GWS-Swans buzz just like a prelim, says Ward

By Rob Forsaith,

 , , ,

31 Have your say

    Greater Western Sydney co-captain Callan Ward admits there’s a special feeling tied to the stand-alone start of the AFL season, comparing the buildup to that of finals football in Melbourne.

    The AFL ensured the focus would be on the harbour city this week, which on Thursday hosted the season’s launch and all 18 clubs’ captains.

    With every other team apart from GWS and the Swans given an extra week off, Saturday’s match is the only one being talked about by most pundits.

    For Ward, who played in preliminary finals with the Western Bulldogs in 2009 and 2010, the feeling isn’t completely foreign.

    “It’s been a huge buildup for this round-one game. Almost as big as a prelim, which is great,” the 20-year-old said.

    “I was in Melbourne last weekend and all the talk was about our game this weekend.

    “Then I came here and didn’t really know what the talk would be like.

    “But seeing the billboards – and I’ve had heaps of calls from people that live here saying they can’t stop hearing about the game this weekend.

    “There’s just a huge buzz around the football club.”

    Many are expecting Giants co-captains Ward, Phil Davis and Luke Power to have a difficult task this year keeping morale high as the losses stack up.

    Gold Coast skipper Gary Ablett, whose side enjoyed three wins in their maiden season, suggested all of GWS’s AFL-experienced players would be key in 2012.

    “They’ve obviously got some experienced players down there and I’m sure they’ve been through some ups and downs in their careers,” Ablett said.

    “I think the role of them is to help the boys through and lead them through their first season. Because it is tough.

    “At times you need to be serious, but at the same time it’s going to be a long season and it’s a tough industry at times. So you need a bit of fun around the club.”

    Ablett suggested the upcoming season could perhaps be hardest for the likes of Ward, who for two consecutive seasons was just one win away from a grand final.

    “Everyone finds it tough,” he said.

    “I think it’s probably harder for the senior guys, especially those who have come from established clubs and come to a club where you’re not expecting things to happen straight away.”

    GWS No.2 draft pick Stephen Coniglio was nominated as the leading Rising Star contender in the AFL’s annual captains’ poll.

    Despite turning 18 just three months ago, Coniglio’s had extensive tutelage in the WAFL and looks ready for for AFL – a very similar story to Brisbane’s 2009 winner Daniel Rich.

    “He’s so mature for his age,” Ward said, likening Coniglio’s workrate to that of former teammate Daniel Cross.

    “He knows what to expect already. He just amazes all of the older guys who have been in the system for over 12 years.”

    © AAP 2018

    This video is trending right now! Submit your videos for the chance to win a share of $10,000!

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (31)

    • March 23rd 2012 @ 8:37am
      regg said | March 23rd 2012 @ 8:37am | ! Report

      I hope them well

    • March 23rd 2012 @ 10:15am
      stabpass said | March 23rd 2012 @ 10:15am | ! Report

      I hope this game is not the absolute blowout that everyone is predicting, but it does not look good ATM.

      Mistake by the AFL IMO to have this game as the season opener, but then again, the AFL usually now what they are doing.

      Saturday night is also a ratings deadspot as well.

      • Roar Guru

        March 23rd 2012 @ 10:41am
        The Cattery said | March 23rd 2012 @ 10:41am | ! Report

        Unfortunately, it’s impossible not to seen anything other than an blow out. The Suns were able to put their disastrous debut behind them last year, and the Giants will just have to do the same.

        Four senior players are missing, in a team with hardly any senior players, 17 debutants…

        • March 23rd 2012 @ 11:07am
          Ian Whitchurch said | March 23rd 2012 @ 11:07am | ! Report

          I can see it not being a blowout.

          I can see an ugly, ugly game, with the ball consistently being locked up in contests, and GWS playing men behind the ball. I can see tackle, tackle, fumble, whistle.

          I can see the Swans being a bit for efficient, and winning, say, ten goals to three, in a match like this – but I can easily sdee Sydney not getting to the 99 point margin the bookies have them at.

          • Roar Guru

            March 23rd 2012 @ 12:11pm
            The Cattery said | March 23rd 2012 @ 12:11pm | ! Report


            a few weeks ago, I would have had high hopes of the giants getting within 10 goals of the Swans (and seeing that as a good result), but with four senior players out, I just can’t see it.

            Most of the young blokes look like genuine goers, I don’t doubt they will give it their all, but so early in their careers, it won’t be good enough against very seasoned professionals.

            For the last 8 years, the Swans have been amongst the best at contested footy, the Giants can’t hope to match them on that front, we have to be realistic, it might take 5 min, it might take 25 min, but the swans will break the shackles and by half time these Giants’ legs will be feeling like jelly – it’s all part of the development.

