JESSE Lonergan's father Danny says it is "special" to see his son Jesse running around for Gold Coast, and has shared the frustration of his 19-year-old son's injury woes in his first two years.
Lonergan will play his first game of the season after being limited to four games last year and having the first part of this season destroyed by injury.
"It has been hard for him, but our advice to him has always been to `keep your head up' and don't let it get you down," he said.
"But he's been like that since he was a kid, he never lets things like this get to him that much.
"When it comes to Jesse and football, he has always been level-headed, he has never let himself be bigger than the game and I think that has helped him."
Like the Kolodjashnijs, Mr Lonergan and his wife Claire will see their son in action in his home state for the first time today.
"With any footy game, I'm always on the edge of my seat, but I do sit back and tend not to say a great deal," he said.
"Claire is the sort of mum that does get nervous for her son when she watches."
Today will be the fourth time (including preseason matches) that Danny and Claire have seen their son in action.
Mr Lonergan admitted it was easier for his family with Jesse's uncle Sam (who played for Essendon and Richmond) in the system, as they knew what to expect as parents of an AFL player.
He also said he was very impressed with Gold Coast as an organisation.