Keith’s born and bred West Coast Eagles footballer Jack Redden will be making his home town proud at this Saturday’s AFL grand final.
Jack’s dad and Keith local Tony Redden told the Chronicle the whole family would be attending the big game in Melbourne, and they had all been looking forward to this moment for a long time.
“We’ve all got tickets – my wife, our children, the extended family etcetera,” he said. “This weekend is going to be unbelievable.
“When you have a kid that gets drafted to play sport at such a high level it’s an unreal feeling to have.”
Tony said although he was excited about the upcoming match, at times watching his son in action could be difficult.
“Going to watch them is pretty gut-wrenching sometimes,” he said.
“You see everything and want them to perform their best but the reality is sometimes it doesn’t always go well.”
Tony said for as long as he could remember Jack had always been a gun on the football field.
“He always used to kick the footy in the backyard and then when he was old enough started as a young tacker for the Keith junior colts,” he said.
“Jack then played in the Keith senior team for one year before moving to Adelaide and attending Sacred Heart College.
“He then went on to play a bit of footy at Glenelg and then got drafted in 2008 and spent seven years playing for the Brisbane Lions before moving to the West Coast Eagles.”
Redden has now reached young veteran status, having now played 187 AFL games.
Playing for the powerful Eagles unit, Jack has become a strong and valued midfielder who is in some of the best form of his career at the moment.
He was rated as best-on-ground by coaches Adam Simpson and Simon Goodwin in last Saturday’s dominant preliminary final win over Melbourne.
Although the 27-year-old currently lives in Perth with his wife Aymee and young daughter, dad Tony believes Jack will eventually return home to his roots.
“I think Jack will play footy for as long as he can, but I definitely see him coming back to South Australia at some point in the future,” he said.
“It’ll be great to see more of him, but for now he’s doing his thing as a footballer.”
Tony told the Chronicle the whole family was banking on West Coast bringing home the 2018 title.
“Of course they’re going to win – it’ll be a great game!”
It’s been a big week for ex-Keith Crows, with another former junior Lewis Hender playing in North Adelaide’s dramatic SANFL grand final win over hot favourites Norwood last Sunday.
West Coast’s win last Saturday meant the dream of two brothers from this part of the world would have to wait. Edenhope-bred brothers Tom and Oscar McDonald are both key position players with Melbourne and were part of the Demons’ losing side.
RECOMMENDED: Photos from KNTFL grand final day at Keith