RATHER than supporting from the Marvel Stadium stands, Jack Ginnivan's parents, Craig and Debbie, will instead have to watch their son's Collingwood debut on the television.
Bendigo Pioneer draftee Ginnivan will play his first AFL game for Collingwood against Port Adelaide on Friday night, but it will be in front of no crowd due to Victorian lockdown restrictions.
While it's a shame Ginnivan's family - his parents and sisters, Brooke and Meg - can't be at Marvel Stadium for the match, it hasn't quelled the excitement for Craig as his son prepares to live out his childhood dream.
"It's a bit disappointing my wife Deb, Jack's two sisters and I won't be able to be down there on Friday night at the game, but it is what it is," Craig said on Thursday.
"With the COVID restrictions we can't have any friends around, so Deb and I will sit at home by ourselves and watch the game without any distractions.
"Collingwood has been really good in that they are going to set up a zoom for Jack's jumper presentation at 5.45pm that we'll be able to log onto and watch.
"I've spoken to Jack the past couple of days and I said to him that I'd rather he play a game of AFL footy in front of no-one and us not be there rather than us be at a game and he not playing.
"He's waited so long for this opportunity... right from when he started playing junior footy he's always wanted to play AFL."
I've spoken to Jack the past couple of days and I said to him that I'd rather he play a game of AFL footy in front of no-one and us not be there rather than us be at a game and he not playingCraig Ginnivan
Ginnivan's path to the Magpies has taken in a variety of clubs - Winters Flat, Newstead - where he kicked 119 goals in the under-12s in 2014 - Castlemaine and Golden Square at junior level, as well as the Bendigo Pioneers and Strathfieldsaye.
The 18-year-old-old livewire forward has earned his senior call-up after strong form in Collingwood's VFL team, kicking 11 goals in the past three games.
"He's obviously really excited with the opportunity and I think he's a bit relieved in that he's done all the hard work over the past 10 weeks in the VFL and now he's got the reward after playing some good footy," Craig said.
'It hasn't been an easy road to get here after playing no footy with the Pioneers last year, so we're really excited for him on Friday night and proud."
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