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"Devastating for our family." The family tragedy GWS Giants star Toby Greene is thinking about today.

This post deals with suicide and might be triggering for some readers.

Today, GWS Giants player Toby Greene will be a typically magnetic presence in the AFL grand final against Richmond. But as the AFL forward plays, he will be spurred on by an intensely personal tragedy – one he has struggled with this season.

On Friday, Green spoke of his determination to win a premiership in memory of his cousin Finley, who in June took his own life at the age of 20. The pair spent much of their childhood together.

Toby’s mother, Kate Greene, spoke to 3AW on Friday afternoon, opening up about how the tragedy has impacted their family.

Toby Greene cousin
Green is determined to win a premiership in memory of his cousin Finley. Image: Getty.

"(It) was, as you can imagine, devastating for our family," Kate Greene said. "I had to ring up Toby in Sydney and tell him what happened, and he just drove straight to the airport in his shorts and thongs and jumped on the first plane to come home.

"Since that, we’re just picking up the pieces. My three boys and my sister’s two boys have grown up together … now one of them isn’t going to be there on Saturday."

Kate Greene said her son wants to use his platform to raise awareness for youth suicide.

"If they get the win Toby would like to dedicate his game to Finley. To my sister and to her other son, and her husband John, it will mean the world.

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“I hope for Finley’s sake the ­Giants get the win.”

Toby Greene said on Friday of the family tragedy: "I was coming back to Melbourne a couple of times to come and see family."

"The club were really supportive about that.

"At the same time, it made me appreciate what I've got and try to make him smile as the year's gone on."

Greene was suspended for the preliminary final against Collingwood and mounted a last-ditch appeal which was rejected.

Having been cast as the villain for Saturday's grand final, the polarising forward shrugged off criticism of his combative playing style.

"I don't take too much interest in it, to be honest," he said.

"I know what the people who I'm around (think) - that's all I care about.

"I've got lots of people being really supportive this week and coming up and saying hello. From all I've heard, it's all positive feedback."

- With AAP.

If you think you may be experiencing depression or another mental health problem, please contact your general practitioner. If you're based in Australia, please contact Lifeline 13 11 14 for support or beyondblue 1300 22 4636.

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