“I definitely don’t regret it,” Davey said this week. “Do I ever think about it? Absolutely. There’s been times where I have thought ‘oh, I wonder if I was still playing soccer’ and things like that.
“I don’t take back my decision whatsoever. I absolutely love playing footy and for me, when I made the swap, it was with the lifestyle, playing soccer and travelling the world, in mind.
‘I definitely don’t regret it. Do I ever think about it? Absolutely.’
Brianna Davey, on her decision to choose the AFLW over soccer
“I was getting to the point where I was burning out a little bit [because of travel with the Matildas] and was really missing my family and being home and being able to enjoy the little things.
“I love being home and love the game of footy. It has always been my number one choice.”
It must also be said that about a year before she chose to play footy Davey had been surprisingly dropped from the Matildas squad for the 2015 World Cup, where the side reached the quarter-finals.
But the Pies co-captain remains in touch with her Matildas friends.
“I have a lot of mates over there playing and it has been tough [because of the pandemic],” Davey said. “We are fortunate here. I feel for them and the girls who couldn’t get home over Christmas, that’s really hard stuff.
“Steph [Catley of Arsenal and the Matildas] is one of my best friends. We played all our juniors together and essentially grew up together.
“We chat often and keep in touch as much as we can. When we see each other it’s like nothing has changed.
“She is an incredible athlete and someone I have always looked up to and loved as a person.”
The Pies developed into one of the AFLW’s best teams in 2021 but missed a top-two finish after losing two of their last three matches, pushing them into their clash with North Melbourne in the first week of the finals on Saturday.
“This group has a great connection and care for each other,” Davey said. “We don’t want to be leaving this season [losing to North this week] with that sour taste in our mouth, thinking that we could have done better.”
Anthony is a sports reporter at The Age.