AT the Merriwa Magpies, she’s known as the “old girl”.
But, for the rest of us, Kellie Walker should be acknowledged as the “super mum”.
Just two weeks after giving birth to her fourth child, the 40-year-old laced up her boots to join the Magpies in the third annual Hunter Valley Group 21 Women’s Nines Competition.
Now, she has a chance to lift the trophy when Merriwa tackles Greta Branxton in the grand final at Muswellbrook’s Olympic Park on Friday night.
It’s an opportunity Walker – the mother of Lachlan, 17; Annabelle, 10; Joshua, 7; and newborn Nellie – wasn’t going to miss.
“I had every intention of playing this season, even when I was pregnant,” she said.
“In fact, I was hoping Nellie would come on time.
“I trained (light) up until a fortnight before her arrival, to maintain my level of fitness.
“Then I played two weeks after she was born.
“It’s not something I’d suggest every woman do,” she added with a laugh.
“I’m lucky I had a good pregnancy.”
They are a great group; and we’re friends away from the game.Kellie Walker
Walker admits her love of the nines format – and the camaraderie at the Magpies – were key factors in her decision to take the field again.
“Both played a big role,” she said.
“I’d much prefer tackle over league tag anyway.
“I’ve been involved every season since the competition was introduced three years ago.
“It’s the physicality of it that I enjoy.
“Then, there’s the bunch of girls we’ve got here [at the club].
“They are a great group; and we’re friends away from the game.
“We all have that competitive streak and will to win.
“However, for me, I like the fitness and fun these days, too.
“I just get out there and have a go.”
The Magpies have been the side to beat during the tournament but a victory over the Colts would be “great” for everyone and the “icing on the cake”, according to Walker.
“We’ve been the bridesmaids a couple of times,” she said.
“It’d be nice to turn that around, especially after being consistent throughout the season.
“As well, it would be terrific for Merriwa; we’ve got a good group of supporters behind us.
“It’d also cap off a big few months for me – I turned 40 in September then had Nellie in October.
“I was born to be a mother.
“But, league is in my genes.
“My uncle is [South Sydney legend] John Sattler and my cousin is Scott Sattler, who’s still known for ‘that’ tackle in the 2003 NRL decider.
“Although I don’t know if you’ll see me doing that.”
Hunter Valley Group 21 Women’s Nines final
Friday, December 7 – at Olympic Park, Muswellbrook
6.15pm: Murrurundi v Scone
6.45pm: Merriwa v Greta Branxton