Fremantle footy and Desma Osgood were a match made in heaven.
Much like the club she sports now, Desma feels she grew up at Fremantle Oval.
She remembers going to games and being wowed by the likes of Stephen Michael, seeing Bulldogs players get pies from the canteen at half time, being subjected to a ‘mooning’ from Mark Jackson after a nearby elderly fan abused him and then whacked him with her umbrella.
As a child of the 80s, she remembers partying with players and taking part in marches with the Freo Mob, who planted the seed for Fremantle to have their own AFL team.
“From about the age of five, Dad started taking me to the footy. He was very passionate about the game, especially when it came to a Derby.
“If there was a bit of a punch on in the crowd, I could guarantee that Dad was in there having a go!
“You had some great football in those days. That was the early 80s. There are lots of fond memories around the South Fremantle Football Club and it was natural, that the Fremantle community wanted a football club of their own.”
And it was only natural that Desma was on board with Fremantle from day one.
“It’s been a torturous love affair but our support has never waivered and our hope has always been there,” Desma said.
“We’ve been regional for many years. Right now we’re in Broome, so we’ve only ever gone with the Purple Army membership because we couldn’t attend games.
“When we did go to Perth, we were certainly trying to get to a game.”
In 2003, Freo helped bring Desma and her future husband together.
“It was the clincher with my husband, Geoff,” Desma said.
“We first met at a hotel in the CBD and I knew that we clicked. I remember asking him who he supported - he said the Dockers and I said phew!
“It wouldn’t have worked any other way so that was a big tick!”
Desma and Geoff lucked out when in January, Freo headed to the Kimberley for AFL Community Camp and set up a base in Broome.
It was at that moment she realised how big Fremantle were up north. She was thrilled, even if it meant having a lot of completion when she bid on and won a signed Fremantle jumper.
“When we arrived in Broome we felt like we were the only fans in town,” Desma said.
“When the club came to visit, we were really delighted to see so many other Freo fans come out to the club’s events.
“It was great to be able to talk to the executives and hear some encouraging vision from the likes of Justin Longmuir and his style of coaching and his hopes for the club.”
Like many other fans, Desma finds it hard to go past Nat Fyfe and Michael Walters as her favourite players, but she’s excited about what an up-and-coming forward can become.
“Lachie Schultz is an exciting young recruit,” Desma said.
“I’ve been really impressed with seeing him play. He reminds me of Hayden Ballantyne.
“I’ve always called ‘Ballas’ my favourite terrier, and that’s said with lots of warmth and love! I see that same fire in the belly in young Lachie Schultz, so watch this space.”
Desma has an affinity for the colour purple, which is associated with a charity close to her heart.
“I have two purple passions, one of them is the Fremantle Dockers and the other is The Purple Bench Project,” Desma said.
“We advocate for policies and raise awareness around the epidemic of domestic violence and domestic homicide.
“There are now more than 70 purple benches in the state so you will probably start seeing them now that I’ve brought them to your attention.”
While Desma and Geoff hold a Purple Army membership, they recently upgraded to a seated membership to support the club through the Covid-19 crisis.
She hopes, in the near future, she’ll be back in Perth, meaning you might see (and hear!) Desma at Freo games soon.
“I am concerned about how vocal we are in our lounge room and how passionate we are! I’m worried about being at a game and not being able to contain that,” Desma said.
“I always have a running commentary and my youngest has likened me to BT!
“We’ve certainly got an opinion on the game and it is difficult to contain our excitement as we are very vocal.”
Something tells us they’ll fit right in!