Blakey, who won two flags playing with North Melbourne and was in the coaches' box for Brisbane's triumph in 2003 and Sydney's success last year, will be among the keenest supporters when the Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF) athletics program starts on Friday in Sydney.
The reason lies in 15-year-old daughter Molly, a talented 400m prospect who has already banked the qualifying times required for July's under-17 world athletics championship in Ukraine.
"I think I get more nervous watching Molly run now than when I actually had to play myself," said John Blakey, who tallied 359 AFL games and is now an assistant coach with the Swans.
"It's completely different (to coaching a football side), when your own daughter is running around it's just a great deal of satisfaction and pride in her effort and performance."
There have been plenty of standout performances for Molly Blakey, who broke the 55-second barrier at the age of 14 and ran a time of 54.7 at a recent Campbelltown meet.
Already she is dreaming big, while showing that Cathy Freeman's legacy from the 2000 Sydney Olympics continues to grow.
"She's probably my biggest inspiration," Molly Blakey said.
"Her time 49.11 is written up on the mirror in my bedroom. I look at it every day to remind myself that I want to achieve something like that one day."
Blakey will run the 400m along with three relays at the AYOF, the same event where Sally Pearson announced herself as a star of the future in 2001.
Both Molly and John paid tribute to Olympian Penny Gillies, who became her coach midway through last year.
"I'm getting a little bit long in the tooth and she was getting too good for me," said John, who still runs regularly with her daughter.
"I can't run with her anymore at the pace she goes at.
"We're lucky enough to have Penny Gillies and now she's with an elite group of runners that all train together. Consequently, her times have improved out of sight."