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We are Port Adelaide

A Port Adelaide love story

IT'S a love story like no other. A girl. A guy. A football club.  

They were each born in China, they each travelled thousands of kilometres to Australia to study, and they had never met each other until the Port Adelaide Football Club and a game at Adelaide Oval brought them together.

“Lexie” Xing Lin, 28, had never heard about the AFL, let alone watched a game, when a friend invited her and five others to watch the 2017 SANFL Grand Final between Port Adelaide and Sturt.

She could never have imagined that accepting the offer would change her life, and bring her two new loves.     

“A mutual acquaintance was working for the Australian International Education Services and had some tickets for the game,” she told portadelaidefc.com.au.

“In a group chat on WeChat she invited six of us to watch the footy together but on the day, four of the group pulled out.

“In the end it was just the two of us, we met at the ticket box and he was wearing a black Port Adelaide hoodie.”

Lexie met David Tianxiang Wei, 35, – a former student now working in digital recruitment - at the Adelaide Oval ticket box, knowing only to look out for a guy in a black jumper.

David had been introduced to football while he was still a student, and had picked Port Adelaide as his team.

“I went to an international student function at the Adelaide Town Hall when I was a student and some of the other students shared their experiences of going to SANFL and AFL games,” he recalled.

“One of the staffers from one of the universities said it was a great way to learn about Australia and told me I was missing out if I hadn’t been to a game before.

“I started researching the game, I found that there were two teams in Adelaide, the Crows and Port so I looked up their websites and their Youtube channels and I decided I liked Port.

“It just felt right, especially when I watched the highlights and saw the rawness of how Port Adelaide played and it just impressed me.”

While the result went against Port Adelaide on the day, with the Double Blues walking away with the narrowest of wins (by just one point), the pair got along very well.

Soon they were seeing each other very regularly and going consistently to watch the Power at Adelaide Oval.

“I ended up buying two memberships and she had to come with me because I told her otherwise it would be a waste of money,” David joked.

But Lexie has become more and more connected with Port Adelaide, initially deciding Robbie Gray was her favourite player before Ollie Wines stole her loyalty.

“I met Ollie Wines at the Adelaide Zoo and had a conversation and some photos with him so from that time he has become my favourite,” she said.

“Before that I was really into Robbie Gray who I think is very smart with how he plays but also outside of football because he is a businessman with the barbershop and the Moseley. I really love the dirty fries at the Moseley!”

For the record David’s favourite player is Brad Ebert, but he says he has a few.

“People always check whether we are genuine supporters or not,” he said.

“After one game where we won, people leant towards us to see whether we knew the song. They check if we know the names of the players, and I think people also accept us more if we react with them for a goal or a holding the ball decision.

“I think they’re just curious because we wear the Port clothes but they want to make sure we know our stuff.”

And despite that initial apprehension from others, both David and Lexie now feel like part of the Port Adelaide family.

“Footy has given us a really quick way to try engage with the local community,” Lexie added.

“We know we’re from a different cultural background and if you want to try to adapt into the local society it takes a lot of time to learn the history or the cultural differences but with footy it’s like a really quick way to pick it up.

“And we actually feel like part of the family.”

Both love each other and both love Port Adelaide.

Lexie won’t comment on where each ranks in the list of her affections, but David is quick to chime in with a cryptic answer.

“I have a ranking system, it’s all about priorities,” he said.

“Families come first but it is close.”

 

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