#16 – GWS Giants
For the last five years,I have been a foundation member of the Giants. The club presented a certificate to me this season to recognise my longstanding commitment! I am aware this puts me in a unique class of sports fan, but what can I say? I love the club.
Each of the nine victories (yes, only nine, have a little faith in a young team!) have been special, the win at home against Melbourne last year was particularly memorable as my son was a junior mascot and ran with the players through the banner and onto the field. The whole family were invited into the club rooms after the game to sing the club song and interact with the players and coaching staff. It’s hard not to love a team that helps create such a special moment for your son.
Even though I am a foundation member, i am really a cricket tragic, so Jason Gillespie for taking over 250 wickets and scoring a double hundred in his last test. That’s probably fair enough, given the team has only been in the AFL 3 years, right?
Due to my cricket interest, I think it is exciting to have Simon Katich at the Giants as the Football Operations Manager and also have former Australia U/19 captain Pat McKenna on the list and Mitchell Starc as a future number one ticket holder
In relation to the namesake of the blog, I once caught a flight home from Melbourne with the Sydney Swans and when we were all departing, Rhyce Shaw stopped and said ‘after you mate’ so that I could quickly exit, I thought he seemed like a genuinely nice bloke, I am sure he tips generously at the Tamara establishment where he purchases his piccolo lattes.
(Editor’s note: Of course! Rhyce Shaw is the darling of our hearts. May his latte art be always as delightful as his delivery by foot.)
Most interesting player?
I think Jed Lamb’s journey to the AFL is the most interesting.
From profiles of the players I find that they are all quite balanced and are passionate about something else outside of football. maybe this is attributed to living in Sydney where AFL or sport of any code does not consume the public consciousness like it does in South Australia or Victoria.
Most hatable player?
There is a Shaw in the team, that name for reasons not clear to me
generates a visceral response by supporters of most teams.
Will Hoskin- Elliott if i had to pick just one, but there are 22 players aged under 22 who i could wax lyrically about…and I just may.
- Jeremy Cameron kicking truly from testing angles;
- Devon Smith kicking truly from any angle;
- Adam Treloar breaking through tackles;
- Stephen Coniglio’s capacity to keep on making tackles;
- The run and finish of Dylan Shiel;
- The passing of Lachie Whitfield;
- The pace of Josh Kelly;
- Toby Greene’s vision;
- The courage of Nick Haynes;
- The composure of Aidan Corr;
- The tank of Adam Tomlinson;
- The all-round class of Curtly Hampton.
A very exciting team on the rise to support.
Callan Ward, he is our co-captain, leads with unrelenting courage and a genuinely decent bloke that looks you in the eye when he shakes your hand and up until last season was also the barber for the team. Also the guy that Bulldogs fans most disliked, but as above…suspect Griff might be that guy this year.
Looking at the playing group this year it seems that Ward is too busy to make his clippers available, either that or hipsters are migrating west and have infiltrated Western Sydney. Possibly Rhyce has been given Heath piccolo latte-making lessons.
Before you critique the existence of the Giants, come and watch the team play at Spotless Stadium in the truly impressive Olympic Park precinct that has hosted some of the greatest Australian sporting memories in my lifetime, from Cathy Freeman, Ian Thorpe to John Aloisi and John Eales. Make GWS your second team and put on some orange and go watch them play when they are in your city. They may not win, but they will not surrender and you will feel included in something that is bigger than footy.
What to expect when you’re expecting a premiership
My dream headline for 2015:
One great step for Western Sydney, one Giant leap for the AFL
(Greater Western Sydney Giants defeat the Gold Coast Suns in the second elimination final)
But more realistically, improvement. I am confident that we will win more games this year than we have over the previous three. That would make it at least 10 wins and if we win 3 of our last 5 we might just sneak in and make the finals.
I have also been impressed by how the club is not just creating a group of exceptional footballers, they are also assisting them to be the best people they can be. My experience over the last five years is a team that is quite humble and will freely give their time to talk to fans young and old about football and other pursuits they are passionate about from fishing and coffee to growing up in multicultural Australia, an experience that is further enhanced for them by living and working in the richly diverse Western Sydney. GWS will focus on the process and not be distracted by things that do not matter. As our players become better people they will be better footballers and success will come.
I’m proud to support this club – even if we’ve only won 9 games to this point!