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Jarvis Pina excited to arrive at Swan Districts

Friday, November 12, 2021 - 2:37 PM

After almost joining Swan Districts before being drafted, Jarvis Pina will be strutting his stuff at Steel Blue Oval from 2022 and beyond while hoping to show off his running game wanting to help the black-and-whites continue to grow.

Pina grew up in Mandurah and came through the ranks at Peel Thunder before being picked up in the AFL Rookie Draft by the Fremantle Dockers.

That didn’t quite go to plan and his 2020 season at the Dockers never really got going because of COVID complications, but after a year back in Peel he wanted a fresh start and Swan Districts became the obvious choice.

Being impressed by seeing the colts, reserves and league teams at Swans make finals, wanting to play in front of the loyal and vocal black-and-white supporters, and feeling it would be best for his football all made it an easy choice for the 21-year-old.

"I did see it as being pretty appetising with how the club looks to be on the up in all grades, and that was attractive to be my eyes," Pina said.

"With all three grades being competitive creates a good club and culture to be part of so that did play a big part in my decision. I can't wait to get started now and to be part of it all. We are going to be trying to create something special next year and try to go that little bit further.

"It actually is such a hard ground to play at as the opposition team with how the crowd gets into you. Now that they will be on my side I can't wait. It really is one of the reasons why I wanted to get to Swans and it's just such a strong club with the way it's run, the sponsors and members.

"It's like no other club in the WAFL to be honest with the biggest supporter base, and the loudest. I can't wait to get down there and play a few games in front of the black-and-white."

Pina is excited to now have it sorted where he will be playing his football in 2022 and can't wait to get started at Swan Districts and then to add to the 15 league games he played at Peel across 2019 and 2021.

"It feels great. It feels good to have it all official now and to get my new life at Swans underway. I appreciate the club for getting it done to bring me on board that's for sure. I was a protected player under Peel's list so for them to reach out to me and be keen to have me was a good feeling," he said.

"I was looking to move away from Peel as well so I'm just appreciative to Swans for getting it done and I really like what they are building in terms of all three grades. Their colts, ressies and league all look like they are on the up that's for sure and I just want to be part of that moving forward."

Going back to after the 2019 season and ahead of the AFL Draft, Pina was already considering a move to Swan Districts but ultimately he was rookie-listed by the Dockers and that's where he spent the 2020 season.

However, the seeds had been planted that Swans could make a good home for him and that's certainly how he feels now.

"I met with them once when I spoke with Smarty back before I was drafted but I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do back then if I wasn’t drafted. I was going to make that decision if I didn’t get picked up but luckily enough I got drafted," Pina said.

"I was always looking to move to a new club and I got injured in the back end of the season so I had a fair bit of time in rehab and a lot of time to myself so that gave me a lot of time to think about what I wanted to do next year footy wise.”

"I just felt like I needed a change and to get away from the alignment at Peel and to give myself every opportunity to be the best player I can be. I just approached it like that and Swans got in touch with me and I spoke with them a couple of years ago before I got drafted, so we kind of picked up from there.”

"Things didn’t eventuate before I got drafted because I got picked up but they obviously thought I was the sort of player they wanted to add to their outside game with my run and carry so I can play with their inside players. That's kind of how it all came about."

Bassendean is a long way from Mandurah, but luckily for Pina he had already moved up to the Perth metro area back when he was picked up by Fremantle so he's looking forward to making his way to and from Steel Blue Oval.

"I already live in the East Freo area so I was already travelling down to play with Peel. I was from Mandurah but I moved up when I got drafted to Freo and have stayed up in Perth. I like the lifestyle up here and that's where I'm going to say," he said.

"Depending on the traffic, it should be a bit less travelling time to Bassendean and it should be good. I did struggle with the travel a bit last year but I'm used to it now and I'll be fine to head out to Bassendean in the 30 or 40 minutes it'll take. I'll get used to that trip pretty quickly."

In terms of the role he sees himself playing at Swan Districts in 2022, Pina would like to show what he's capable of by potentially playing on a wing and driving the team forward but if he has to go back to his more comfortable role at half-back, he'll be OK with that too.

"I sort of see myself getting up the ground a little bit more and playing a little bit higher, maybe on the wing. I'll probably try and train there to start off with and see how it goes, and then we'll see where they see me fitting in," Pina said.

"If that doesn’t eventuate I'd be happy to play at half-back and I have played some good footy there before in the past. But I think the plan is to try and push up the ground a little bit more and to be a bit more dangerous and attacking. I think that will suit my game well so I'm excited to see how it goes."

Wanting to make the best possible first impression at his new club is also keeping Pina motivated to make sure he's working hard, and will work hard once pre-season training at Swan Districts gets fully underway.

"It can be a bit daunting coming into a new club but it's exciting at the same time and it gives me that bit of added motivation knowing I have to get after it this pre-season to try and impress all my new teammates, and win the respect of my coaches," he said.

"That helps provide that motivation even when you're training on your own to get ready to make a good impression and I'm looking forward to it.

"I feel like I'm pretty good at making friends and mates pretty quickly so I think I should be fine once I get down there and meet everyone. Any time you meet people for the first time it can be daunting but I'm looking forward to it."

While Pina's sole focus now is on playing good football at Swan Districts, he does look back fondly on his year at the Dockers as an AFL-listed player even if it didn’t really involve any football.

He'd love another opportunity but knows that will only come if he impresses in black-and-white.

"It was a bit unlucky I guess and I was a victim of circumstances in a lot of ways during that year where there was so much uncertainty, no one really knew what was going to happen and we probably missed a good couple of months because of lockdown," Pina said.

"That was in the middle of pre-season really so I didn’t get much of a chance to really develop but having said that, I did enjoy my experience and wouldn’t change it for the world. I made some really good mates and learned a lot about myself mentally even though I didn’t get to play much footy.”

"I still had a great time and we got to spend time over on the Gold Coast and in Cairns so there were some great experience. I haven’t given up the desire to get back on a list either.”

"I got a taste of it and that makes me want it even more actually. It made me more appreciative of footy and has given me a whole new outlook, and that extra drive to try and get back there. That's the long-term goal but I'm just keen on focusing on getting in and settling at Swans now, and playing some good footy."