Another game another lesson

Beautiful weather to mark the first (and probably only ever) home game for the Giants at Blacktown. It’s not the easiest venue to get to and the roadworks around the place didn’t help so we caught the train to Doonside and the shuttle bus from there.

Our train carriage was a mini demonstration as why the Giants will succeed over the long haul. There were more kids under 10 dressed in orange headed for the game than there were adults. In 20 years time they will be taking their kids to the game after having grown up with the club. It’s a generational thing and has to be seen as such – the club will struggle, the club will grow, the club will prosper.

Catching the shuttle bus from Doonside a guy wearing an Eagles jumper hopped on to a round of boos and hoots. He promptly pulls out his Giants membership card and lanyard and waves it around – the boos turn to cheers. I think that’s a pretty common thing and will be for a few years yet. I’m not giving up my Geelong membership any time ever, but I have a commitment to the orange because I have a commitment to the game existing in my back yard.

Blacktown is a great little suburban ground, there are few better ways to watch a game than kicking back on a blanket on the Family Hill with just a hint of breeze taking the edge off the heat. I thought the crowd was larger than for the NAB Cup game. It wasn’t, but there was an awful lot more orange in it than I’ve seen before.

The game started with two umpires who had collectively less AFL experience than Israel Folau – and it showed. They got the free kick count out to 12-1 before some (but not much) sanity restored itself. I get why they are sponsored by OPSM but maybe Absinthe should come to the party with a sleeve or short sponsorship because those boys out there were seeing things that nobody else could.

It didn’t help that every time West Coast kicked the ball it went through the big sticks. Some impressive long range and angled accuracy blew the game apart early and it was effectively over by quarter time.

After that the game steadied, the boys showed some really nice glimpses of what will be – but is some distance away.

Callan Ward has really taken the mantle of captain onto his shoulders and taken his game to another level. One look at his stats for the last couple of years shows just how much: kicks, marks, tackles and disposals all up on his Doggie days. He is leading these young boys by his example. 36 disposals and a goal today, could have had another late.

There is improvement in the likes of Steve Coniglio, Dylan Shiel, Jack Hombsh, Tommy Bugg and Toby Green, you can literally see the maturity grow from quarter to quarter and game to game.

Curtly Hampton (who came on as a sub in the 3rd) is silky smooth and if he can just get over his Lewis-Jetta-Yips he’ll be a star of the competition. Big Johnno Giles kicked three and Adam Treloar debuted with a beautiful goal after a length of the field build up piece of run and play that would make the highlight reel of any team in the league.

We didn’t beat the West Coast Eagles, but the NEAFL team came out after the main game and kicked 19 goals in a toweling up of the East Coast Eagles so that’s something I suppose. Wilson 6, O’hAilpin 3, and Josh Bruce ruling down back shows there is a lot of talent to come into the senior side too.

We got beaten by lots, but there is a lot to like. I imagine I’ll be writing variations on that theme most of this year, we’ll see – but that’s  the beauty of footy, you never know what’s going to happen next week.

About steve duffy

is in no particular order....writer, artist, graphic designer, library technician, Giants fan, dad, husband, friend, brother, son, reader, lover of music, resident of Penrith, Canberra boy, Raider fan, Brumbies fan, Cats fan, right handed, white with two (coffee) black with two (tea), left of centre.....


  1. Richard Naco says

    I really love this article, Steve, because it was intelligent, articulate, and most of all for me, so incredibly pertinent. I have taken out GWS membership on top of a Geelong membership for precisely the reasons that you so marvelously articulated, and like you, my connections to The Pivot will not be sundered in the foreseeable future.

    The AFL establishing a strong and timeless presence in Western Sydney & Canberra is critical to its long term prosperity, and I share you vision of doing whatever it takes to allow our great indigenous game earn its place in the hearts and minds of both locations.

    I see this club as being at the forefront of the AFL’s wild west frontier, and it’s bound to a wild old adventure for us all.

    (Pamela, you & I are really going to have to catch up with each other at a Giants’ game this season, and get a group photo of us in our two sets of colours for this site. Along with anybody else doing the two club tango in GWS!)

  2. True confessions time. I am another ‘two timer’.
    The Avenging Eagle and I can often be seen in our black and white cap and scarf, cheering the boys on.
    Don’t get your hopes up too much – Dave, Phil and the other Floreat Pica’s.
    I take them off as soon as I leave a Swan Districts game.

  3. Pamela Sherpa says

    Steve , I feel the same about supporting the game’s development I enjoy watching the young players progress as well as the old guard at work. . Here’s hoping the Giants can cause an upset or two during the season and Richard- I shall look forward to doing the tango with you out on the ground after the Giants have a win!

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