Rosie Sutton has settled nicely at Adelaide United if her early season form is any gauge, where her fondness for cats has become a well-worn dressing-room topic among the Lady Reds.
And if you think Sutton’s penchant for moggies is unexceptional, think again. One need only look closely on Sutton’s upper arm for pictorial evidence. There you will find an extremely impressive tattooed likeness of Sutton’s kitten, Walter.
The 25-year-old Gold Coast born striker takes up the story. “My mum got me a kitten (Walter) from the animal welfare league back home on the Gold Coast living with mum.
“Everyone seems to love it (the tattoo). Everyone thinks it suits my personality, and my mum loves it too.
“I’m known as the crazy cat lady on the team,” Sutton adds with a laugh.
“Mum sends me updates every day about them actually. It is a bit embarrassing. But the girls seem to like it though, and I always tell them about my cats.”
Sutton says the addition of Walter alongside fellow tabby Louie, who has been in the family for 19 years, brought perfectly timed joy as she struggled with missing last season through a hip injury.
“I went through a bit of a hard time, and when my mum got me this cat and he kind of brought me back to life a bit,” she says. “He (Walter) brought love into my life and was a bit of a turning point for me, and I was starting to feel a lot better about things, so he had a big impact on my life.
“My mum got my cat Walter from the Animal Welfare League and I would prefer people adapted rather than buy from pet stores, and that is something that I’m quite passionate about.
“I would love to volunteer there (at the Welfare Centre) if I could. Any excuse to be around cats.”
Sutton happily admits she may even some cat characteristics of her own
“I’m very independent and like my Rosie time a lot,” says Sutton with a smile in her voice. “I need my Rosie time or else I go a bit insane, and I really like sleeping as well.”
The strong forward has displayed a genuine nose for goal even since starting out in the Westfield W-League.
She scored a treble early in the first of two strong seasons at Perth Glory, before injury struck. And she has already netted a hat-trick for new club Adelaide, and now has the impressive record of 13 career goals in 28 matches.
Making the transition to Adelaide for this season has been relatively seamless. Sutton says a warm and welcoming club have made that possible, as has been her decision not to work.
“My focus has been purely on football,” she said. “It has just been training, gym and eating properly, and I think it is paying off.
“I feel like my form has been pretty good so far. I’m definitely not as tired as I used to be, and my mind feels a lot better too, and it is nice to focus on the one thing.”
Now United are aiming to revive after failing to win any of their past three matches. Standing in their way in this Sunday’s Fox Sports/ABC TV match is former club Perth Glory.
“I know probably half the girls that are still there,” says Sutton.
“I thought it might be a bit weird but I don’t really have any feelings towards it. I really I just want the team to get the three points.
“We have been really disappointed with how we have played in the last couple of games so it is a big game for us.”
Adding another layer of intrigue is United coach Jamie Harnwell who is coming up against his former side for the first time.
A win over Perth is the short-term goal, but a first-ever finals appearance is the long-term aim.
“We are a bit of unknown team without any big superstars like the other W-League teams,” Sutton says. “Jamie has created a really good culture and there are no egos in the team.
“It is a good mixture of young and old – we like to call them the big girls and little girls – and it is a good culture to be a part of.
“Everyone wants to make history by making finals for the first time.”