Jack Ginnivan's shock trade from Collingwood to Hawthorn is still being talked about, despite featuring three times for his boyhood club.

As the Pies and Hawks are set to do battle during the AFL's Gather Round on Sunday at Adelaide Oval, Ginnivan recounts his career to date and the "rollercoaster" it has been since he debuted in 2021.

The goalsneak has opened up about the surprise move to the Hawks, despite winning a flag a month earlier in the black and white.

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 16: Jack Ginnivan of the Magpies celebrates a goal during the 2023 AFL Round 05 match between the Collingwood Magpies and the St Kilda Saints at Adelaide Oval on April 16, 2023 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

"It started halfway through the year... I got dropped against West Coast and I didn't have the best game, but although there were three injuries, I still knew I was going to get dropped," Ginnivan said.

"I remember just sitting in the rooms after the West Coast game, Round 13, Mum and Dad came over (to Western Australia), just balling my eyes out to them, knowing I'm not playing next week.

"And if I'm not playing now, then I'm going to be playing VFL for four weeks and have a really good stint and if I don't, then I won't be playing in the finals."

After 10 weeks out of the senior side, Ginnivan eventually made his way back into Craig McRae's lineup for the Round 22 clash with Geelong as the sub.

Alternating between the tactical sub and starting in the 22, Ginnivan felt the rollercoaster all the way until the last Saturday in September.

He infamously went to the Moonee Valley racecourse on grand final eve – when he collected jockey silks of Craig Williams for Mad Monday celebrations – in a bid to take his mind off football.

The following day, the 21-year-old played the entire grand final against Brisbane and accepted his premiership medallion as a Collingwood player.

Both McRae and captain Darcy Moore are on record saying his decision to head to the races the evening before an AFL Grand Final was "extraordinary" while the coach felt he needed to "grow up" and "read the room".

At his exit interview, Ginnivan felt a shift in the club's desire for him to stay, including teammates whilst rival clubs, including Hawthorn, were calling to seek out his availability, despite being contracted until the end of 2024.

"Nothing really came of it apart from until Fly's (McRae) press conference and my exit meeting and that was sort of when I knew I probably should leave," Ginnivan told the Tommy Talks podcast.

"I had the exit meeting with Fly and a few things in there were a bit … that was a bit eye-opening that exit meeting."

Ginnivan was still contracted with the Magpies for a further year, which was ultimately trumped by the four years put forward by Hawthorn.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 16: Jack Ginnivan of the Hawks celebrates a goal with teammates during the 2024 AFL Round 01 match between the Essendon Bombers and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 16, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

“I have one year there (Collingwood) and no one has reached out wanting me to stay,” Ginnivan said.

“And I have Hawthorn where I have had 10 players message me saying ‘come to the Hawks'. I have a four-year deal and it's my childhood dream to play for Hawthorn.

“The most disappointing thing was probably just no coach or player reaching out to say ‘I want you to stay and we really value you' and those things.

“There were so many Hawks boys that messaged me … that made me feel really special and I am loving it at the Hawks.”

Ginnivan's opening three games in the brown and gold have highlighted his football nous and IQ.

Coach Sam Mitchell has given the forward more freedom to advance up the field and get involved in the contest.

Ginnivan has averaged 15 touches, one goal, five marks and five score involvements whilst also providing leadership in the young forward line.