No GWS Giants Jumpers For Sale In Iconic Western Sydney Sports Store
It's AFL Grand Final week, but in the heart of Giants territory, you wouldn't know it.
Walking down Church Street, the main retail and restaurant strip of Parramatta in Sydney's west, you might expect to see a bit of Giants paraphernalia.
Maybe some streamers, or banners, or some shopfronts decked out in orange balloons or gear. Something, anything, in this historic week when the Giants -- after just eight years of existence -- have reached the biggest game of the season.
But no. Nothing.
The only sign of the Giants' trademark charcoal-and-orange is a few tradies in that colour scheme, but that's just a coincidence.
Admittedly, Parramatta is NRL territory. That much is obvious when you pass by iconic Sydney sports store 'Peter Wynn's Score', which has just two Giants supporters flags on sale right now, and not a single Giants jumper.
Inside and out, the store is virtually all rugby league gear, plus a decent dose of Western Sydney Wanderers A-League gear.
"Parramatta Eels sell. They just sell. There's a hard core rugby league faction in this area," Wynn told 10 daily when we popped in for a chat.
"Whereas Greater Western Sydney, it just doesn't sell. The Giants have been a success this year -- how can you take it away from them? They've made the grand final."
"But the sales haven't quite been what we'd like them to be. They've been a hard sell, even though they've been successful."
But a few kilometres away, it's a radically different scene in the store at Giants HQ, at Sydney's former Olympic Park.
Shoppers are snapping up pretty much everything, and fans on the Facebook page are complaining that special Grand Final T-shirts sold out within 90 seconds of going on sale.
The Giants hit 30,000 members this year, which is more than the Brisbane Lions, who finished ahead of GWS on the ladder this year, and have won three premierships in the past.
Their support, unquestionably, is growing, and there was an orange army of fans on display on Tuesday at the club's open training session.
Supporters of Victorian clubs reckon the Giants have no fans, and this is plainly untrue.
But what is true is that parts of western Sydney remain NRL strongholds, and Parramatta -- the largest business centre in the west -- just happens to be one of them.