EIGHT wins from eight games has made for the perfect start to Jake Bowey’s AFL career.
But Wednesday night’s season opener against the Bulldogs was special in a different way.
The 26-point victory at the MCG was his first in front of a crowd in Victoria, meaning the first in front of his family and friends.
“I had a big 15-person group come to watch me for the first time,” Bowey told Melbourne Media.
“Unfortunately we were struck with a few COVID issues during the week, so only my dad and sister could come – mum was watching at home – but it was pretty special.”
To continue the night of firsts, Bowey slotted his maiden goal at senior level, celebrating accordingly in the first quarter.
“To kick my first goal was unreal,” he said.
“I was just happy to kick it – I was a bit nervous obviously, but to kick it through was awesome.”
And with his father Brett – who played 85 games for St Kilda – in the crowd, Bowey knew the pressure was on.
“I’ve seen some videos of him in the stands when I was having the set shot and he was just telling me to follow through, doing what dads do,” he said.
“He would’ve been pretty nervous.”
The nerves had settled post-game as Bowey was able to celebrate with his ‘old man’, but the Demons certainly didn’t have it all their way throughout the night.
At one stage in the first half the Western Bulldogs loaded on eight consecutive goals, putting Melbourne to the test.
“They were winning a lot of clearances out of the middle which didn’t help us backs, and they were kicking some unreal kicks to their forwards which you can’t do much about,” Bowey said.
“But we just reset after they kicked a couple and played our way.
“We’ve been tested a few times and at some stages you feel like you’re going to lose, but we’ve always got something in us.
“We’ve got a bit of dog fight and fortunately we got the win tonight.”