Most who played footy as a junior will remember how much our mums, and mother-figures, helped us along the way. Whether it be getting us to training, washing our muddy jumpers and shorts, encouraging us or consoling us after a loss, they were always there.
For Sandringham Zebras forward Jake Lohmann, this was no different as he received all the love and support he could ever have needed from his mother Brooke.
Jake, Brooke and Kai at Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval
Growing up in the country town of Maryborough, Jake played his junior football for the Maryborough Magpies. In that time he won premierships but also endured tough seasons where he lost most games by 100 points. Brooke made sure to be there for him in any way she could.
“Mum was there every game and didn't miss a beat. She ended up being Junior President just for us boys to play,” Jake says.
“Mum was MVP. She had lived in Maryborough her whole life but she wanted to give us the opportunity, as did dad who was now living in Melbourne, to follow both Kai’s and my dream of playing AFL footy so we moved to Ballarat.”
For Brooke, making this sacrifice felt natural as she has always wanted to provide every possible opportunity for her sons to excel.
“In 2017, the boys and I moved to Ballarat so they could attend St Patrick’s College and play NAB League with Greater Western Victoria Rebels which would then set them up with less travel and more opportunities,” Brooke recalls.
Kai Lohmann, Jake’s brother, was drafted to the Brisbane Lions with pick 20 in the 2021 AFL Draft and made his debut against Collingwood in Round 5, 2022.
When Kai called his Mum to break the news about his first game – which was captured on camera by the Lions' media team – the pure pride and joy can be heard in Brooke’s voice. She gives the same backing to Jake when he pulls on the yellow, black and blue for Sandringham.
“Mum has done everything for us two boys - she is the most selfless person and expects nothing in return,” Jake says.
Jake with his Mum
On Saturday 24 June, we could see the brothers line up against each other for the first time ever as Sandringham takes on the Brisbane Lions VFL side. It’s an exciting prospect for fans but Mum is feeling a little “nervous”.
“I wish they were on the same team,” Brooke says. “Hopefully they stay in their lines up opposite ends of the ground but I’m sure they will try to tackle each other. I will have to wear two scarves that day!”
For as long as Brooke can remember, her sons have been obsessed with football and she has always seen her role as providing them with a platform to succeed.
“Jake had his very first football given to him as a newborn baby and from a two-year-old never had a footy out of his hands. In fact, he used to sleep with a football,” she recounts.
“We all want the best for our children and it’s important to understand their interests, and as parents we need to provide the pathway to help them achieve their goals.”
Over the journey Jake has countless memories with his Mum but a couple that stand out include her brief appearance on TV and his attempt to make Mother’s Day special 18 years ago.
“One of my favourites was when Nan and Mum were on Deal or No Deal and won some ‘cashola’ and took a vacation up to Queensland for a little bit,” he chuckles.
“Mother’s Day circa 2005, to treat Mum on her day I thought I'd make her eggs on toast before she got up - a breakfast in bed setup, I think I'd seen it in a movie. Anyway the scrambled eggs I’ve done in the microwave with the egg shells still attached with some burnt toast.”
While Jake and his mother have similar personalities in many regards, Jake has noticed a few differences over the years – particularly in regards to how outgoing they can be.
“I have definitely adopted traits from her in terms of kindness and always looking after people. Sorry Mum, but I'm naturally a bit more out there, it usually takes Mum a few champas to let it go,” he laughs.
Mum, in turn, was willing to spill the beans on something people might not know about Jake – he’s a “huge Harry Potter fan” and growing up a die-hard Bomber’s supporter, he didn’t always respond to losses well.
“As a young child Jake barracked for Essendon and when they lost he would go to his room, shut the door and cry,” she jokes.
While the two are happy to tease each other and have a laugh, Jake gets serious about just how much his mum means to him.
“She has been a person I always turn to no matter what because there's so much genuine care and love it always makes me feel invincible,” Jake says.
“Mum does anything and everything for us still to this day and she deserves nothing but the best.”
Indeed, without his Mum’s inspiration and support, Jake wouldn’t be where he is today tearing it up for the Zebras, so he finishes with a simple but powerful sentiment; “love you, Mum.”