THE GoPro didn't come anywhere near Jack Ginnivan on Saturday, but the Collingwood small forward was followed by almost every TV camera at the MCG after he responded to a week of intense focus with a career-best performance against Adelaide.
Ginnivan was blasted by Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes for his use of a GoPro in the immediate aftermath of Collingwood's round one win over St Kilda.
Collingwood's cheer squad sent a cryptic message to Cornes on the banner before the opening bounce, before Isaac Quaynor was handed the GoPro by the Magpies' digital team after the 42-point win made it two wins from two starts under new coach Craig McRae.
The 19-year-old used the first external criticism of his career to help inspire a performance that solidified his spot in Collingwood's forward line, accumulating a career-high 21 disposals, eight score involvements, five inside 50s, 453 metres gained and 1.2 in just his seventh game of League football.
"I don't really care about what people say or anything like that. It was a good opportunity to get back on the field and really show what I can do and prove a point. It didn't really affect me at all, it was motivation if anything," Ginnivan told AFL.com.au after Collingwood's round two win.
"All the boys have been around, especially the coach as well, he had my back the whole time and the whole club does. We're in a really good spot at the moment and really happy."
While much of the focus was on Ginnivan in the build-up to Saturday's game at the MCG, the focus dramatically shifted to a piercing evacuation alarm early in the second quarter that almost forced the 36,843 in attendance out of the ground.
Supporters were directed to vacate the MCG immediately while the players were directed to congregate inside the centre square. The drama only lasted a handful of minutes, with a small fire on level four of the Ponsford Stand blamed for the disruption.
"It was pretty weird. I was standing on the half-back flank and they started talking and I've never seen that before in any games. I was like: What the hell is going on? I was standing next to James Rowe and we were just baffled by it. It was pretty cool to experience that.," Ginnivan said.
The rookie from Castlemaine broke through for a debut late in his first season in the AFL in 2021, played the final five games under caretaker coach Robert Harvey and carried the momentum into his second pre-season at the AIA Centre.
Ginnivan knows that taste of senior football whetted his appetite for much more in 2022, forcing his way into McRae's round one plans after eye-catching performances against Hawthorn in Morwell and Greater Western Sydney at Giants Stadium.
"It was really important to get a little bit of a taste of AFL footy. I played five games last year and every game you play you get a little bit more of a taste and then to have another pre-season under my belt was really important," he said.
"My fitness has got heaps better. I came in as a tubby small forward but I've grown a couple of centimetres, filled out a little bit. It was a real focus coming into my second pre-season. I think I've ticked it off and it's allowed my footy to go to the next level."
Ginnivan is now hitting the scoreboard in the AFL, but the Bendigo Pioneers product has been kicking goals for most of his life.
When Ginnivan was only an 11-year-old he booted 119 goals for Newstead, falling narrowly short of the club's record which is held by his father. The fact that his dad was the coach at the time and moved him into defence to preserve his record is a tale for another time.
"That's my favourite thing to do, as you can probably tell," he says with a big grin.
"Since I was a young kid, I think about 11 or 12, I've just loved kicking goals. I've always been a forward; I've never been a midfielder. Coming into the AFL system not trying to turn into a midfielder. That's the hardest position trying to get into, just being a small forward."