Giant challenges ahead for Greater Western Sydney

Andrew Davies Roar Rookie

By Andrew Davies, Andrew Davies is a Roar Rookie

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200 Have your say

    Greater Western Sydney’s foray into becoming a strong AFL entity in Western Sydney has come under immense pressure for a myriad of reasons in the past 48 hours.

    This has become even more acute after being demolished by 135 points against the Adelaide Crows on Mother’s Day at Skoda Stadium.

    Many media commentators from inside and outside the AFL community have been whipping the GWS Giants, largely to do with the controversial post-match comments made by GWS coach Kevin Sheedy.

    While the record low crowd for a GWS home game of 5,830 on Sunday was given wide publicity from the media at first, considering it was the worst AFL crowd since the Fitzroy era, social media picked up on comments made by Kevin Sheedy in his post-match address to the media.

    Just in case you were not aware of what was said, Sheedy made a comparison to the challenges facing the GWS Giants growing the game in Western Sydney in comparison to the A-League’s Western Sydney Wanderers by saying that “we don’t have the recruiting officer called the Immigration Department recruiting fans for the West Sydney Wanderers”.

    Although Sheedy has attempted to provide context to his initial comments, football personalities such as SBS’s Football Analyst Craig Foster and Wellington Phoenix’s captain Andrew Durante reactions to Sheedy’s comments summarise the anger that has been demonstrated by the wider football community on social media outlets.

    Foster was particularly venomous in his attack on Sheedy by saying his comments “were a disgrace to this country” and suggested to Sheedy that “maybe it’s time you got on a boat, and take your ignorance with you”. Durante labelled Sheedy a “muppet” for his comments and questioned whether GWS would draw even 4,000 to its next home game against the West Coast Eagles.

    Since the reaction, Sheedy has fronted up to the media once again to defend himself by saying that “it’s a throwaway line to make sure that everyone understands that is why soccer can get such a quick crowd”.

    He continued to reiterate the significant challenge that GWS has ahead of itself of establishing a strong foothold in Western Sydney.

    If anything has come out of the last 48 hours regarding the Giants, it is that they are in for a tough season, perhaps more than they would have even anticipated, on and off the field.

    Next match for the Giants is against the red-hot Hawthorn at Aurora Stadium this Saturday and they will be making sure that they can minimise the damage that Hawthorn could potentially deliver to them, especially if the Hawks can muster anything similar to their first quarter efforts against the Sydney Swans last Saturday night.

    Perhaps what is even more significant now is their next home game against the West Coast Eagles at Skoda Stadium on May 25. The Giants will be in overdrive trying to promote this game to the Western Sydney community after the disaster on and off the field on Mother’s Day.

    Currently, the Giants are still very much in their infancy and they are desperate to establish a positive club culture that would for their sake, result in increasing popularity among the Western Sydney population, especially since these recent events.

    While it can debated as to whether Sheedy’s comments were out of line or not, what has to be remembered is that if the Giants want to attract greater crowds to Skoda Stadium, then they need to be much more competitive than they were against Adelaide.

    Ultimately, the events of the last 48 hours has just provided another reminder to GWS and AFL headquarters that they have significant challenges ahead of them if they want to succeed in Western Sydney.

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    The Crowd Says (200)

    • May 15th 2013 @ 5:48am
      Ahmed said | May 15th 2013 @ 5:48am | ! Report

      The comments:
      The reaction is a beatup by soccer fans trying to bring football down a notch. Nothing more nothing less. Everyone, Everyone knows what those comments mean.

      The scorelines:
      In football we often talk of the second year blues. The Giants are coming along quite nicely and we should see more improvement by the end of the year and then next year will be a better than the Suns current one.

      The crowds:
      The Giants have received constant negative media throughout their existence. They are growing very nicely regardless.

      • May 15th 2013 @ 7:40am
        Punter said | May 15th 2013 @ 7:40am | ! Report

        Poor comment removed. Thanks, Roar Mods.

        • May 15th 2013 @ 8:14am
          Ahmed said | May 15th 2013 @ 8:14am | ! Report

          All Sheedy said is that one part of the marketing of the club is being helped alot by an influx of people from areas where soccer is followed. On the flip side there are not many new residents already following football.

          Idon’t believe the current crowds are an indicator ofcurrent support. Many supporters will be staying away until some wins areregistered.

          • May 15th 2013 @ 9:12am
            Punter said | May 15th 2013 @ 9:12am | ! Report

            Ahmed, I’ve been to Melbourne a few times in my life, don’t pretend to be an expert but….
            Melbourne is not exactly a small country town with few immigrants, they are a thriving immigration policy & I don’t see AFL suffering down there. Many of these are from soccer playing countries, as a matter of fact your chairman has a name that sounds like his heritage is from a soccer loving country. Why should that matter? Why make the comment apart from implying it’s a ‘FOREIGN’ game.

            • May 15th 2013 @ 10:14am
              Ahmed said | May 15th 2013 @ 10:14am | ! Report

              Yes I completely agree. But it takes time for these people to discover the new things that Australia has to offer. It will take time for Western Sydney residents of any background to discover the delights of Australias game. Many of these people already have some sort of involvement in soccer.

              • May 15th 2013 @ 10:19am
                fadida said | May 15th 2013 @ 10:19am | ! Report

                Still waiting for the world to “discover the delights of the Australian game” Ahmed….

              • May 15th 2013 @ 10:43am
                Ahmed said | May 15th 2013 @ 10:43am | ! Report

                Indeed. And when they do I would love to come back here and say ‘I told you so’.

              • Roar Guru

                May 15th 2013 @ 10:51am
                Redb said | May 15th 2013 @ 10:51am | ! Report

                Why not? Many do in Melbourne where the sport has a higher profile.

