June 24, 2024

When Tom De Koning faces off against his younger brother Sam in the upcoming match, it will once again put family pride at stake.

With their parents Terry and Jackie watching from the stands, Tom is eager for his team, Carlton, to come out victorious. In their previous encounters, the siblings have each tasted success once: Tom’s Carlton emerged triumphant in Round 2 last year, while Sam’s Geelong claimed victory in Round 18, 2022.

“I’m excited about it, I can’t wait,” De Koning expressed. “Hopefully, we’ll have the chance to compete against each other again. I had the upper hand last year, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens this time.”

With Sam’s 50th game coinciding with the Round 7 match, Tom anticipates a full house of family and friends at the MCG, adding to the excitement of the occasion.

Tom’s recent increase in time up forward, coupled with his career-best three goals in the last game, suggests he’s likely to face his brother in a key defensive role at some point during the match. Raised in a competitive household with ten siblings, they both relish the prospect of battling it out on the field.

“We’re both very competitive,” Tom acknowledged. “We had to fend for ourselves. Hopefully, we’ll have some good contests against each other.”

Regarding their parents and family, Tom expects divergent reactions to the game. “My mom is probably the most excited person in the crowd, and Dad will likely wander off to sit by himself,” he shared. “Our family is divided. The nephews keep switching sides, with some of my brothers having a soft spot for both teams, so we’ll have to wait and see.”

Despite the football rivalry, Tom still plans to catch up with Sam for their weekly surf in Torquay before Saturday’s clash. Reflecting on Carlton’s recent performance and the challenge of facing the top-of-the-table Geelong, Tom emphasized the importance of replicating their cohesive play, particularly in the forward line.

“I’m going for a surf with Sammy and a few of the Carlton boys, so we’ll battle it out in the water before the weekend,” he mentioned. “I felt like our game against GWS was our most consistent performance as a united team. We dominated in the midfield, moved the ball forward effectively, and our forward line functioned at its best this season.

“I’ll aim for six goals this week and take it from there… Just kidding!”

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