melbourne team it was definitely exciting and something I knew I wanted to be a part of.”
Having had their memberships since year 12, there’s no question to why the pair renews each season.
“It’s our friendship. It’s the thing we have together that we always do. Our friendship and our Victory membership have been connected for so long because it was just what we always did together,” says Georgia.
“A lot of it also has to do with the atmosphere,” adds Steph.
”There’s just nothing quite like it, and going to a game at AAMI Park. It’s just really easy to get behind a team when you have sort of community like Melbourne Victory, and those friendships you find as part of it as well.”
The ambience of a Melbourne Victory game has created many vivid memories for the girls.
One of Steph’s favourite memories comes from a match against the Western Sydney Wanderers in 2013.
“Melbourne was in the middle of a heatwave, and it just started pouring down. We had gotten a free kick with just about 2 minutes left to go, and we scored the goal just inside the post, and the stadium just…erupted.
“It was at the peak of our rivalry with the Wanderers too, and I just remember that electric feeling at AAMI Park that day.”
Similarly, Georgia reflects back on the 2007 Grand Final she attended with her Dad.
“I was 11, and it was my first season as fan, and that match was just one of the most insane things.
“Like when you’re 11 years old and you’re seeing that for the first time…the whole stadium just shaking. It was one of those things I know I’ll always remember.
“That Grand Final completely shaped my interest in sport. It was just so much for my tiny brain at the time! You can’t match that atmosphere anywhere else.”
Looking toward the future, Georgia knows exactly what she’s looking forward to most: “Marco Rojas.”
She was ecstatic when he returned to Victory and couldn’t wait to watch him play this year, but has yet to be able to.
“I’ll come back next year just for him,” she laughs.
Steph is simply just looking forward to getting back to Melbourne and AAMI Park.
“I haven’t been in a couple of months and it’s been too long. But you know, we’ll be members for a long time so we’ll get there eventually!”