Brodie Grundy celebrates his goal against the Crows in 2018. Picture: AFL Photos

IT was the night Brodie Grundy and his Collingwood team made career and season shaping statements.

Round four, 2018. Crows versus the Pies at Adelaide Oval.

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Grundy was five seasons and three matches into his AFL journey, Collingwood had not played finals the previous four seasons.

With a 33-disposal (23 of those contested), 40-hitout, 12-clearance and goal-of-the-year contending performance, Grundy led the Magpies to a devastating 48-point win, which was the starting point to a season which took them all the way to the Grand Final.


Grundy, an All-Australian member and Collingwood's best-and-fairest winner for the past two seasons, has told his performance in Adelaide that night allowed him to believe he belonged among the AFL elite.

"Looking back, the theme of that match, and I am sure the players and the club won’t mind me sharing this, was the sense of selflessness and connection," Grundy said.

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"It had been four years where we had missed finals and the club and the players and team and the fans, everyone, wanted answers.

"We came back to each other and that was the focus of that Crows game. And what it did was provide us with a massive sign that we could belong at the level.


"And from a personal point of view, for me as a young player, a young ruckman, you're always told you don't develop until you're 25, 26, but growing up not playing much football, I never really subscribed to those sentiments.

"I always wanted to make an impression straight away. You grow up in Adelaide, and I remember looking up to Sam Jacobs and Ivan Maric. I was 15 and doing training with the Crows for a week through the AIS program. You spend years and years looking up to those people, and knocking on their door, and then when you can knock the door down and walk through it is a massive confidence booster.

"And for me, that Crows game was a sign I belonged at the upper level."