JOSH Jenkins’ sister said it still hasn’t sunk in that her big brother is playing in tomorrow’s AFL Grand Final.
Jenna Jenkins, 27, has been one of her brother’s biggest supporters since day dot, and while she always had his back, she still cannot believe that the Crows forward has made it to where he is now.
She was in Adelaide last week as the Crows booked their spot in the decider with a convincing win against Geelong.
“I think everyone was just a little emotional [when the final siren sounded], even now it still hasn’t sunk in,” she said.
“Everyone is very excited — I don’t think anyone really expected him to get there.
“Maybe when he runs out tomorrow, or in the parade, it might finally feel real."
Ms Jenkins, along with a large contingent of family and friends from the region, have made their way down to Melbourne for today’s grand final parade.
The two siblings have been in frequent contact this week and little sister has ensured that big brother is coping just fine with the pressures of the biggest week in football.
“I’ve spoken to him a couple of times, he’s actually probably sick of me annoying him all week,” she said.
As a promising young athlete, Jenkins rose through the ranks as a gifted basketballer, finding himself battling NBA star Matthew Dellavedova as a teenager.
Jenkins at one point found himself on the bench for NBL franchise Townsville Crocodiles, but quickly found himself back playing for the Mount Gambier Pioneers in the SEABL.
His dream was to play in the NBA, and he had toured the United States with an underage national schoolboys team, but a return home to the Mallee rekindled his passion for footy while at the Lake Boga Football Club.
The rest is history.
“It’s so weird, it feels like only yesterday that he was playing basketball,” Ms Jenkins said.
Ms Jenkins, who like her grandmother was a passionate Saints fan, said the Crows were now without a doubt the number one side in her books.
Even though Swan Hill is jam-packed with passionate clans of Richmond fans, Ms Jenkins said an Adelaide premiership would be one for the whole town to cherish.
“I’ve only just got back from Adelaide so I’ve gone from Crows-mania to Richmond-mania,” she said.
“Not only are our family and friends excited, but I’m sure the whole of Swan Hill is too.”
To read more local reaction to tomorrow's AFL Grand Final, grab a copy of Friday's Guardian (September 29).