“He isn’t a burden: De Koning discusses fraternal showdown.”

When Tom De Koning faces off against his younger brother Sam this upcoming weekend, it once again puts family pride at stake. With their parents Terry and Jackie watching from the stands as their children vie for victory, Tom hopes that his team, the Blues, will emerge triumphant. In their previous two encounters, the brothers each tasted success once, with Tom’s Carlton winning in Round 2 last year and Sam’s Geelong prevailing in Round 18, 2022.

“I’m eagerly anticipating it,” De Koning expressed. “I’m hoping we get matched up against each other again. I got the better of him last year, so we’ll see how things go this time.”

With Sam celebrating his 50th game in Round 7, Tom anticipates a packed MCG filled with family and friends, adding to the excitement of the occasion. Tom’s recent increased involvement in the forward line, highlighted by a career-best three goals in the previous game, raises the likelihood of facing his brother, who plays as a key defender, at some point during the match. Growing up in a large family of 10 siblings, both brothers eagerly anticipate the competitive challenge.

“We’ve always been fiercely competitive,” Tom acknowledged. “We had to fend for ourselves. Hopefully, we’ll have some good battles on the field.”

Regarding their parents and family, Tom expects differing levels of enthusiasm for the game, with loyalties divided between the two teams.

“Mum is likely to be the most enthusiastic person in the crowd, while Dad might wander off to sit alone,” he remarked. “Our family is divided. The allegiance of our nephews keeps changing, and while many of my brothers support Carlton, they also have a soft spot for both teams.”

Despite the football rivalry, Tom ensures that their bond as brothers remains strong, with plans for their weekly surfing session in Torquay leading up to the Saturday clash.

With Carlton’s forward line showcasing one of its best performances last week, Tom emphasizes the importance of maintaining that momentum against Geelong, the top-of-the-table and undefeated team.

“I’ll catch a surf with Sammy and a few of the Carlton boys, battling it out in the water before the weekend,” he stated. “I believe our game against GWS was our most consistent display as a united team. We dominated the midfield, pushed the ball forward effectively, and our forward line functioned at its peak this season.”

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