Christine Nairn speaks exclusively to The Football Sack about seeking happiness, playing with Marta, and on the upcoming 2018/19 W-League Season. 

Ever since she publicly came out to the football world in 2017, Melbourne Victory’s Christine Nairn has set out to help others discover their own definition of happiness.

In a heartfelt blog post in 2017, Victory’s latest acquisition said that she was ready to embrace her sexual orientation, and face up to the stigmas around it. She revealed that she was gay.

“It’s something I wanted to do but I just didn’t know the right way to. So I just said screw it and went for it,” the former Orlando Pride midfielder told The Football Sack.

The 28-year old described the process as “very liberating” and that she received “loving and positive feedback” from her family and Orlando teammates.

Imbued with a newfound sense of happiness, she decided to launch her own T-Shirt line, Finding Euphoria. With a title aptly representative of her intentions, Nairn explained that she made it her mission to help others find out who they were, in their own unique way.

“Football consumes so much of my life but I have struggled to find who I was off the pitch,” she said.

“What makes me happy was being a completely open book about it. That just happens to be about being gay, but it varies from person to person.

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“Whether is it starting a new career, picking up a new hobby or going out of your comfort zone.”

The American revealed that through her brand, she has received over a hundred messages from fans who shared how her story has inspired them to seek happiness.

“I hope I can be an example for others to fall back on or inspire others to come out and be their true self. If I can help just one person, that’ll go a long way.”

On the pitch, Nairn found joy in the 2018 National Women’s Soccer League season with Orlando Pride. The attacking midfielder was plying her trade with some of the biggest names in football, alongside Alex Morgan, Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris. In the that season, Nairn registered the highest number of assists for her club, on par with Marta.

The six time recipient of the FIFA Women’s World Player of The Year is widely regarded as one of the greatest female footballers of all time.

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Nairn notes that Marta’s natural love for the game has allowed the Brazilian to express herself creatively on the field, and play without fear.

“Marta’s such a great team player, person and she’s just a joy to be around,” she said.

“She has a very short memory in a sense that if she gives the ball away while attempting to create a chance, she’s not afraid to do it again.

“Many football players will just want to keep it simple and go the easy route.”

A lethal threat in her own right, Nairn’s astute passing ability has seen her successfully connect 74.2% of passes at Orlando. Of them, 26 were key passes, the second highest in the squad.

She was also the owner of this sweet strike, which won the nomination for goal of the week in America’s top flight.

In her 4th stint at the club, Nairn feels that this could finally be Victory’s year.

“I think this is Victory’s best year by looking at the type of players Jeff (Hopkins) has brought in, just absolute fighters,” she said.

“If that isn’t our goal, we wouldn’t be called professional athletes. The bigger picture is to win the whole thing but that all starts with a result in round one.”

Melbourne Victory (W-League) has never won the regular season, and were only crowned Grand Final Champions once, in the 2013/14 season.

Melbourne Victory (W-League) kicks off their season with a home fixture at AAMI Park on the 28th of October, at 4.15PM AEDT.

Feature image credit: Anita Milas

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Journalism undergrad at Monash University, Kai is a multimedia journalist covering Melbourne Victory. Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund. Once "stole" Shinji Kagawa's plane ticket.