Baby steps in AFL for Sheedy’s Giants

By Crystal Ja,

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73 Have your say

    It might be a modest feat for most, but winning a quarter of football is something of a victory for AFL’s newest franchise, Greater Western Sydney.

    The Giants took the latest in a series of baby steps on Saturday when they won the opening quarter – their first at AFL level – against a lacklustre Western Bulldogs at Canberra’s Manuka Oval.

    Sure, by the end of the game, they’d been trounced 15.14 (104) 9.8 (62) for a healthy 42-point defeat, but coach Kevin Sheedy is no man to turn his nose at small victories.

    He was adamant the Giants have much to be pleased with after five rounds, which included another standout five-goal performance by young forward Jeremy Cameron, who won a Rising Star nomination in round two.

    Along with co-captain Phil Davis and Jack Hombsch in defence, Sheedy said his “bookends” had put in an impressive performance at the Giants’ adopted home ground.

    “We’re starting to get the bookends right, which is good for us,” Sheedy told reporters after the game.

    “We never had Dean Brogan out there or Chad Cornes, so it was very important, from that point of view, to do well without a couple of experienced players out there.”

    After taking a 16-5 lead at the first break, the Giants’ course made a predictable run and they lost the game effectively in the second term after an eight-goal-to-three performance by the Dogs.

    In the second half, they were competitive but outscored seven goals to four for what was still their smallest losing margin of the season so far.

    Sheedy said simple turnovers had cost his team at least six goals.

    “But competitive and contesting the ball, I think we were terrific,” he said.

    “I’d like to put a whole game together eventually but, in every area, we’re getting a little bit better.

    “I’ve got no doubt by the middle of the year we’ll be OK.”

    Bulldogs coach Brendan McCartney admitted his players were “agitated” with their own dismal first quarter, but denied the sluggish start had anything to do with their opponents.

    “There was no underestimating them – their young players have a lot of talent and, while physically they’re not at the level yet, they will be quite soon,” McCartney said.

    The struggling Bulldogs have notched back-to-back victories after losing their first three matches and look forward to regaining Daniel Giansiracusa for next week’s clash against Collingwood.

    The Giants, meanwhile, take on Carlton at Etihad Stadium – their first at the ground – meaning they will have played their fair share of top contenders by the end of next weekend.

    Along with West Coast, Adelaide and Sydney, they’ll have clashed with four of the top six sides according to the ladder, Sheedy noted for any critics keen to put in the boot.

    “But the more we do play, the better we’ll get and, hopefully, our second half (of the season) is going to be pretty good,” he said.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (73)

    • April 29th 2012 @ 11:32am
      GrantS said | April 29th 2012 @ 11:32am | ! Report

      Anyone who saw the game would have to agree with what Sheeds is saying.

      Mistake after mistake saw them turn the ball over and most times they were punished by a goal. According to the commentators GWS are the most scored against from turnovers and that’s not hard to believe.

      We all know they are only a young team and a win may still be a ways off but their clash with the Suns should be worth watching.

      I’m looking forward to the day this team clicks and kicks some team’s ass (as long as it is not Essendon).

    • Roar Rookie

      April 29th 2012 @ 4:26pm
      ItsCalled AussieRules said | April 29th 2012 @ 4:26pm | ! Report

      I can understand why a lot of AFL fans and journalists want to be apologists for the GWS Giants.

      If the team does badly, then it reflects badly on the AFL and if they are not expanding, then people won’t belive that AFL is expanding.

      Lets face it, GWS Giants are a failure on and off the field.

      They have barely 7K members in a city of 5 million people and an area that stretches from Quenbeyan to the Harbour Bridge in Sydney. Compared to the Suns 15K members in their first season in a much smaller location and population.

      And more than half of those 7K start up members don’t even live in Sydney – so there are probably only about 3K Giants members who actually live in Sydney. That’s not very good.

