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Friends, family and flags; the Jack Redden story

Ahead of Jack Redden’s 200th game this weekend, premiership teammate Luke Shuey provides a unique insight into what the unassuming and selfless midfielder is like on and off-the-field. 

I first met Jack over a decade ago ahead of the 2008 AFL Draft camp (now known as the AFL Combine). Although we didn’t get to spend too much time together, eventually being drafted to opposite sides of the country, we’d always say ‘g’day’ when we crossed paths.

In 2015, when whispers began swirling that he might request a trade away from Brisbane, I couldn’t have been quicker to pick up my phone and send him a text. I’m so thankful he made the move west.

When ‘Reddo’ arrived at the club ahead of the 2016 season he was a little beat up. He’d had a few surgeries at the conclusion of the Lions’ season and missed the early parts of pre-season, so he was on the back foot but after the season he’d had we knew what he was going to be capable of producing.

Reddo played some good footy for us over the year, but in 2018 he took his game to another level and played a significant hand in us winning the premiership.

In my 11 years in the AFL system I don’t think I’ve ever played with anyone who is as selfless as Reddo. It’s a pretty good sentiment considering what a wonderful player he’s been over the years.

Everyone talks about how special it is to win a best and fairest in a premiership season, and there’s no doubt Elliot Yeo was our best player, but Reddo came pretty bloody close and was rewarded for his efforts after being adjudged as the player of the finals. That says a lot about his 2018 season.

We’ve shared plenty of on-field memories over the years but the premiership and everything that came with last season are the ones I’ll cherish. We work closely in the midfield group and to be able to see him play his best football up close was something special.

Away from the football field, Reddo is a caring and genuine bloke. He’s got a wonderful family here in Perth with his wife Aymee and young daughter Izzy. During our 2018 season, Adam Simpson (West Coast Eagles coach) coined the mantra ‘friends, family and flags’ and Reddo typifies every single one of those themes. He’s not only a great teammate but a great family man.

He’s a straight forward bloke – what you see is what you get.

When he first made the move to Perth I tried to make it as easy as possible for him and since then our friendship has developed.

As much as we’re teammates, we are also good friends. Spending each day together at the club you get to know each other pretty well but Reddo is someone who I know I will maintain a friendship with once our football days are over.

Good luck in your 200th game, Reddo.