The Matildas are the best story in Australian sport right now, and not just because they keep winning football games.
It's also the way they're handling themselves. Stadiums are selling out, amazing goals are being scored, Sam Kerr is backflipping like a pro, there's talk of winning the 2019 FIFA World Cup which seems realistic rather than boastful, and the whole vibe is just terrific.
Kerr, 24, is at the centre of it all. So popular is her goal scoring and her celebratory acrobatics, one fan crossed out the name "Neill" on his jersey (as in former Socceroos captain Lucas Neill), changed the shirt number from 2 to 20, and added the name "Kerr".
Kerr saw this, and had to reward the guy. Because that's how the Matildas work. To them, "fan engagement" is a real thing, not just soulless marketing speak.
Who is this guy? I need to give him my jersey! https://t.co/3JNGMdkk1F— Sam Kerr (@samkerr1) 16 de setembro de 2017
Turns out that shirt guy was a fan called Richard Cuthbert.
— Richard Cuthbert (@cuthbert_rich) 16 de setembro de 2017
Who dutifully performed his shirt alterations beside what we can only assume is his favourite pink mug and lunchbox. Ha!
I am now! See you there! pic.twitter.com/5SBOijbj1H— Richard Cuthbert (@cuthbert_rich) 17 de setembro de 2017
Three days later and boom! Sam gave him his shirt after the Matildas beat Brazil 3-2 in Newcastle on Tuesday night. Because of course she did.
Memo to all sports teams: be more like the Matildas -- both on and off the field and everywhere in between.Suggest a correction