Jack finally trumps league dad Garry - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Jack finally trumps league dad Garry

By Adrian Warren 02/10/2010 01:42:44 PM Comments (0)

New Sydney Swans club champion Kieren Jack has finally got one up on his famous father Garry, but has revealed how close he came to quitting Australian Rules for rugby league.

On Friday night midfielder Jack, 23, won the Bob Skilton Medal for the Swans' best and fairest player in 2010.

It continued the fairytale rise for the Wollongong-born youngster, the oldest son of Kangaroos rugby league fullback Garry.

Kieren also played rugby league before switching to Australian Rules, but at the age of 15 seriously contemplated returning to his father's code of choice after being told by a NSW coach he was too small to play in the AFL and would never make it to that level.

"That really hurt, I put everything into Australian Rules and to be told that I wasn't good enough, too small and was never going to make it, I considered leaving and going back to rugby league," Jack told AAP.

"But I had great parents and family and they said to me to keep going and keep persevering and use it as motivation and that's what I did.

"This will hopefully inspire some more Sydney kids to play AFL."

Departing Sydney coach Paul Roos revealed he also had some early doubts about whether Jack would cut it at AFL level.

"To be perfectly frank it was really touch and go whether we were going to bring him on board," Roos said.

"Then after twelve months `will we keep him around?', but because of his desire and the fact he wanted to work so hard you could see he wanted to be successful."

Present at the Swans' awards dinner in Sydney, Garry Jack was a proud father and revealed his oldest son had already achieved something he never managed during his illustrious career.

"I never won a best and fairest ever, I played 14 years, I think I finished second a couple of times," Garry Jack told AAP.

"It's a great achievement, who would have thought two years ago he would have won the best and fairest at the Swans."

Kieren Jack took out the Bob Skilton Medal by just a few votes from two first year recruits, ruckman Shane Mumford and midfielder Josh Kennedy.

Sydney chairman Richard Colless paid an emotional tribute to Roos and co-captain Brett Kirk, who have each retired from their respective positions.

Colless rated Roos as by far the greatest coach in Swans history and Kirk as one of the greatest captains the club has had.

"I'm probably one of the few coaches to leave that's still got the full support of the board," Roos joked.

Kieren pointed out he also got good sporting genes through his mother Donna, who reached state level at basketball and volleyball.

His brother Rhys, 21, will play for Canterbury against Windsor Wolves in Sunday's NSW Cup rugby league grand final, but youngest sibling, 16-year-old Brandon, is currently playing Australian Rules with Pennant Hills.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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