Support crew for Kade on home turf

Sharon, Kade, Paul and Emma Kolodjashnij at home yesterday.
Sharon, Kade, Paul and Emma Kolodjashnij at home yesterday.

AN EMOTIONAL rollercoaster is the best way that Sharon and Paul Kolodjashnij describe the way their lives have been since their twin sons Kade and Jake were drafted to the AFL.

Since that night in November, they have seen their two youngest children move away from home, both to different states, and seen one (Kade) make a flying start to his AFL career and the other (Jake) yet to begin his, despite outstanding form in the VFL.

"It has been surreal, because they both dreamed of playing AFL since they were little," Mrs Kolodjashnij said.

"You do pinch yourself when you see Kade on TV and to see the Kolodjashnij name in the team is just funny in a way.

"It is hard with them being in different states, but we know they are both really happy where they are, and we do our best to support them from home."

Kade, who will play his first AFL game in his home state when Gold Coast visits Aurora Stadium to take on Hawthorn, was yesterday morning relaxing at his parent's Longford home.

The Rising Star favourite said he spoke to his parents at least twice a week.

"I always just make sure we catch up, and talk about everything, including the game that I have just played," he said.

"They've just been great for me and supported me all the way through and I couldn't have asked anything more from them growing up, so I'm just trying to repay them back now."

Kade's parents and sister Emma travelled to Western Australia to see Kade make his debut in round 3 against Fremantle, a journey which cemented how far the No.5 draft pick had come, but noted his desire to do extra physical work was key to him achieving his dream.

"We used to run them around for training and for the (Tassie) Mariners, sitting in the car at training during winter up until 8pm and hoping it would lead to this, and it obviously has, so it is really rewarding to see what they've gone through and that it has come to this," Mrs Kolodjashnij said.

Back on draft night, Sharon and Paul had to balance their emotions, with Kade always going to be drafted (just where was the question) but with Jake having more question marks.

However the outcome was one that was "perfect", with Jake going to the Cats at pick 41.

Mr Kolodjashnij said both clubs were "exceptional" places for their sons to ply their trade, and the distance between the two was not a worry for them.

They describe themselves as very vocal supporters when watching Kade at home but they will be more reserved today.

"When we used to watch Hawthorn play at Aurora, I did say to Kade once `imagine yourself out there playing AFL one day' and now it has come to fruition, but it is amazing and we just can't wait," Mrs Kolodjashnij said.

They aren't sure yet how they will balance things when Jake starts getting regular games for the Cats in regards to which games they attend or watch, or how they will cope when Gold Coast and Geelong clash.

"We're not sure how we will feel, but we will have to be neutral," Mr Kolodjashnij said.

The brothers' feats have also converted Emma into an AFL watcher, saying it was exciting to see Kade doing so well.

"I've taken a lot more interest in the AFL since they have been drafted, and I don't think I've missed a Gold Coast game since Kade was drafted," she said.

"`It will be really cool to see him playing at home, just like watching him play at Launnie (Launceston Football Club) again, just in a Gold Coast jumper."

Today will be the third match they have seen Kade play live, and they will also travel to watch Jake play in the VFL next weekend, and both are planning at least one more trip each this year.

Sixteen members of the family will be at Aurora today for the blockbuster clash.


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