Sydney Swans star Sam Naismith has shown off some awesome new ink, celebrating his much-loved pooch.
Naismith, one of the most hard-done-by stories in footy in recent years, has turned his Instagram profile into a wall of affection for his dear Brussels Griffon dog Bobby.
He took their relationship to another level recently, showing off a tattoo in Bobby’s honour in an Instagram post on Tuesday.
The ink shows a cartoon version of Bobby wearing a Sydney Swans guernsey, in the caricature stylings of Herald Sun artist Mark Knight.
The photo had the simple explanation of: “team photo day lol”.
The tattoo gave Swans fans plenty to giggle about on Wednesday, while some of his teammates also took to Instagram to compliment their teammate on his impressive new artwork on his right thigh.
The only problem is the 28-year-old has many years in football ahead of him and is heading into the 2021 season as an unrestricted free agent.
In an era of free agency, trades and uncertainty, Naismith may very well face the prospect of running out for another team in recent years, sporting a tattoo of his Sydney connection.
The proud local NSW product, who came through the Swans’ academy and rookie list program, has shown no signs of ever wanting to leave the club, despite his horror run of injuries limiting him to just 30 matches in his career.
His tattoo proves he has no intention of going anywhere, unless perhaps, the Western Bulldogs catch his attention.
Naismith has returned to the training paddock in recent months, hoping to recover from a second long-term knee injury, which required surgery to repair a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament.
His return to the field in 2020 came after a series of injuries which had kept him off the footy field for 919 days.
His nightmare turned tragic when his sister, Kristi passed away following a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer.
Naismith revealed last year he hid a secret injury from club staff in order to get on the field and play in her honour.
One month later he suffered another anguishing ACL injury, ending his season on the spot.
The devastating development left Swans coach John Longmire visibly emotional when he first spoke to reporters about the injury.
“He‘s missed two years of footy and comes back and plays round one and plays really well,” he said.
“He lost his sister through that (shutdown) break and then he comes back and does his knee. It‘s a terrible run for him.
“Nothing you can say. It’s sort of…um…you’ve just got to be there sometimes.
“We have to give him time to digest it.
“We‘re going to need some time to digest it. We’ve got to be with him and look after him because he’s had a terrible run. In a number of ways.”
Through it all, Bobby has been right there with him.