Jack Ginnivan added his name to some elite company when he was presented with his AFL premiership medal on Saturday.
The Collingwood forward became the 11th Bendigo Pioneers product to win an AFL premiership.
In the 30-year history of the club, Michael Braun, Dean Solomon, Brent Guerra, Josh Hunt, Rick Ladson, Adam Selwood, Joel Selwood, Dustin Martin, Jake Stringer and Tom Cole are the other 10 former Pioneers players to experience the ultimate team success at the highest level.
Current Bendigo Pioneers' coach Danny O'Bree sat in the Shane Warne Stand on Saturday and watched his former charge help the Pies to a thrilling four-point win over the Brisbane Lions.
"It's been an amazing journey for him,'' O'Bree said of Ginnivan.
"He was a talented junior, who moved around a bit for his development.
"He had the potential to be drafted, but then he missed out in the national draft and he had to deal with the emotion of that.
READ MORE: Family proud of Jack's grand achievement
"He was taken in the rookie draft and, history shows, it can go either way for rookies.
"He finally got an opportunity and he grabbed it.
"He's created attention for a lot of different reasons, but the way he's ridden those highs and lows, I couldn't be prouder of him.
"He's just being Jack Ginnivan. He goes out and does what he does best. To see him get a medal around his neck was pretty awesome."
Ginnivan divides opinion with the way he plays and for some of his actions off the field.
O'Bree said the 20-year-old was misunderstood by many who don't know him personally.
"Everyone wants people to be authentic and be themselves, but when they do, they're the first ones to criticise,'' O'Bree said.
"We're a society where the tall poppy syndrome is always alive.
"When some people are authentic and be themselves we're quick to judge.
"Jack wears his heart on his sleeve and that's who he is. Instead of embracing, we tend to criticise."
Ginnivan had seven possessions in the grand final and his only score was a behind.
O'Bree said stats meant little in the role Ginnivan plays for the Pies.
"I congratulate him on getting there and having an impact,'' O'Bree said.
"He's had to change his game which is a difficult thing to do.
"He's had to play a team role. Watching him live (in the grand final) you could see him making different decisions.
"It was always for the betterment of the team. It's a credit to Fly (Craig McRae) and the coaches."
Even after leaving the Pioneers' program to join Collingwood, Ginnivan has remained in strong contact with the club.
He's regularly returned to the club to train with the next crop of talented young players coming through the system.
"His close mates have always been there and always will be because that's the kind of character Jack is - he's incredibly loyal,'' O'Bree said.
"It's great to see him celebrate premiership success."
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