Triple premiership Hawk Jack Gunston is set to play his 200th game against Sydney on Saturday afternoon. Close friend, on-field partner-in-crime and golfing rival Luke Breust gave aflplayers.com.au an insightful perspective on the star forward.
Before Jack got to the Hawks, I didn’t know too much about him. But as soon as he joined the footy club, we hit it off straight away.
We had a lot of things in common off the field, and on-field and at training, playing in the same part of the ground – it was sort of natural to build that connection.
It’s an interesting relationship.
We’re both ultra-competitive, so no matter what it is we’re always competing against each other.
It’s like that on the basketball court, it’s like that with table tennis, it’s like that with FIFA on the PlayStation.
And in particular, it’s like that with golf.
I’ve got a lower handicap as we speak, but it’s only 0.5 of a difference, so it’s very tight.
In the hub life up here in Sydney at the moment, it’s 2-1 to me, so I’ve currently got the upper hand. It’s always a bit of fun.
On the field, sharing the forward line with Jack has been awesome.
During that three-peat period, we had such a tight-knit group.
In games, there was never any real need to communicate things with Jack verbally, because we’d know exactly what we’d do on the field at any given time.
Jack started to come into his own on the field and nailed that third-tall role when we had Buddy Franklin and Jarryd Roughead.
Jack is one of the craftiest forwards I’ve played with, his ability to get his opponent’s eyes off the ball or off himself so that he can slip around and take the mark is the best in the game from my point of view.
He’s been a big game player and a very reliable set shot. His routine in front of goal is so sound that no matter how much pressure he’s under, he’s able to execute.
He has a capacity to deal with mental pressure, and it’s certainly helped him in those big moments. It’s been a massive attribute of his that he’s been able to execute over a long period of time.
He’s had to change his game a bit, too.
Without ‘Bud’ and ‘Rough’, he’s really had to put in the hours in the gym to try to put on some muscle and bulk, because he’s taking better defenders.
We had to put the onus on ourselves, which drove us as individuals.
Luckily, Jack and I have been able to get on the end of a few and convert.
To kick 100 goals between us in 2018 was a pretty special achievement, and something I’ll definitely remember when I finish footy.
He speaks when he needs to, and when he does speak people listen. He trains and prepares really well and works his arse off in the gym.
We always ‘chip him’ about growing up being a private schoolboy, but he’s pretty genuine, he’s a ripper lad. You can always rely on him, he’s a great mate to have.
Mate, congratulations on 200 games, it’s an outstanding achievement.
You’ve been such a durable player, one of the smartest forwards that I’ve played with and so crafty around goal. Well done mate and all the best for Saturday.