It’s the Collingwood bromance built on banter.
Jack Ginnivan first registered on Isaac Quaynor’s radar when his agent, John Meesen, asked him two years ago to look out for a “cheeky” new draftee and fellow Kapital Sports Group client.
But it wasn’t until this past summer when Ginnivan’s bravado and spunk caught Quaynor’s attention and he began gravitating to him.
Quaynor was mic’d up one pre-season session and, as a small defender, found himself regularly alongside the dangerous goalsneak.
“I was running past him just trying to razz him up a little bit, and he bit back,” he said of Ginnivan.
“We played on each other in a lot of the match simulation stuff towards the end of pre-season and it was always good fun.
“The more games you play, the more comfortable you feel, so when he wasn’t playing AFL football, he was kind of in his shell a little bit, then as his confidence grew he started to express himself in his own unique way.
“He’s a very confident fella out on the field, he’s very talented, he does some freaky things and he talks a lot of crap when he’s out there – and I love that.”
They have become best mates, with Quaynor watching in awe as the 19-year-old transformed into a “national sensation”.
The pair make up half of the Collingwood representation in the 40-man AFL Players’ Association 22 Under 22 squad, alongside Nathan Murphy and Rising Star favourite Nick Daicos.
“The best part is there are four of us this year and there’s a few other boys who could have been in the mix if they’d played a few more games,” Quaynor said.
“It’s an exciting young group we’ve got at the moment.”
But it hasn’t been all smooth sailing for Quaynor and Ginnivan, who were caught up in a TikTok controversy in June after taking part in a social media trend where they rated women on their features and looks.
“You need to learn from the mistakes you make, and I definitely did,” he said.
“As soon as it came to the media and ‘Wrighty’ (football boss Graham Wright) and things like that; I was automatically remorseful and wanted to get that apology video out to try and nip it in the bud.
“It was pretty full-on but sometimes you’ve got to cop a whack to learn some things.”
Quaynor is convinced Collingwood can win this year’s premiership after a barnstorming run of 11 consecutive victories, including six straight by single-digit margins and eight overall.
The extraordinary run comes a year after the Pies finished second-last and sacked coach Nathan Buckley before hiring Craig McRae, who won his players over with a pre-season pledge to be “a man of his word”.
“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind and a great year to date,” Quaynor said.
“I think the way ‘Fly’ (McRae) and the rest of the coaching staff have been able to direct the ship and create this family, winning environment and culture so quickly is pretty special.
“Us young boys are really buying into that and kind of drive that, which really helps as well.”
Voting runs from August 10 to 17 at 22under22.com.au, with the final team announced on August 23 on the AFL’s social media channels
AFLPA 22UNDER22 SQUAD
Keidean Coleman (Bris), Isaac Quaynor (Coll), Nathan Murphy (Coll), Nick Daicos (Coll), Hayden Young (Frem), Jordan Clark (Frem), Sam De Koning (Geel), Harrison Petty (Melb), Bailey Scott (NM), Nick Blakey (Syd), Tom McCartin (Syd)
Sam Berry (Adel), Adam Cerra (Carl), Sam Walsh (Carl), Andrew Brayshaw (Frem), Caleb Serong (Frem), Matt Rowell (GC), Noah Anderson (GC), Tom Green (GWS), Jai Newcombe (Haw), James Jordon (Melb), Connor Rozee (PA), Zak Butters (PA), Chad Warner (Syd), James Rowbottom (Syd), Justin McInerney (Syd), Bailey Smith (WB)
Darcy Fogarty (Adel), Cameron Rayner (Bris), Jack Ginnivan (Coll), Nic Martin (Ess), Michael Frederick (Fre), Izak Rankine (GC), Kysaiah Pickett (Melb), Max King (StK), Errol Gulden (Syd), Aaron Naughton (WB), Cody Weightman (WB)
Luke Jackson (Melb), Noah Balta (Rich)