Jake’s Giant Leap into the AFL
The local community is proud to have one of their own sporting champions reach the highest level recently, with Luddenham raised Jake Stein pulling on the orange and charcoal jersey to make his AFL debut for the GWS Giants against the North Melbourne Kangaroos.
What makes this achievement even more incredible is that 25-year-old Stein only began playing Australian Rules Football for the Giants in the NEAFL just two years ago, after a successful career in athletics competing in the decathlon.
“Making my AFL debut for the Giants was unbelievable. I was nervous and excited from finding out to the build-up before the game and the game itself. The support I received from everyone was great. Playing with the Giants boys at that level was amazing” Jake told the Mulgoa Valley Gazette.
Growing up in Luddenham, Jake has many fond memories of his time there, “I started school at Holy Family Catholic Primary School and went there from kindergarten to year six. I lived in the area for 15 to 20 years. The people in the community are nice and easy going. I have two brothers and we all learnt how to play sport there, whether it was soccer or cricket”.
Jake’s rise to play in the AFL came after he represented Australia at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in the Decathlon. A junior athlete with Warradale LAC, he was the first life member who was an athlete with the club.
Jake also played soccer with St Marys Convent Soccer Club and Marconi.
“As a kid, I was always playing sport. Running around or just kicking balls, I wanted to keep busy. My parents have been very supportive and encouraged me with whatever I was playing or competing in. They sacrificed a lot for my brothers and I with sport and everyday life” he said.
Jake is now focused on cementing a place in the Giants AFL team, “I’ve reset my goals. I’d love to break into the AFL team. If I play well, my confidence and self-belief with follow. It’s a hard team to get into and I’m determined to get there”.