MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 02: Tom Atkins of the Cats wrestles with Jack Ginnivan of the Magpies during the 2022 AFL Round 03 match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Geelong Cats at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on April 02, 2022 In Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Former Fremantle forward Hayden Ballantyne has thrown his support behind antagonistic Pie Jack Ginnivan, claiming that he is a fan of what the 19-year-old has brought to the table in just his second season with the Woodsmen.

Never shy in getting under skins like a splinter across the course of his 171-game stint with the Dockers, Ballantyne earned a reputation as an instigator during his days in purple, as well as the heated ire of opposition fans.

Given Ginnivan has followed in the 2014 All-Australian's footsteps by routinely hitting the scoreboard and brashly influencing outcomes, the teenager has swiftly collected his own band of bashers, both on the ground and in the broadcast box.

But with the peroxide blonde Magpie's desire to bring his own brand on game-day and rile opposition fans in the process, Ballantyne couldn't help but pay praise to Collingwood's new cult hero and offer his own words of advice.

“Double down and go hard," Ballantyne told 10News Perth.

"If it helps him five to 10 per cent and it helps the team win games, it’s not affecting anyone, he’s kicking goals, he’s playing good footy and he’s p***ing off a lot of people and he’s doing his job. I reckon go for it."

Having slotted 21.12 from his 10 starts across his sophomore campaign, irrespective of outside views that Ginnivan has cut corners in the process of splitting the posts, the output of the Bendigo Pioneers product cannot be denied.

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And while the outside noise is only sure to intensify following yet another week spent in the headlines, Ballantyne explained that he reached out to Ginnivan, expressing authenticity was the key to success.

“(I said to him) Keep doing you champ and don’t worry about the haters and get on with it," the 2008 Sandover medallist delineated.

"The kid can seriously play and I just hope he keeps backing it up with his football and doesn’t let any outside noise influence how he plays.”

Ginnivan will earn his latest chance to stir the pot on the big stage when Collingwood faces Melbourne on Monday afternoon in the annual Queen's Birthday Clash.