          • March 23rd 2012 @ 12:42pm
            smfc1874 said | March 23rd 2012 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

            You must not have watched the Swans play much over the last 2 season. The game plan has become much more attacking, though they have struggled to put scoreboard pressure on the better sides, against a side like GWS the scores should be flowing along very quickly. Anyone tipping Sydney by under 100 points really underestimates the ability the team possesses. Swans by 125 for mine.

          • March 23rd 2012 @ 3:25pm
            Macca said | March 23rd 2012 @ 3:25pm | ! Report

            Ian time to start living in reality, while the Swans don’t have the attacking options Carlton did 12 months ago the GWS are a fair way short of the suns, especially as O’hailpin, Brogan, Scully & Power will all be missing.

            it may not get to 100 points but it will be closer to 100 points than 10 goals and GWS won’t have the fitness keep the game clogged up for 100+ minutes. The only hope of an ugly match for the whole game is terrible weather.

          • Roar Guru

            March 23rd 2012 @ 4:37pm
            Redb said | March 23rd 2012 @ 4:37pm | ! Report

            Sorry Ian W.

            Get the odds for a 10 goal plus win and jump on. although the odds will be short.

            Look forward to the game though. I like watching the kids having a crack, big fan already of Curtly Hampton.

            • March 23rd 2012 @ 4:59pm
              Ian Whitchurch said | March 23rd 2012 @ 4:59pm | ! Report


              Just because I can see something happening doesnt mean I’ll bet on that to happen 🙂


              So, how much money did you lose betting against GWS in the NAB cup ?

              • March 23rd 2012 @ 5:10pm
                Macca said | March 23rd 2012 @ 5:10pm | ! Report

                I don’t bet on footy and even if I did I wouldn’t bet on the NAB cup where only some sides are taking it seriously.

                Most people would have Collingwood, Carlton, & Geelong in their top 5 this year, how many NAB cup games did they win?

                You have 17 debutants and 5 experienced players who played less than 50 games last year between them, the result isn’t going to be good.

      • March 23rd 2012 @ 12:33pm
        Matt F said | March 23rd 2012 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

        I can’t see it being anything other then a blowout either. GC had 12 debutants in their first match and got smashed. I can’t see a GWS side with 17 debutants, and a worse group of senior players then what GC had, doing any better.

    • March 23rd 2012 @ 1:14pm
      Strummer Jones said | March 23rd 2012 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

      Can’t wait for the first GWanS derby. Yes you heard it first here on The Roar: The GWanS Derby!! (copyright Strummer Jones)

      • March 23rd 2012 @ 2:32pm
        TomC said | March 23rd 2012 @ 2:32pm | ! Report

        If it’s copyright Strummer and Jones, shouldn’t it be the GWanS Clash?

        • March 24th 2012 @ 7:58am
          strummer jones said | March 24th 2012 @ 7:58am | ! Report

          I like it! GWS song “I fought the Swans and the…you know the rest”

    • March 23rd 2012 @ 1:57pm
      AC said | March 23rd 2012 @ 1:57pm | ! Report

      The Swans might go easy on them to make it look better for the game. Would that happen. I cant imagine the Boys at AFL INC being too happy with the Swans if they thrash trash the new boys, Not a good look. Wonder if old AD might say to them take it easy?

    • March 23rd 2012 @ 7:20pm
      gleeso said | March 23rd 2012 @ 7:20pm | ! Report

      That sounds very much like something the AFL would insist upon. I have no doubt that the Swans will ‘clock-off’ at half-time, possibly earlier. They will only win by 60 odd.

      • Roar Guru

        March 23rd 2012 @ 7:27pm
        The Cattery said | March 23rd 2012 @ 7:27pm | ! Report

        AC and gleeso

        You’re both expressing quite juvenile conspiracy theories there. Last year Carlton flogged the Suns mercilessly.

        In Australian Football, if a team has a chance to destroy the opposition – they do it – they never hold back.

        When the siren goes, the ball is bounced – and whoever is good enough to win the ball, wins it.

    • March 23rd 2012 @ 8:34pm
      TW said | March 23rd 2012 @ 8:34pm | ! Report

      Here is a great video on our game in Sydney – Lots of stuff – Cappers great marks – Locketts important kicks- Historical bits and pieces.
      The Sheeds gives a pretty good rev up for his troops.

      Link —

      GWS membership on the eve of their first regular AFL match – 7755
      In the future we will look back at that figure and say – From just an idea to fruition – That many members already.

      • Roar Guru

        March 23rd 2012 @ 9:13pm
        The Cattery said | March 23rd 2012 @ 9:13pm | ! Report

        great vid – all NSWmen should feel proud.

    , , ,