      On the field, despite the priority draft picks, excellent facilities and training resources and the greatest AFL minds in the world looking after them and trying to teach them how to play for the last 2 years, they generally look like a disorganised mistake-riddled rabble.

      Most teams take their foot off the accelerator when they get a few goals ahead, otherwise it would be a huge embarassment every game. I doubt they will even win one game this season.

      The AFL have spent a very large amount of money on this team and financially they are a disaster and set to put a very big hole in the AFL’s finances, who fortunately have very big pockets.

      OK, OK, AFL apologists, one at a time and form an orderly queue . . .

      • April 29th 2012 @ 4:41pm
        Ian Whitchurch said | April 29th 2012 @ 4:41pm | ! Report

        Obvious troll is obvious.

        • Roar Rookie

          April 29th 2012 @ 4:47pm
          ItsCalled AussieRules said | April 29th 2012 @ 4:47pm | ! Report

          Didn’t take you long to respond on behalf of the Giants Ian.

          Do you work for the AFL media department and have an anti-AFL detection device like The Cattery.

          I follow a number of sports including AFL and am interested in the expansion and watched the whole of the Giants and Swans games.

          What exactly have I posted that isn’t true?

          • April 29th 2012 @ 5:29pm
            Ian Whitchurch said | April 29th 2012 @ 5:29pm | ! Report

            “Do you work for the AFL media department and have an anti-AFL detection device like The Cattery.”

            Paranoid much ?

          • Roar Rookie

            April 29th 2012 @ 8:42pm
            ItsCalled AussieRules said | April 29th 2012 @ 8:42pm | ! Report

            Maybe answer the questions about GWS Giants and not resort to the tired old line about paranoia.

            Paranoid about what exactly?

            • April 29th 2012 @ 9:49pm
              Ian Whitchurch said | April 29th 2012 @ 9:49pm | ! Report

              About the AFL hiring people to hang out on message boards and counter-troll you.

              Keep taking those pills 🙂

          • April 30th 2012 @ 3:15pm
            Fussballs AFL tracking spreadsheet said | April 30th 2012 @ 3:15pm | ! Report

            Your interest in the AFL is certainly well chronicled, although with your recent name change from ‘It’s called Football’ it can be tricky keeping track of your various contributions. Will we be hearing the story about how your daughter was told soccer was unaustralian by an Auskick coordinator again? That was one of my favourites, although I also loved the one about how the AFL doesn’t pay any tax. At all. Tell us again ICF!

        • April 30th 2012 @ 12:02am
          MFB1991 said | April 30th 2012 @ 12:02am | ! Report

          At the top of this page right below THE ROAR is a caption saying “your sports opinion”. I’m pretty sure that is the whole point of this site. Whilst I don’t agree with everything ItsCalled AussieRules says most of his points are pretty close to the mark, and in any case are an opinion, everybody has one. Let there be peace in our time!

          • April 30th 2012 @ 1:02am
            Ian Whitchurch said | April 30th 2012 @ 1:02am | ! Report


            When a troll comes on, starts trolling and then accuses the people who call him out of being AFL employees, then, why, yes, I am going to mock him.

      • Roar Guru

        April 30th 2012 @ 1:49am
        The_Wookie said | April 30th 2012 @ 1:49am | ! Report

        no lets face it, you repeat this tripe ad nauseum. None of us regular AFL people expected GWS to set the world on fire – in fact even the AFL acknowledges its a 20 year long term project.

        Sydney was ALWAYS going to be a harder market than the Gold Coast for the AFL, and both werent likely to be particularly easy in any case.

        If we want to talk about collossal wastes of money we can always refer back to the millions the federal government poured into a world cup bid that went nowhere, or the 27 million that HAL clubs are expected to lose this year. Both figures are greater than the amount the AFL has spent in Western Sydney.

        • Roar Rookie

          April 30th 2012 @ 9:59am
          ItsCalled AussieRules said | April 30th 2012 @ 9:59am | ! Report

          Please explain how bagging me and the A-League is going to help GWS Giants get better.

