HORSHAM-BRED South Barwon Swans footballer Jordan Duncan revealed the tragic story of quadriplegic co-coach Casey Tutungi was the inspiration behind his side’s Geelong Football League grand final victory.
Tutungi, 27, injured his spine in an incident against St Joseph’s midway through the season.
The former Geelong VFL player was told by doctors he would never be able to walk or use his arms again.
The Swans defeated Grovedale by 20 points at Simonds Stadium at the weekend.
Duncan said Tutungi’s massive role was important for the club.
“Casey addressed us at the start of the game and he teared up a bit, which sort of hit home that it’s just a game and he’s going through more than we’ll probably ever go through in our lives,” he said.
“At that point, most of the boys just said they wanted to win it for Casey regardless, and that’s how we played.
“He said how proud he was of us after the game and a few of the boys teared up.
“It was a great feeling.”
Duncan made it a hat-trick of senior premierships, with his first two coming at Horsham Demons.
When asked how it compared to his Wimmera league flags, Duncan said they were both special moments.
“It was just as good, but I probably had to work a lot harder because it’s a much better league,” he said.
“I’ll never forget those Wimmera league premierships.
“I love the Horsham boys and those grand finals were special as well.”
The defender-turned-forward, who moved to Geelong during the off-season to study a Bachelor of Commerce at Deakin University in Melbourne, kicked 48 goals in 17 matches during his debut season for the Swans, which included two in the decider.
Next up on Duncan’s agenda is a VFL testing day with Essendon next week before he joins the Bombers’ pre-season training in mid-October.