Dustin Martin's father has said his deportation from Australia to New Zealand has 'made his son stronger' ahead of the AFL superstar's grand final appearance this weekend.
Shane Martin, who allegedly has links to the Rebels motorcycle gang, made the comments from his Auckland home about his son who is a near certainty to win Monday night's Brownlow medal after a stellar season for Richmond.
Speaking of the 26-year-old midfielder his father told Sky News: "He's matured I reckon, since all this has happened. It's made him a bit stronger."
Shane Martin, along with 20 others who had their visas cancelled, will remain locked out of the country after Immigration Minister Peter Dutton pushed through an amendment to the Australian Migration Act earlier in September.
Mr Dutton's office said Mr Martin's visa was cancelled because of his criminal record and "association with outlaw motorcycle gangs".
Even though he won't have his dad at the game on Saturday, Dustin Martin is in a "good head space," his father said.
"He'll be right. We talk before every game. So, you know, treat it like another game... so there's no pressure," Shane Martin said.
Mr Martin, who will be watching the final from his local pub, said he will fight to get back to Australia in the future.
"We're going to take it to another level, that's what I've been told by my legal side," he said.
"We're not going to give up mate."
Dustin Martin has notched up more than 30 disposals in 14 matches this season, putting his in pole position for the the code's top honour on Monday night.