          • April 30th 2012 @ 5:28pm
            Yeah Sure said | April 30th 2012 @ 5:28pm | ! Report

            Because it makes him feel special.

          • Roar Guru

            April 30th 2012 @ 5:56pm
            The_Wookie said | April 30th 2012 @ 5:56pm | ! Report

            well apparently bagging the AFL makes you a special kid, why cant we all feel special together.

      • April 30th 2012 @ 6:35am
        ManInBlack said | April 30th 2012 @ 6:35am | ! Report

        copy paste,

        copy paste,

        is that all you’re going to do – keep inserting the same ignorant drivel in every thread about GWS?

        People who know footy know that very few even high draft picks have an immediate impact, and the main examples of those who do invariably are slotting into good or very good sides – obvious example of Joel Selwood slotting straight into premiership contending (and winning for that year) Geelong in 2007.

        However, anyone who tracks the journey of St Kilda – loaded up with Kosi (No 2 in 2000), Riewoldt (No 1 draft pick in 2000), Goddard (No 1 in 2002) and Ball (picked between Hodge and Judd in the ‘super draft’ in 2001). It didn’t happen over night – and that was slotting top draft picks into an existing squad. Key position players in particular take time, and may take up to 8 years to really unlock their potential.

        (and Carlton as another example with Gibbs, Murphy, Walker and Kreuzer)

        The other thing most people recognise is that the top draft talent is normally great at junior level in offensive ball gathering/using roles – but, may not be that well tested in the defensive side of the game. It’s a big, big task to adapt to AFL level defensive requirements.

        There’s no off side, you can’t just park a bus in front of a goal.

      • April 30th 2012 @ 11:05am
        Pot Stirrer said | April 30th 2012 @ 11:05am | ! Report

        Its not rocket science, the expansion by the AFL is REALLY about money from broadcasters, as it will be when the NRL expand. I dont understand why people get so defensive anymore. Both the AFL and NRL understand that a traditional supporter of either code is not going to change their life long beliefs. I believe they understand that as a sports mad country people can be marketed into supporting and buying merchandise of more than one code, with thier orginal choice always being the main. My problem with expansion is the decline in standard of play, If the AFL was deadly serious about the GWS, they would have made sure they would be at least competitive. SOmeone will say they are by the amount of money invested but i say if they got an extra 100 million for another two teams to televise, Then financially they could let GWS fold in a year or two and still keep the deal. I hope the NRL dont go down this same path but it makes BUISINESS sense.

        • Roar Guru

          April 30th 2012 @ 12:12pm
          The Cattery said | April 30th 2012 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

          The AFL gave GWS the resources and draft picks and it was entirely up to GWS to do what they wanted with that. They are the ones that went down the road of picking very young footballers, balanced by 4 blokes aged over 32. It was entirely their choice.

          We’ll only know 3 years down the track if it was the wrong move.

          • April 30th 2012 @ 12:49pm
            Pot Stirrer said | April 30th 2012 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

            With thier investment surley they would have some input? Also if the star attraction is a NRL convert then they really needed a couple of class players to carry the team imo. No losing side is going to get supporters on board and keep them if they are trying to convert them, If a follower was supporting the swans and converted to GWS becuase its thier home team, i think it gets pretty boring wacthing your team lose all the time. I am a Roosters/Swans, i dont watch the AFL but have always kept informed on how the swans are going, (why im on this site). I grew up in Blacktown but ill stick with the Swans tks. i think 3 years will be to late.

            • Roar Guru

              April 30th 2012 @ 5:58pm
              The_Wookie said | April 30th 2012 @ 5:58pm | ! Report

              The AFL has some input when it comes to marketing and presumably overall expenditure, but internal working and recruitment for the club would be handled in house.

