Veteran Tigers’ patience pays off

Richmond’s Shaun Grigg is in the midst of the biggest week of his football life and his father Peter believes it holds extra meaning for the 29-year-old.

Peter Grigg, a respected football man in his own right, said Saturday’s AFL grand final was “extra special” for his son given the journey his football career has taken.

Grigg played all his junior football at Redan and represented the North Ballarat Rebels and St Patrick’s College. He was drafted to Carlton in 2006, where he played 43 games, before finding his way to Richmond in 2011, where he has played 147.

Peter said Grigg left Carlton in search of more opportunity and said Richmond had provided that and more. Peter said given his son’s second chance at the Tigers and being in his 11th season of AFL football, the gravity of this week was not lost on Grigg.

“To play in a grand final is a dream come true,” Peter said.

“It’s been an unbelievable ride, hard work of course.

“It’d be great if they could take it out.

“I think it’s extra special for him, he’s been at Carlton then he headed to Richmond and Richmond’s been a really good club for him, Damien Hardwick’s been an unbelievable coach for him.

“He’ll really appreciate it because he’s come through the hard way, he’s been at Richmond when they’ve been down.

“They’ve been down the ladder and he’s helped them all the way through, I think that’s a really good thing, he’s done the hard yards and now they’re reaping the reward for it.”

Peter said the Richmond Football Club had been outstanding for Shaun as a person and a footballer. He also paid credit to John Jess, who coached Shaun throughout his Redan days – another key person in his development. While Rebels coach Gerard FitzGerald and St Pat’s coach Howard Clark had also been influential in his journey.

“I was just really glad Shaun went to Richmond, because when he went there they gave him a really good chance and he’s taken it with both hands.

“I really appreciate Howard, he’s a great person.

“It’s been a great school for our kids.

“Gerard FitzGerald, when Shaun was at the Rebels, he was amazing for him.”

Shaun was not available for comment given the grand final week commitments.