When Sam Gray steps out onto Adelaide Oval to play his 50th AFL game for Port Adelaide on Saturday afternoon, there will be a very special group of spectators in the stands watching.
Forty people from the Eastern Ranges Football Club will be in the stands, cheering him on against the North Melbourne Kangaroos.
Gray started his football at the Rudall Rams Football Club, now Eastern Ranges Football Club, before moving to the Port Adelaide Magpies in 2008 as a 16-year-old.
He said he has fond memories of his junior club.
“My favourite memory from Rudall would have to be when we won the B grade grand final,” Gray said.
“It was also great getting to play with my old man.”
He debuted for the Power in 2014 in round four against the Brisbane Lions with a three-goal performance.
That game was Gray’s best moment from his AFL career so far.
“Playing my first game and getting my first goal at home and having my friends and family there to watch was amazing,” Gray said.
Eastern Ranges Football Club president Mark Hannemann, who coached Mr Gray in junior colts at Rudall, said his skills were evident during his junior years.
“You could see always see how talented he was, even when he was in junior colts,” Mr Hannemann said.
Often referred to as Robbie Gray’s brother, Gray’s real brother, Tom, also shares his talents, playing for the Port Adelaide Magpies and winning the first Eastern Ranges best and fairest award.
The 40 members from Eastern Ranges will also be treated to a guided tour of Alberton Oval by Gray on Thursday.