      • April 30th 2012 @ 9:43pm
        Bludger said | April 30th 2012 @ 9:43pm | ! Report

        Within 20 years the Giants will be the 2nd largest football club in the Sydney metro area after the Swans AFL team. Most reasonable people who acknowledge this as a given.

        The reason is NRL is just poorly organized and AFL is capitalizing on it. Soccer is just a mess at club level and union is a private school boy game.

        Might even take less than 20 years.

        Question is, will there be a 3rd AFL team in Sydney within 20 years?

        • May 1st 2012 @ 10:17am
          db swannie said | May 1st 2012 @ 10:17am | ! Report


          correction the NRL were poorly organized..till now .we have some very smart people on the IC
          After they negotiate a great deal for RL then they will set about fixing the problems in & out of the game.
          3rd Sydney team..
          Oh my.

        • May 1st 2012 @ 11:31am
          Nathan of Perth said | May 1st 2012 @ 11:31am | ! Report

          If they put a third team in Sydney before they put a third team in WA I will burn down AFL House.

    • April 29th 2012 @ 6:32pm
      Dingo said | April 29th 2012 @ 6:32pm | ! Report

      Having the Giants and Suns in has definitely added another dimension to the competition, I’m sure most supporters wish both these teams well and hope that they don’t get smashed week in week out. However, in the back of their minds they know that in a few years time it might be their team getting smashed by the newbies.

      Looks like Hunt is continuing his upward curve as a player for the Suns, very exciting, can’t wait to see if Izzy’s developement at The Giants heads in the same direction.

      Both clubs have much to be positive about.

    • April 29th 2012 @ 8:42pm
      Fitzy said | April 29th 2012 @ 8:42pm | ! Report

      Dont think western syd HAL will be much better, so ICF U might reap what U sow, anyway the usual corrections are warrented, 81/2 k members not just under 7, they have not disgraced themselves, in fact 4 goals up against bulldogs in 1st qtr is not the other team taking their foot off and why are youon this thread? Just the usual rubbish ICF (or JVGO whatever hescalling himself). We like the game and we dont have to please you!

      • April 30th 2012 @ 6:51am
        JVGO said | April 30th 2012 @ 6:51am | ! Report

        Thanks for bringing me into this Fitzy. Do you realise that of the 450 players to play for the socceroos 50% of them have come from Western Sydney (according at least to FIUL resident Victorian soccer authority). This is what the AFL cannot stand for and want to get their greedy mitts on. This is why fans of every other sport in the country despise the AFL’s push into WS.

        • Roar Guru

          April 30th 2012 @ 7:25am
          The_Wookie said | April 30th 2012 @ 7:25am | ! Report

          you do realise that the AFL employs a draft that means players come from all over the country, and that the AFL doesnt rely on Western Sydney any more than it does Ireland or the NRL for players right? I dont believe this was even remotely a concern for the AFL when it was setting up a team.

          • April 30th 2012 @ 8:03am
            JVGO said | April 30th 2012 @ 8:03am | ! Report

            Wookie, although Melbourne likes to tell itself that it is the sporting capital of the country the facts are that due to it’s AFL obsession it adds vitually nothing at all to any of the international teams that Australia’s sporting reputation is based on. As well as the soccer fact above, this week in the Carribean we have zero Victorians in the Australian Cricket team, although there are 3 Tasmanians, a state that has no AFL team and whose only professional national sporting team isin cricket. Nevertheless 90,000 Melburnians turned out to watch a battle between teams representing two local suburban shopping striips.

            As I see it Wookie, there is a distinction between the two views of the sporting world. AFL represents the case for Melbourne as the centre of the universe, while Sydney leads the way in sport as a way to overcome our geographical and cultural isolation and engage with the world. AFL is fine in Melbourne, but Sydney is a diverse international sporting city. Things need to stay that way.

            • Roar Guru

              April 30th 2012 @ 8:42am
              The Cattery said | April 30th 2012 @ 8:42am | ! Report


              Allow me to remind you that Victoria supplies the most players to the Australian Lacrosse national team, now and in the past, a game that has been played in Australia since the late 1870s, which attracted 30,000 to the MCG in its first international game in 1907, and which has two inductees in the MCG sporting hall of fame.

