While Jack Ginnivan won’t be wearing the black and white stripes in 2024, the small forward will always be a Collingwood premiership player.
Thrust into the starting 22 on Grand Final day after playing the previous two finals as the substitute, the 20-year-old knew he was ready for the game’s biggest stage.
“A dream come true, especially on Grand Final day you dream of that as a kid, you watch it growing up and then to be out there I’m usually always on the end with Murph giving him a big cuddle so to stand there with your best mate as well is so surreal,” he said.
“Maybe you get a little bit nervous when you get the ball because the crowd erupts but it sort of feels like home now that I’ve played in front of so many big crowds.
“When I was playing sub it was to be myself, energetic and get the crowd involved and I think I did that. When I came on, I aimed to be a ball of energy and to make my teammates better.
“If it was passing the ball off like a few times against Geelong or kicking a goal or laying tackles, something to get the crowd involved, that was usually the instruction.”
Ginnivan was part of a forward line that had 30 scoring shots on Grand Final day, with dangerous players everywhere you looked.
The small forward said he knew either he or one of his teammates was bound to have a day out, with Ginnivan proud of how Bobby Hill delivered in his first Grand Final.
“Bobby was amazing, I feel like Beau, Bobby, Jamie, and I have this big connection and the way Bobby went about it on Grand Final day we sort of knew one of us small forwards were going to get off the leash,” he said.
“For him to do that it’s incredible and I feel like I was right next to him every time he was marking the ball or kicking a goal, so it was so good to see and a testament to his character because he’s gone through so much with the trade and his health, I’m so happy for Bob.”
What would turn out to be Ginnivan’s final moments as a Collingwood player were stressful ones, as he stayed amongst the thick of the action in the fourth quarter frenzy.
From the roller coaster of Brisbane hitting the lead, to running alongside Jordan De Goey as he put the Pies back in front, they’re moments Ginnivan will never forget.
“My heart was sinking when Charlie Cameron kicked that goal with about five minutes to go and we’re down by four points in the Grand Final and our dream is to win,” he said.
“That moment of your heart dropping and thinking ‘maybe not us’ but then quickly switching back on and about 10 seconds later I’m right next to Jordy screaming at him to kick the goal, don’t pass it.
“I’m five meters away from him and you look and it’s gone straight through the middle and that switch to you’re winning now, that’s the one minute span that I’ll always remember.”
Jack Ginnivan’s 2023 stats:
- Lost only one game in 2023
- Played as sub five times
- Recorded Brownlow votes for the second time in his career (Round 24 v Essendon)