LOOKING at the Giampaolo brothers, you might find it hard to believe they are even related.
Watch them on the football field, however, and their ability will leave you with little doubt they share the same blood.
The Redan duo will play in their first final together on Sunday, pulling on the maroon and gold for the Lion’s do-or-die clash with Darley.
For older brother Jarrett, 27, it is familiar territory.
He has been part of three senior premierships for Redan and playing on Eastern Oval in September comes as second nature.
Chris, however, has taken a different path and will find himself playing in his second final in as many weeks for different teams.
Just last week he played in the North Ballarat Roosters’ VFL elimination final loss to Werribee Tigers.
Now, he turns his attention to helping Redan avoid a straight sets exit from the finals.
“It would’ve been nice to be able to win a VFL final but that wasn’t the case, and now I can focus on Redan – and we need to win three finals to get the flag,” said Chris, 23.
“It would be a great feeling to win a senior flag because that’s what you play footy for.”
Of course, brothers would not be brothers if there was not the perennial debate as to who was the better footballer.
Both have a football pedigree.
Their father, Frank, played 53 games for Melbourne in the VFL in the 1970s, before moving to Sandringham in the VFA in 1978 and winning the Zebras’ best and fairest.
When quizzed, neither wanted to declare who was better, although a sly grin spread across Chris’ face when he replied “no comment”.
“Over a few drinks I might get a bit lippy,” he said as the banter flies.
Jarrett is a little more diplomatic.
“I’ll claim that I’ve won three flags and he’s won none, but he’s played at a higher standard,” the elder brother quipped.
“I didn’t play a lot of footy until I was about 15 or 16.
“ I did play but I wasn’t as interested in it. Chris was always outside kicking the footy.
“Maybe that’s why he’s better.”
And just like that, the truth comes out.
Jarrett, affectionately known as ‘Rooster’, is in his first year as Redan captain, while Chris has been through the TAC Cup system with North Ballarat Rebels and has been on the Roosters’ list since making his VFL debut in 2010.
Before this year, the pair had barely played together.
Even in their home town of Horsham, they played at different clubs.
Chris played junior footy for the Horsham Demons, the miracle club of bush footy that won a remarkable 10 consecutive senior premierships in the Wimmera Football League, while Jarrett pulled on the boots for the Horsham Saints.
Before this year they had only played one match together, but the axing of the Roosters’ development team this year has enabled Chris to play nine games for Redan throughout the season.
“Jarrett is more in and under and gets in the footy and I’m probably the opposite. Hopefully Jarrett can feed it out to me on the outside,” Chris said.
They might not look similar in person – in fact, far from it – but both will be crucial in Redan’s fortunes on Sunday afternoon.
But how do they explain their vast differences in appearance?
“Dad’s Italian and Mum, I suppose she’s got a little bit of Irish in her and I’ve got that, whereas Chris looks exactly like Dad,” Jarrett said.
“He’s a spitting image, especially now he’s got the little moustache on him.”