It’s in the Genes… You better believe it!

It’s in the Genes… You better believe it!

Good genes don’t necessarily result in good outcomes – in sport or anything else.  They sure can help however!

My latest book – ‘It’s in the Genes, Australian Football Families’– tells the stories of some of the many families who have produced multiple generations of VFA/VFL/AFL/AFLW footballers stretching back to the late 19th century.

You can read about the Rankin/O’Donnell dynasty who have produced five generations of players across three centuries; the Pannam /Richards and Cordner clans with similar numbers; the six McShane brothers who wore Geelong colours in the VFA and VFL; the great Laurie Nash and his father Bob – the first father and son to captain VFL clubs; champion fathers and sons Haydn Bunton senior and junior, the Whittens, Ablett’s, Tucks, Fletchers and father and daughter Greg and Erin Phillips.

The magicians from the Tiwi Islands – the Riolis and Longs – are also featured, as are many sibling groups including the Selwoods, Twomeys, Strangs and the Murphy, Collier and Coventry brothers all of whom were members of the famous Magpie ‘Machine’ of the late 1920s. And A chapter on Ron Barassi senior and junior looks at the story of a ‘fallen father’ and an ‘immortal son’ from a slightly different perspective.

The hard cover, 400 page +, lavishly illustrated book – with a foreword by former Test Cricketer and distinguished academic Paul Sheahan AM – will be released latein 2024.

It’s in the Genes can be pre-ordered now at

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