Canberra now a western suburb

The ACT Government has signed a 10 year, 4 games per year contract with GWS. The deal worth approximately $26M will have the new boys from the ‘burbs playing one pre season and three competition games each year. While I struggle to embrace anything relating to Kevin Sheedy, it is a big boost for footie in Canberra which has been given piece meal treatment by the AFL for the past 10 years and blatant contempt by clubs such as North Melbourne who caused an awful lot of ill will when they sold their souls once more to a higher bidder.
The decision has predictably raised the ire of the League and Union fans that have begun the usual howls of injustice against the “home grown” teams. However, the association should serve to further strengthen the small local competiton which the GWS reserves will play in this next year. By providing better access to the NSW academies we will hopefully see more exposure for the local kids that have gone off the radar since the ACT Rams were omitted from the TAC Cup. Now , if they could only get rid of the caretaker coach.

About Tony Robb

A life long Blues supporter of 49 years who has seen some light at the end of the tunnel that isn't Mick Malthouse driving a train.


  1. A great outcome for Canberra. The real test will come though as to how well they engage with the community. They have to be involved and make Canberra feel like they are their team. If they don’t then this could be North Melbourne all over again.

  2. Pamela Sherpa says

    I’m really excited about the GWS -Canberra deal. Have been to a couple of meetings they had and all the vibes were good/positive. I feel like there is a connection already becuase we are going to have a team the area can identify with.
    I was glad to see the rear end of Sheedy at Essendon but he is the right person to be driving this whole mission. Has done an excellent job so far in my opinion.

    I just hope the team has a decent song.

  3. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rocket says

    The interesting thing will be to see whether the people involved with the ACT AFL clubs get behind GWS given that the “fibros” reserves will playing in the same conference of the new North East AFL competition?

    TR – what are your thoughts about this new league?

  4. Rocket,
    Im still not up to speed on the new league and thereport in the paper was a big confucing. I understood that the magoos were to play in the ACTAFL next year. However, there seems to be two conferences so Im not sure which one they will be in. Given the GWS get everything south of Rooty Hill I would have thought it was logical to play against the Canberra teams so they can monitor local talent. But does that mean the Ducks 2nds will play in the northern zone? The ACTAFL has got much stronger since the Swans came into it but heir are still only six teams. The AFL will have to prop up the regional teams as the previous attempts to expand the ACTAFL with Wagga etc have failed because of costs
    Pamela You’re right about Sheedy. He has got the GWS in the papers which I think was the intention when appointing him.

  5. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rocket says

    TR – as I understand it the southern conference will consist of the ACT clubs, plus the GWS Giants (as they will reportedly be called) and Swans 2nds. The northern conference will consist of the QAFL clubs, Lions 2s, Gold Coast 2s, and the Northern Territory Thunder. The conference winners will play off for the title but the respective conference winners will be crowned ACT or QAFL premiers – a good way to maintain the traditions of the local competitions.
    Me thinks it won’t be sustainable – and that the AFL clubs will eventually move on, to what they don’t know yet…
    From a personal point of view I’m glad there are no Sydney AFL clubs in the league – they are too brittle as it is, something like this would break them. There will be 3 uni clubs in the Sydney comp next year with the University of Technology coming into join Sydney Uni and UNSW-Eastern Suburbs.

  6. My mail say they will be ‘Wolves’. I was just about tto type a narky comment about them not having an “Australian’ name and then thought about the Lions, Tigers, Demons, Saints and the Power…

  7. I hope they do choose the Wolves, given that the other names they are supposedly considering are the Giants, the Pride, the Stallions and the Rangers.

    Mind you, it would have been better if they had chosen something that really had something to do with West Sydney. Convicts anyone?

  8. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rocket says


    As any Sydneysider knows the distinguishing features of the western Sydney landscape are the fibro houses.

    GWS v Sydney Swans will be the fibros v the silvertails – a classic socio-economic contest.

    When the old dear departed NFL was considering a national competition back in the late 70s they sent a consultant up from Melbourne to investigate – at a typical Sydney meeting – a very long lunch in the eastern suburbs – he suggested two teams – one north and the other south of the harbour – we told him that it had to be the city v the west!

    It has taken a long time to materialise – it wasn’t Rocket science to work it out….

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