Seven sports presenter Abbey Way backing a Perth grand final

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Lily HoffmannThe West Australian
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Abbey Way outside Optus Stadium.
Camera IconAbbey Way outside Optus Stadium. Credit: Ian Munro

Abbey Way is back in her home State of WA and cheering for a home ground AFL grand final at Optus Stadium.

Way made her debut as an AFL boundary line reporter for Seven last weekend after her dream gig of being one of Seven’s anchors at the Tokyo Olympics was put on hold.

“Doing boundary for footy is, particularly as a young kid growing up in WA, it was something I’d love to say I dreamt about, but I just didn’t think it would be possible,” Way admitted.

Oscar Allen of the Eagles celebrates a goal during the round two AFL match between the West Coast Eagles and the Greater Western Giants at Optus Stadium.
Camera IconOscar Allen of the Eagles celebrates a goal during the round two AFL match between the West Coast Eagles and the Greater Western Giants at Optus Stadium. Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images

The 29-year-old — who was raised in Perth but calls Sydney home — has yet to book a return ticket after six weeks in WA, holding out hope she will see a history-making hometown AFL grand final.

“There’s a lot of big decisions that need to be made and contractually for the AFL the grand final is meant to be at the MCG. And, while that is highly unlikely at the moment, that is still to the best of my knowledge, on paper, the plan,” she said. “Do I think it would be enormous to have it in WA?

Optus Stadium before a match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Geelong Cats on July 27, 2020.
Camera IconOptus Stadium before a match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Geelong Cats on July 27, 2020. Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images

“Absolutely, and this stadium is just one of my favourite stadiums in Australia ... as viewers, there’s just nothing better than watching a game at Optus.”

Way found herself on the sidelines of footy in part due to a desperate dash across the country.

During a time when she would’ve been involved with the Games, she instead could hardly get a flight home to be with her terminally ill grandfather.

“My grandpa Barry passed away from cancer, he had cancer in his lungs and his brain which we didn’t know that he had at the start of COVID, so it all happened really quickly,” Way told The Sunday Times.

Way found her way home six weeks ago, after the Government denied four separate applications she’d made on compassionate grounds.

“(It was) pretty tough (being knocked back), and I understand why WA are doing so well, it was really difficult to come back, even with very warranted compassionate grounds. I did get to see him (before he died) which was an exemption as part of my isolation, which I was really grateful for,” she said.

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