At a glance:
- Rising Star nominee Olivia Vesely reveals the story behind her 'FEAR ME' mouthguard.
- The 20-year-old claims ending up with the mouthguard is the "lamest story ever".
- Vesely was nominated for the NAB Rising Star after an 18-disposal performance against Carlton.
A $50 bet, a dare and the “lamest story ever”.
Rising Star Olivia Vesely has received plenty of attention this season off the back of her terrific performances, but it’s her unique mouthguard that has been equally eye-catching.
Adorned with the words ‘FEAR ME’, the inside midfielder’s once-humble piece of rubber is a reminder to the opposition not to mess with her; a fresh shiner on her right eye only enhancing her reputation.
While there are many words to describe the quirky on-baller on the field, off the field, ‘fearsome’ isn’t one that springs to mind.
The terror-inspiring mouthguard was never intended to strike fear in the hearts of the opposition, let alone be worn on game-day.
Instead, as we’ve come to know from the radiant Saint, it’s just another part of her innocent charm.
“Unless they’ve been training with me, people will think I’m being 100% legit when I’m actually not at all!” Vesely told saints.com.au.
Before the AFLW Season, the 20-year-old would roll around with a plain blue or white mouthguard, but that all changed thanks to some encouragement from co-captain Rhi Watt.
“We were just lining up to get our mouthguards done and there were all these different colours and there was this one that said ‘FEAR ME’, and I joked that I would get it to Rhi,” Vesely said.
“She was like ‘yeah, yeah, you’ve got to get it Liv, get it!’. And then a couple of the others were like ‘yeah get it, that’s funny, I dare you to’.”
“So I got it knowing you can get one every six months from the dentist, so I said I’ll get a plain one when the season starts and I’ll just have this one for the pre-season.”
With one satisfied – and highly encouraged – purchase under her belt, Vesely was a little surprised when the finished product came her way.
“I didn’t realise how it wasn’t that conspicuous… (is that the word?) ... inconspicuous, until I put it on,” Vesely laughed.
What was meant to be a once-off pre-season look and a bit of a laugh soon rolled into a match-day staple thanks to teammate Nat Exon.
“‘Exxy’ said for the first round ‘I’ll give you $50 if you wear it’, so I wore it,” Vesely said.
"She followed through, but I didn’t take the money.
“I played well one week with it, so I was like ‘ah I have to wear it again!’"
"Now it’s become a thing, but I always have my second white mouthguard on the field.
“I have it for the warm-up and then I give it to one of the trainers, so it’s gone missing a couple of times.”
But now there’s a third mouthguard in the mix, with the ‘FEAR ME’ text replaced with a much more fitting description: ‘RISING STAR’.
The lively talent received the one-of-a-kind gift from her teammates in Monday evening’s team meeting – another completely unique Liv Vesely story involving two recorders – after being told she had been nominated for the league-wide award.
“I think after the ‘FEAR ME’ one we’re done,” Vesely said.
As for her new ‘RISING STAR’ mouthguard?
“Never in a million years would I wear that!
"I would never do that, it would be the worst thing ever."