Jeremy Finlayson’s close bond with fellow indigenous teammate Zac Williams has helped inspire his stunning transformation at GWS.
Finlayson and Williams sit just one locker apart in the Giants’ dressing room, and Finlayson has opened up about a private pre-game ritual the pair share which recognises their Aboriginal heritage.
Hailing from different parts of the NSW Riverina, the GWS duo have made their cultural ties into an art form by playing a role in designing the Giants’ indigenous jersey for this year.
The main input from Finlayson and Williams was a handprint design that surrounds the number on the back in a circle, which is symbolic of the connection that players at the club share.
For them, that bond is even tighter.
“Before every game, we always go, ‘let’s go, and just get around each other as we go out and practically run out together every game,” Finlayson said.
“(My indigenous heritage) is on my dad’s side, so I’m thinking of him and nan and it gets me driven up before the game.”
Williams said the ritual was about family.
“Jeremy and I are very close,’’ he said.
“We’re both really family orientated. We sit there and have a bit of banter but at the same time realise the position where we are, and have a bit of gratitude for our families.
“A lot of young indigenous men struggle moving away from home, so the fact we’ve had each other for so long has just brought us very close together.”
Williams said he and Finlayson were passionate about being hands-on with the Giants’ indigenous jersey, which will be worn in rounds 10 and 11.
“We loved the fact that it was a circle that represents the community and the club,’’ he said.