Sunday, June 23, 2024

Ginnivan loving life at Hawthorn after admitting it was “very hard to be a forward at Collingwood”

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Jack Ginnivan is loving playing up forward for his new club Hawthorn.

The 2023 Collingwood premiership player was traded to Waverley Park in the off-season and it hasn’t taken the 21-year-old long to make an impact, playing in all 11 games so far this season in brown and gold, kicking 12 goals.

While he’s averaging fewer goals than he did in 2021 and 2022, Ginnivan is getting far more footy up the ground, seeing his disposals per game rising from 9.1 in 2023 to 15.2 in 2024. He’s also seen his averages jump in marks, tackles and inside 50s.

Ginnivan thinks that he’s benefitted from some added freedom playing as a forward under Sam Mitchell.

He compared that to his role at Collingwood where he said it was ‘very hard’ to be a forward as he was often stuck on one half of the ground, sticking to the coach’s structure.

“Collingwood is a very structured system, it’s very hard to be a forward at Collingwood,” Ginnivan said on SEN Breakfast.

“Sometimes there were a few dark days where you’re wearing the invisible cloak. At Hawthorn, which has been so great for me, you’re allowed to be free and you can go and change over patterns and stuff. At Collingwood you were stuck on one side and things like that.

“It’s been great to be able to roam free and be able to touch the ball more because I feel like when I touch the ball it can work really well.”

One thing that Ginnivan brought with him over from Collingwood was an insight into how the Magpies operate in close games, something they’ve become famous for under Craig McRae’s reign.

Ginnivan says that Sam Mitchell has picked his brain about what he’s learned in close games and that he tries to help his teammates through late-game situations.

“Yeah, definitely (Mitchell has picked my brain),” he said on SEN Breakfast.

“It would be silly not to because I’ve been in that situation so many times.

“We saw last week I was on the bench trying to coach a little bit. I love being in close situations and I feel like I know what I need to do in close situations. I help people around me feel comfortable.

“Unfortunately, last week we just had to go through that loss to realise what we can do.

“He definitely picks my brain.”

While Ginnivan is playing as a half-forward in 2024, he thinks that he has the capacity to one day add that midfield string to his bow.

He believes his capability on-ball is untapped as he continuously improves his fitness.

“I feel like my midfield capacity is untapped,” Ginnivan said.

“I’ve always played forward as a kid and potentially I don’t know what I can do through the midfield. With my work rate, I’ve always been able to work hard to get into a hole, but I’m probably not fit enough. I feel like I’m getting really fit (now).

“If I can get up the field and touch the ball more it would be a great thing to do.”

Ginnivan and the Hawks, who are coming off a 100-75 Round 11 win over the Lions, next host the Crows at the MCG on Saturday afternoon.

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