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'Jack's decision': Pies deny forcing Ginnivan out as goalsneak heads to Hawks

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18th October, 2023
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Collingwood premiership player Jack Ginnivan will be a Hawk in 2024, after Hawthorn agreed to terms with the Magpies to secure the talented goalsneak.

In what became a late-Trade Period bombshell, details emerged on the penultimate day of the period that the Magpies were willing to part ways with the 20-year old, who booted 40 goals in an outstanding second season at the highest level in 2022.

The Hawks quickly became frontrunners to secure Ginnivan, and he officially requested a trade on Wednesday, with the deal quickly made official.

As part of the trade, the Hawks have nabbed Ginnivan as well as future second- and fourth-round draft picks from Collingwood, while the Magpies in return receive pick 33 and future second- and third-round picks.

Ginnivan farewelled the Pies in trademark fashion, posting to social media thanking the club for a ‘f–king ride’.

“We appreciate and accept Jack’s decision to seek further opportunity at Hawthorn,” Magpies football general manager Graham Wright said in a statement.

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“Jack’s contribution over the last three years has been significant and includes being a member of the 2023 Premiership team, which he’ll always be a part of.

“Jack is still only 20 years old and has a lot of football ahead of him.

“On behalf of everyone at Collingwood we wish him well in all his future endeavours.”

Having fallen to the fringes of the Pies’ best team in 2023 after the arrival of eventual Norm Smith Medallist Bobby Hill in last year’s Trade Period, regularly starting as the sub before being named in the 22 for the grand final, Ginnivan was set to face even more pressure to keep his spot with the arrival of another goalsneak in Lachie Schultz from Fremantle.

Jack Ginnivan celebrates kicking a goal.

Jack Ginnivan. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

The youngster leaves Collingwood in slightly acrimonious circumstances, having drawn the ire of coach Craig McRae for a trip to the races on grand final eve, while conflicting reports had Ginnivan’s management suggesting the club was forcing him out the door, while the Magpies maintained it was the Ginnivan camp seeking an exit from the final year of his contract.

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Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Wright has claimed it was ‘Jack’s decision’ to leave the club.

“He was a contracted player, he’s a premiership player, he’s 20 years old, and we were pretty clear we saw it that way,” Wright said.

“It was Jack’s decision to look elsewhere. In the end we appreciate that, we accept it and we move on.”

In just three seasons, the 20-year old has already become one of the AFL’s most widely discussed and polarising players.

In 2022, he first raised the ire of opposition fans for his ability to win high contact free kicks, often by ‘ducking’ into tackles; later, a league-wide crackdown on Ginnivan’s tactics saw umpires accused of bias after a serious of apparent free kicks weren’t paid to him.

In February, a video emerged of Ginnivan taking an illicit substance in a Torquay hotel bathroom on a Magpies training tour, which saw him suspended for the first two matches of the home-and-away season.

Playing just 14 games for the season and booting 12 goals, 2023 was a far cry from his superb 2022 season, which saw him boot 40 goals, including five in the Magpies’ Anzac Day win over Essendon which saw him claim the Anzac Medal.

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He is set to play a crucial role in attack for the Hawks in the years to come, with young goalsneak Tyler Brockman traded to West Coast and veteran Luke Breust in the twilight of his glittering career.

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