Former Collingwood forward Jack Ginnivan has been blasted for his pre-season no-show at his new AFL club Hawthorn.
Clubs’ first-to-fourth-year players started their preparations for the 2024 season this week, but Ginnivan – who was not obligated to attend – chose to stay on his extended break.
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Ginnivan played in Collingwood’s epic grand final victory before his bombshell move to Hawthorn.
Players who play later into the finals series are granted extra time off given they have remained in training deeper into the year.
But Port Adelaide legend turned commentator Kane Cornes was unimpressed by Ginnivan’s decision, given the player’s history of unwanted headlines.
Ginnivan shows off his new colours following the bombshell move from Collingwood. Credit: hawthornfc.com.au
“I don’t think with (former Sydney player) Dylan (Stephens) and his experience he was required to be there, but he turned up at his new club (North Melbourne) and he won the (time trial) test,” Cornes said on SEN.
“(North co-captain) Jy Simpkin was there (and) he didn’t need to be there. Liam Shiels was out there in season number 16. I thought, ‘Good on you, Liam, for turning up and setting the example,’ which is what you’re there to do.
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“At the Bombers, (veteran star) Dyson Heppell was there. (New Bomber and former Kangaroo) Todd Goldstein was even there, this guy is 34 years of age.
“At the Hawks, (captain) James Sicily was there, Dylan Moore was there, and James Worpel was there, they didn’t need to be there.
“One player who wasn’t there was Jack Ginnivan.
“Jack Ginnivan needed to be there, I don’t care what anyone says.
“He wasn’t required to be there by law because he played long in the season, he played in the grand final. That means you get extra leave and he’s probably not required back for some time yet.
“But if you were ever going to want to have a first impression, Jack Ginnivan needed to be at his new club on day one of pre-season.”
In January this year Collingwood was hit by a drugs bombshell when Ginnivan was caught using an illicit substance at a training camp at Lorne.
He was later banned from practice matches and suspended for the early rounds of the season. He has also received a $5000 suspended sanction and was ordered to take in education programs.
During the year he struggled to get back in the team and he again made headlines for attending a horse racing event on grand final eve.
Ginnivan was in hot water ahead of the AFL season. Credit: Getty Images
Following the premiership victory, Collingwood coach Craig McRae said in his post-grand final press conference: “Read the room, Jack.
“You’ve got to grow up, but you’ve got to make mistakes to learn from them.”
Cornes said Ginnivan – who was often the sub for Collingwood and did not clock up big miles during a game – had not had a big workload throughout the year
“He doesn’t need the extra break,” Cornes said.
“He’s 20 years of age. He’s played 42 games, a lot of those were as the sub.
“It’s not as if he is (Collingwood champion) Scott Pendlebury who needs a rest, it’s Jack Ginnivan.
“I just would have thought I would have loved for him to be out there in good shape.
“I would have planned my overseas trip so that I was back on day one of pre-season. I think it would have been a huge boost for his teammates to see him out there.
“He needs a big pre-season and he needed to make a statement.
“It’s certainly not a hanging offence. I’m not going to hold it against him, but I was just a little bit disappointed that he wasn’t there.
“I just think there’s only so much help we can give Jack and I think that the penny’s going to have to drop at some point.
“I’m not sure it’s quite dropped yet.”
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