Shaun Grigg said he will be forever indebted to the Richmond Football Club after the club gave his AFL career new life in 2011.
The Redan junior is now a premiership player after the Tigers defeated Adelaide by 48 points in Saturday’s AFL grand final.
The former Carlton player came to Richmond seeking senior opportunity, which he found quickly, but winning a premiership medallion in his 11th season was tough to put into words.
"Unbelievable, it hasn't sunk in yet,” Grigg said.
"Words can't say it.
"I can't remember to be honest (what I felt when the siren sounded). It was a bit of a blur, I was just rapt.
"I've loved every minute of it (my time at Richmond), I'll be forever indebted to them for recruiting me.”
Grigg spoke of how much his junior club meant to him, while acknowledging his Rebels and St Patrick’s College pathways.
"I played a lot of junior footy at Redan, so I'm pretty close to those guys - that footy club's something special to me and I love getting back there.”
For fellow Ballarat boys Matt and Brad Crouch, the grand final loss is a shattering blow to the Crows brothers.
The Ballarat juniors were among Adelaide’s best, but it means little as they return to South Australia without the premiership cup.
THE big role a tiny south-west Victorian town played in his rise from promising junior to AFL premiership player is not lost on Richmond defender David Astbury.
The resolute backman praised Tatyoon – a powerhouse Mininera and District league club – after playing in the Tigers’ drought-breaking flag on Saturday.
“Tatyoon is my home and on days like today I get so proud of where I’m from and the people that helped faciliate and support my career, I couldn’t be more happier about that,” Astbury said in the jam-packed MCG rooms following the Tigers’ 48-point rout of Adelaide.
“It was everything for me growing up and it seems small now that I live in Melbourne and play for the Richmond footy club but it’s still every bit as important.”
Astbury played in two under-16 flags for Tatyoon before joining TAC Cup club Greater Western Victoria Rebels.