Player profile: Mai Nguyen
Continuing our player profile series ahead NSW/ACT’s match against South Australia this Sunday at Adelaide Oval, we caught up with Mai Nguyen.
At 25-years-old, GWS GIANTS Academy member, Mai Nguyen runs rough through the midfield at pace, breaking lines and creating chances – chances which NSW/ACT will be taking at every turn this Sunday afternoon.
How did you first get involved in AFL?
I always wanted to play growing up as a teenager but there weren’t any local clubs that provided female footy. Therefore, as soon as I started university, a simple Google search put me on the right path.
We hear that your parents don’t quite understand how far involved in AFL you are?
My parents and I were watching a Swannies game on TV one afternoon. At half-time I was rushing out – with a Sherrin in my hands – for a club match and told them ‘I’ve gotta go and play some of that footy’, pointing at the TV as the Swans were playing. They laughed it off and told me, ‘Don’t to work too hard!’ So up until this day they still think I’m working all weekend to pay off the mortgage.
Did you used to play any other sports?
I played a bit of cricket in the men’s lower division in the Fairfield-Liverpool Association competition – and in the front yard with my three brothers!
Do you have a career highlight?
I wouldn’t call it a ‘highlight’ but it’s the first thing that came to mind – having yet to win a premiership from three appearances. Not many have achieved that before!
Why have you chosen to play AFL?
It requires such a wider scope of skills and therefore, it is ultimately challenging, physically and mentally.
What’s the hardest thing about playing AFL?
Probably the emotional fitness involved, and building the capacity to continually push yourself to become fitter and stronger.
And which team do you barrack for in the AFL?
Up the Swannies! Although I do now have a soft spot for the GWS Giants.
You can watch Mai Nguyen and the NSW/ACT State Representative team take on South Australia LIVE on Fox Sports 3 on Sunday, 5 June at 12:35pm (Adelaide time).