              For more info on the fascinating history of lacrosse in Australia, please see:

              • April 30th 2012 @ 1:03pm
                MFB1991 said | April 30th 2012 @ 1:03pm | ! Report

                That comment just about sums up the whole conversation, well done, keep the good work up.

              • Roar Guru

                April 30th 2012 @ 6:19pm
                The Cattery said | April 30th 2012 @ 6:19pm | ! Report

                from your perspective, yes, perhaps you’re right.

                But I think you probably fit into the JVGO school of thought that the only important sports are the ones you like personally, and everyone else should fit because, well, just because!

            • April 30th 2012 @ 8:55am
              Ian Whitchurch said | April 30th 2012 @ 8:55am | ! Report

              I wonder what JVGO’s explanation for the Parramatta Eels is ? A selection trial for rep sides maybe ?

            • April 30th 2012 @ 12:35pm
              JamesP said | April 30th 2012 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

              Victoria has supplied the greatest spin bowler (some would say best player after Bradman) the world has ever seen.

              As for the Caribbean, Siddle and Patterson are both natural selection in the first 11 when fully fit

              And we all know Matthew Wade should be keeping, not Brad Haddin who is in there just to ensure that NSW continues to supply 50% of the Australian team

            • April 30th 2012 @ 3:07pm
              Fussballs AFL tracking spreadsheet said | April 30th 2012 @ 3:07pm | ! Report

              The point about Sydney’s internationalism in comparison with Melbourne’s rejection of all sports other than Australian Football is valid. Afterall, you just have to look at how incredibly well supported Sydney SC is, whilst Melbourne Victory have never really attracted any following, consistently struggling for attendance with crowds that are dwarfed by the massive army of Sydney soccer fans.

              • Roar Guru

                April 30th 2012 @ 6:00pm
                The_Wookie said | April 30th 2012 @ 6:00pm | ! Report

                I think my sarcasm detector broke

          • April 30th 2012 @ 1:39pm
            Pot Stirrer said | April 30th 2012 @ 1:39pm | ! Report

            Really calling a team greater western sydney and then expecting Canberra to accept it as their own team. Ok

        • April 30th 2012 @ 9:53am
          Norm said | April 30th 2012 @ 9:53am | ! Report

          Ah, JVGO – claiming so many people despise AFL. With good reason, whilst it remains Australia’s own football code. Always more Australian than soccer, no matter how many Sydney boys play for the socceroos. Ouch – can feel the spite rising

          • Roar Rookie

            April 30th 2012 @ 10:01am
            ItsCalled AussieRules said | April 30th 2012 @ 10:01am | ! Report

            That’s a silly racist comment.

            Every person who has played for the Socceroos is an Australian and no amount of marketing or hype is going to make people think that AFL represents Australians.

            What about Cricket, that was invented in England too – is Bradman not Australian.

        • April 30th 2012 @ 3:13pm
          Fussballs AFL tracking spreadsheet said | April 30th 2012 @ 3:13pm | ! Report

          Is it really that many? I guess it’s true what they say about marketing & hype failing to attract soccer players outside of a few narrow enclaves where they have little choice.

    • Roar Guru

      April 30th 2012 @ 8:47am
      The Cattery said | April 30th 2012 @ 8:47am | ! Report

      My opinion is that if 100 new fans can be attracted to GWS every season for the next 150 years, that would represent 15,000 new fans by 2162, and at that point, I’d be happy to declare GWS as a bit of a success story.

      I should add, I see that as a rather conservative estimate.

      People need to bear in mind that in Australian Football, we look at 150 year long periods – don’t worry about yesterday or next week, worry about the next 150 years.

