BRETT Harrington remembers beating up on his younger brother Daniel in the endless childhood backyard footy games.
But he doesn’t try it any more.
“I probably got stuck into him a bit,” Brett revealed this week.
“But he’s a bit bigger and taller now, he’s got it over me now.”
Brett, 23, and Daniel, 19, are preparing to run out together in a grand final for the first time when Koroit takes on Warrnambool today.
They are one of four sets of brothers in the Saints line-up today, joining Joe and Chris McLaren, Ben and Sam Dobson, and Ethyn and Tauryan Zimmer.
The Harringtons are good mates but with the age gap only played together for the first time last season when Daniel was promoted for seven senior games in his first year out of under 18s.
While Brett is a regular member of the Saints midfield, Daniel has progressed from a back pocket last season to centre half-back in 2013.
For coach Adam Dowie, Daniel’s development is one of the feel-good stories of the season.
“I’m really happy for Daniel Harrington,” Dowie said.
“He will go pretty well in our best and fairest. He’s just improved out of sight and now he’s just about holding down centre half-back.”
Daniel said Dowie’s analysis and feedback on his performances had kicked along his development. The move to the half-back line sat well too.
“The further up the ground the better,” the primary teaching student said.
“I have a role to play.”
That role will be pivotal today. He started on Warrnambool’s Sam Cowling in the second semi-final and had the edge before Cowling was moved into defence.
Daniel finds himself playing in a grand final, even though he has never played in a preliminary final at any level. His only two previous finals matches before this season were elimination final losses at under 18 and reserves level.
“I’m looking forward to it, I’m excited,” he said.
He will look to former coach Chris McLaren, a veteran of three premierships, for some guidance.
But he knows his fellow defenders have formed a close bond this season.
“We back each other in and that’s why we have been pretty good.”
He said they will be relying on the midfielders to help limit the supply to Warrnambool’s quality forwards.
That’s where brother Brett comes in. He is tight in the midfield and while getting a run-with role, is expected to work off his opponent.
Brett, a carpenter, knows he has added responsibility having been part of the club’s 2009 premiership not only in a physical sense but helping first-timers deal with the emotions of a grand final.
He said that success had almost come too early in his early — his first year out of under 18s.
“I was one of the young ones and probably didn’t appreciate it properly,” he said.
“This one means a bit more. It’s great to play with my brother and everyone is such good mates. Everyone gets on so well, that’s the best thing. That’s why you play.”