9 Reasons You Need To Jump On The GWS Bandwagon
It's AFL Grand Final Day and if you’re a neutral footy fan undecided on who you will support in today’s decider, I’m here to welcome you on to the GWS bandwagon.
Here’s why you should join the Giants Army on Grand Final Day.
1. THE UNDERDOG
Barracking for the underdog is a dinky-di Aussie thing to do. Picture it. Founded in 1885, Richmond oozes history, success and supporters, notching an incredible 100,000 members in 2018.
And in the orange corner, the Giants, who joined the AFL in 2012, are contesting their first-ever Grand Final and this season set a club record of 30,000 paid up and passionate supporters.
It’s footy’s David and Goliath. (And no, that’s not an Indy group playing pre-game.)
The dictionary tells us that means “pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune”.
Footy translation: if you support one of the 16 clubs who didn’t make the last Saturday in September, then feel free to join the Giants and gang up on Richmond.
Barracking for Collingwood, Essendon or Carlton means disliking Richmond, a lot. Basically it’s in your DNA. So, if you desperately hope the Tigers get their pants pulled down and superstar Dustin Martin doesn’t produce yet another match-winning performance, ride the opposition home all the way to the final siren.
3. SUPPORT GREAT AUSSIE MUSIC
AFL Grand Final week has already proven what many knew to be true: GWS boasts the best song in the competition. You only need to search the #bigbigsound hashtag on Twitter to see the love for this banger.
This ditty may not be steeped in tradition, but -- created by Harry Angus, one-sixth of the Cat Empire -- the Giants' club song is strong on the musical theatre and Soviet Union vibes, but so damn catchy.
There’s a big, big sound….
4. TOBY GREENE
Footy’s ultimate bad boy is back from suspension right in time for the biggest game of his life.
The Giants' x-factor copped a $7500 fine for serious misconduct on Western Bulldog Marcus Bontempelli during his side’s elimination final win, then found himself at footy court last week unsuccessfully challenging, then appealing, a one-match suspension for making unreasonable and unnecessary contact to the eye region of Brisbane’s Lachie Neale.
Greene watched on, in agony then ecstasy, as the Giants held off a fast-finishing Collingwood by four points in last Saturday’s preliminary final. Free to return tomorrow, he is tipped to win the prestigious Norm Smith Medal for best on ground by many football experts.
And he has form on his side, having collected 30 disposals and two goals against the Lions and 20 disposals and three goals against the Dogs the week before.
5. THE HEARTBREAKER
Gun midfielder Stephen Coniglio was the second footballer drafted to the Giants in 2011 and this year signed a mammoth seven-year contract extension to remain at GWS, turning his back on some seriously big offers to return home to Victoria.
Coniglio has missed the past nine games with a knee injury and underwent fitness tests earlier this week to determine whether he’d be passed fit and available for Grand Final selection in a footy fairytale.
In the end, the match committee didn’t need to make a tough decision, with the popular 25-year-old selflessly declaring he wasn’t fit for selection, ruling himself out of the Grand Final. What a team man.
6. SHARING IS CARING
The AFL’s premiership ladder goes a little something like this: Essendon and Carlton are tied on 16 flags, Collingwood has 15, Hawthorn 13, Melbourne 12 and Richmond 11.
Since the VFL evolved into the AFL in 1990, new clubs West Coast, Adelaide, Brisbane (following its merger with Fitzroy) and Port Adelaide have all gone on to enjoy the ultimate success.
Fremantle, Gold Coast and the Giants are yet to win one, so a GWS victory tomorrow would see the team in orange join the Power and St Kilda on one flag.
7. A WIN FOR THE HEARTLAND
An AFL team in the western suburbs of Sydney? That will never work!
Slowly but surely the Giants have built a strong, passionate and vocal following in Sydney but also around the country. Notching 30,000 members in a year where the club has claimed its maiden finals berth is already a massive win. Pockets of Sydney have proudly sported orange this week -- there’s fanfare and excitement around the Giants and hey, they are even front-page news in their hometown! Premiership success would be a shot in the arm for the league’s youngest club.
8. AN OLD-SCHOOL SPEARHEAD
Footy fans long for the day of the powerhouse full forward -- think Tony Lockett, Jason Dunstall, Gary Ablett and Tony Modra -- who thrilled the masses week in, week out with bags of goals.
While the game has changed and we don’t see full forwards booting 10+ goals every week anymore, Giants spearhead Jeremy Cameron is a modern-day superstar with a touch of yesterday.
The 26 year old this year claimed the Coleman Medal for the AFL’s leading goal kicker for the first time with 67 goals, and has shone in finals with eight majors including three against the Pies last weekend.
Plus, he’s a good guy as we saw last week, returning the wallet of a stranger with a note and giant gesture.
9. LOOK, A CUTE PUPPY!
My pug puppy Coco is a GWS pet member. She has a cute, itty bitty Giants jumper and last week lapped up the attention and pats of the players and supporters at GWS training in Melbourne the day before the big prelim against Collingwood. How could you say "no (I’m not barracking for GWS)" to that face?