Mum’s the word: Taranto’s unbreakable bond
Tim Taranto's father Phillip will jet in from Dallas on Thursday morning.
His grandad Paul was in the MCG stands last Saturday, going feral as always.
But for the 21-year-old GWS sensation, this week was always going to be about his mum.
Jess Taranto gave birth to Tim when she was 17.
His father, although they remain close, returned to the US two years later.
As a result, Taranto told the Herald Sun, his bond with his mother was close to unbreakable, especially because they were so close in age.
When he strode the red carpet at the GWS Brownlow Medal function on Monday night, Jess was by his side.
"Mum was really emotional after the (Collingwood) game and so was so happy for me," he said.
"She is everything for me, the No.1 support in my life and the main guide and helper for me along the way.
"She is the sole reason I am the person I am today.
"She had me pretty young, she was 17, so that was a sacrifice and she missed out on a lot of things and travel that people do in their 20s.
"She would drive me around on Friday nights to Geelong to basketball games, Saturdays to school footy, Sundays for rep footy, giving up her weekends and nights as a young mum. I am so grateful."
While Taranto texts his father Phillip most days, and he was in Australia for the elimination final win against the Western Bulldogs, the young star's football journey has always revolved around his mother.
"She was only 17, so I obviously wasn't expected," he said.
"It was a bit of a surprise to the family but with the help of my grandparents and pop, to do what they did I am very grateful for.
"She is only 17 years older than me and I talk to her about everything so I am really grateful for that relationship."
Jess Taranto continues to achieve - she is a full-time nurse who has completed her masters degree in advanced nursing practice.
She was awarded a Joan Hardy Scholarship two years ago for her postgraduate nursing research, thrilled to be accepted into the Mercy Ships global charity that operates hospital ships in developing African nations.
ALWAYS IN A HURRY
Her son has been in a hurry ever since he burst on to the scene as the No.2 selection in a 2016 national draft that included Andrew McGrath (pick 1) and Hugh McCluggage (pick 3).
"To be in a granny in my third year is something I am grateful for, but if we could go all the way it would be unbelievable," he said.
"It's my dream. Seeing guys in their first and second years win, like (Tiger) Jack Graham kicking a couple of goals in his fourth or fifth game, I was so jealous of him."
Taranto spoke to the Herald Sun fresh from Monday's review meeting.
He said Leon Cameron showed the Giants those final four back-to-the-wall minutes they survived against Collingwood.
"It was just complete chaos and pressure and a big scrap," says Taranto.
"I was playing midfield and (Scott) Pendlebury took me to the goalsquare at one point and then (Taylor) Adams was running routes as a forward all over the joint so everyone got thrown out of position a little bit as they were trying to win the game.
"It was incredible for everyone to stick to what they needed to do.
"(Leon) highlighted our structures and where our spare defender and wingers were standing and how we still got those structures despite all the pressure.
"A few times our defender or winger just got a touch on the ball, just enough to make an impact so it was well done by the coaches and players to stick to that."
USA USA USA
Phillip has gone AFL-crazy in Dallas and, despite a young family, will fly into Melbourne to watch this weekend's game.
Grandfather Paul will also be front and centre.
"He is in his late 60s but he's a young pup and jumps around like he is crazy," Taranto said.
"He might have missed one game this year, he flies interstate and is always there when we walk out on to the ground.
"I think he's best mates with every player, he is a bit of a cult figure and he's fully embraced in the Giants. He was the most pumped out of everyone."