West Coast superstar Nic Naitanui is large in stature and also in fan following, but we may have found his biggest and most adorable supporter yet.
Vinny Benstead caught wind of the rare, handmade Nic Naitanui dolls being made by a lady in Wanneroo, so he went on a determined hunt to find one for his young daughter Soleil.
“This is her first doll, the Nic Naitanui doll,” Vinny said.
“We saw a little article in The West Australian about four or five years ago just after she was born.
WATCH THE VIDEO IN THE PLAYER ABOVE
“We drove around up near Wanneroo trying to find the house and we found the lady sitting on her front veranda knitting the dolls.
“They said they were all sold out but had one left and we could have it!”
The Palmyra father said he gave a level playing field to Fremantle, but his 4-year-old daughter had no interest in supporting the men in purple.
“We tried her out in the Dockers clothes for a while but she had a big frown on her face, we put the Eagles clothes on her and she had a big smile!” Vinny laughed.
Speaking in the adorable video in the player above, Soleil was unwavering in her support for the big birds and their ruckman.
“My favourite team is the West Coast Eagles and my favourite player is Nic Naitanui,” Soleil said.
After suffering two ACL injuries and most recently an ankle setback, Vinny says the ruckman sets a great example for future generations.
“It’s fantastic – somebody to look up to, he’s a great role model for everybody,” he said.
“He keeps coming back from those injuries, (he shows) fantastic resilience.
“He’s a fine figure of a gentleman to look at running around on the ground with all his talent and great for all of the kids to look up to.”