Ollie Wines’ parents Tony and Jane couldn’t be more proud of their son following his outstanding AFL debut for Port Adelaide yesterday.
Wines, 18, played with the confidence of a veteran in the Power’s 79-point drubbing of Melbourne at the MCG.
The former Bendigo Pioneer booted a goal and gathered 24 possessions, including an AFL record-equalling 16 contested disposals by a first-gamer.
That Wines broke the record in the same game as his best friend from Echuca – Melbourne’s Jack Viney – and the Power won, made it a perfect day for his father Tony.
“We are proud of him. Jack and Ollie went to primary school together – as far as we’re concerned that’s the best result we could have had,” Tony said.
“Ollie played well, Port Adelaide won, but Jack played well also.
“I’ve spoken to Meg and Todd Viney tonight, they’re disappointed they lost but rapt for both boys because over the years we’ve been pretty close the Viney’s and us.”
Jane Wines was nervous before the game, but no more so than for a local football or netball match with any of her children.
“It wasn’t too different to a normal game…I’ve got my heart on my sleeve the whole time,” she said.
She thought it was hard to tell how Ollie was feeling pre-match in the changerooms.
“You never know, he said he was fine,” she said.
“I spoke to him about an hour before and we were down there for his guernsey presentation which was absolutely magnificent – I don’t think many clubs allow that.
“He looked really relaxed, but inside he would be a little bit (nervous), but he plays well off nerves I think.
“He was magnificent we thought. He took a few marks out there today that were really good, that I’ve not seen him do before. I think he’s got a lot of improvement there, even after today.”
Wines’ move to Port Adelaide caused some heartache for his family, but Tony and Jane have nothing but admiration for the way the Power have made the family feel welcome at the club.
“All kids leave home at some stage, whether it be university or work, but they get to choose where they want to go – but Ollie had no choice,” Tony said.
“That’s been the hardest thing. The positives are that Port Adelaide could not have done anything more for us as parents, or as a family, or for him than they’ve done so far.”
It hasn’t just been hard for the parents, however.
“He’s had to really dig deep, people do not realise,” Jane said of her son.
“A lot of the boys who got drafted live at home, the few that have to go you’ve got no idea.
“The best text I got today was from the recruiting officer Geoff Parker and he just said ‘I know the day I called his name out you didn’t like me’.
“He just said ‘we are so lucky, he’s worked so hard and we cannot believe we’ve got him’, so if that’s what’s coming from them, I’ll go with it.”