      • April 30th 2012 @ 12:27pm
        Stev0 said | April 30th 2012 @ 12:27pm | ! Report

        Any Roar article mentioning GWS, Gold Coast or more than one code will eventually result in an all-out code war. I shall call it Demetriou’s law.

        • Roar Guru

          April 30th 2012 @ 12:55pm
          The Cattery said | April 30th 2012 @ 12:55pm | ! Report

          I’m not inviting a code war, I’m merely stating the obvious that the AFL is looking decades into the future.

          • April 30th 2012 @ 12:59pm
            Stev0 said | April 30th 2012 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

            Oops, meant to post as a general comment, not in direct reply. Was more so referring to our friend ‘it’scalledaussierules’ above, an the general vibe of other articles.

            Very true comment about the 150 years – 15 years even!

      • April 30th 2012 @ 1:13pm
        Pot Stirrer said | April 30th 2012 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

        Garbage, Its like everyother buisiness or sporting franchise, its all about the hear and now.

        • April 30th 2012 @ 1:20pm
          Stev0 said | April 30th 2012 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

          Yep, that’s why the AFL persisted with the Swans and Bears/Lions for so long. Keep stirring pal.

          • April 30th 2012 @ 1:42pm
            Pot Stirrer said | April 30th 2012 @ 1:42pm | ! Report

            Wernt those 2 teams competitive from the get go? No ones stirring mate, you blokes just go on with so much dribble, its hard not to say something.

            • April 30th 2012 @ 2:31pm
              Stev0 said | April 30th 2012 @ 2:31pm | ! Report

              Self-declared pot stirrer is pot stirrer

            • Roar Guru

              April 30th 2012 @ 2:40pm
              The Cattery said | April 30th 2012 @ 2:40pm | ! Report

              They both had down periods after a few early years of being “competitive”. Indeed the Swans reached a the nadir of their long history in the early 90s when average attendances dropped to about 9,500 at the SCG, and around the same time, in their last year at Carrara, the Bears were getting around 5,000.

              I don’t think there’s a correct formula that will work every time, and it’s not feasible that you can keep a team on the top of the ladder forever, as has happened with the Storm.

    • April 30th 2012 @ 11:59am
      King Robbo said | April 30th 2012 @ 11:59am | ! Report

      I think expansion on western sydney was to soon after Gold coast. AFL will be spending money on this team for years and while they eventually become good, a high scoring sport such as afl will always have a couple of basket case teams in an 18 team competition, with loads of one sided games. The inequity of the draw also makes it an even unfairer advantage for some teams.

      Attendances have already dipped. Seems a few attendances were below 20,000 (and I know games were played in canberra and launceston) and only 3 games over 30,000. Will be interested to see whether live fox footy keeps people away when the melbourne winter sets in as well.

      • Roar Guru

        April 30th 2012 @ 12:19pm
        The Cattery said | April 30th 2012 @ 12:19pm | ! Report

        Well, with two games at Canberra and Lonnie, each of which have capacities below 20,000, of course there will be games that have less than that. Still, 19,200 at Lonnie is damn good.

        Also, it’s a miracle anyone turned out for the Lions vs Cats game, raining all day and night.

        All in all, about 283k turned up for 9 games at an average of 31,460, and that’s damn good!!

        • April 30th 2012 @ 1:16pm
          Pot Stirrer said | April 30th 2012 @ 1:16pm | ! Report

          Do you really expect Canberrans to accept greater western sydney as their team?

          • Roar Guru

            April 30th 2012 @ 2:41pm
            The Cattery said | April 30th 2012 @ 2:41pm | ! Report

            They will do as they are told.

      • Roar Guru

        April 30th 2012 @ 6:03pm
        The_Wookie said | April 30th 2012 @ 6:03pm | ! Report

        I think Gold Coast and Tasmania would have been a better fit this time around, and GWS in a few more years. Tasmania would have made the money that Gold Coast is expected to lose, meaning that from a revenue standpoint at least, we could have had GWS within 5 years.

    , ,