        • May 15th 2013 @ 8:47am
          wotdoo said | May 15th 2013 @ 8:47am | ! Report

          Perhaps the crowds are the best as they are organised so that they can have the best return on games in terms of crowd numbers after each team has played each other once with the games

          • May 15th 2013 @ 2:50pm
            ciudadmarron said | May 15th 2013 @ 2:50pm | ! Report

            Ahmed, re: “the delights of the australian game” – the inference with this type of comment therefore, intended or no, becomes that to play or follow one of these sports is “australian” and the other is not. When recent immigrants are maligned as it is, this is just another in a long line of accusations that they aren’t assimilating quick enough.

            The “Australian” game’s only claim to being Australian is that it was developed on this continent. When it was invented it was done so by a product of the English Public school system and his rules were almost exactly the same as the FA rules upon which soccer was founded. At this time soccer players marked the football and before it in some areas had used behind posts and infinite goals. The code flourished only in some of the colonies, something which largely continues to this day. Now its codification here might well allow it to be called the australian game; but this is not what people mean when they use this term. As you inferred, we all know what Kevin meant… But we are Australians because that’s what it says on our passport or citizenship papers and that is all – not because of what football code we follow or play, if any.

            Further to this, those defending Sheedy’s comments keep suggestiong that they were poorly worded but accurate. They are not.
            1/3 of people in Western Sydney are immigrants. (Wow, I found that out without having to go to the Department of Immigration myself as it happens). Sheedy supposes that the entire Wanderers crowd have come from this group of people, channelled like so much seething foreign chattel into the west. This is highly inaccurate. It also ignores the hard work that has gone in to creating the club on a shoestring, the goodwill of all the volunteers, players, coaches, officials. No, no, Kevin knows best; they only had to turn up because of all the immigrants. How insulting to the Wanderers organisation and the people of western sydney who Kevin, despite his protests, and the Giants, despite theirs, clearly do not understand.

            There is also a supposition that it is these migrants who bring their love of the game to Western Sydney. This is also innacurate, as Ian Syson’s excellent blog points out:


            • May 15th 2013 @ 3:02pm
              Jimbo said | May 15th 2013 @ 3:02pm | ! Report

              When you start quoting Ian Syson, or linking his website, your entire credibility to offer something that can be considered reasonable and fair to both soccer and AF is thrown out the window.

              He offers absolutely nothing.

              • May 15th 2013 @ 3:18pm
                ciudadmarron said | May 15th 2013 @ 3:18pm | ! Report

                What he offers is accurate historical research for some perspective.
                You don’t have to agree with his sentiments about how the game has been treated but he provides evidence about often ignored aspects of the history of the game.

                Are you going to suggest to me that Granville Magpies did not exist? Or perhaps that soccer wasn’t played in western sydney at all prior to the post war waves of migration? Maybe that the ANZACs who played soccer were actually not Australians?

              • May 15th 2013 @ 4:17pm
                ciudadmarron said | May 15th 2013 @ 4:17pm | ! Report

                Goodness – not division! You don’t mean to say you don’t like reading articles which criticise aspects of Aussie Rules (and not the game itself) or seek to disassemble the metanarrative around it? I feel for you Jimbo, I really do! But in reality division is created by untruths, like the lines Sheedy repeated. Digging up long forgotten newspaper articles and shedding light on them – and yes, even pointing out that they tell a slightly different story to the one we are often told – is hardly the work of a divisive wackjob.

                However the point remains that football has a long history in Western Sydney and that footballers were clearly being recognised as solid Australian citizens without any disrespect being meted out for their choice of code.

      • May 15th 2013 @ 10:31am
        Chairman Kaga said | May 15th 2013 @ 10:31am | ! Report

        Ahmed, you hit the nail on the head. The soccer followers are attempting some cheap point scoring. I have lost a lot of respect for Craig Foster this week.

        People like Fozzie need to realise that there are plenty amongst us that are sport’s fans and we love our Australia footy and we also love our soccer.

        We need to get a petition together to remove Foz from SBS. There are better soccer pundits than this so called half baked “football analyst”. What a laugh, played a couple of years for Portsmouth and part of the backline that cost us in that match against Iran at the MCG back in 1997. Dud!

        • May 15th 2013 @ 10:49am
          Ahmed said | May 15th 2013 @ 10:49am | ! Report

          Talking about SBS.

          Their charter is to bring the world to Australia and also to provide access for new residents to events/news from their homeland.

          Why do they continue to promote leagues such as the A-League and Tour Down Under? It is clear that the SBS has been hijacked by a number of people to promote their own agenda.
          I agree with the EPL/Serie A/Tour De France been shown as they are big events for a large number of immigrants. But the A-league should not receive more coverage than the AFL. It is has been shown through statistics that football has more non-english speaking background followers than soccer.

          • May 15th 2013 @ 10:59am
            Titus said | May 15th 2013 @ 10:59am | ! Report

            SBS has the best sports coverage on FTA television, simple as that.

            Its AFL coverage is probably better than C7 or 9, its just that they also report on Football here and abroad.

            • Roar Guru

              May 15th 2013 @ 11:03am
              Redb said | May 15th 2013 @ 11:03am | ! Report

              Fox Footy is pretty darn good. It is the number one Pay TV Channel for a reason.

          • May 15th 2013 @ 11:10am
            Winter is Coming said | May 15th 2013 @ 11:10am | ! Report

            SBS have sided with the A-league because the World Game in all its forms, from the UEFA Champions League to the A-League fits in perfectly with their charter in promoting universal, culturally significant programming.

            AFL has an extremely limited relevance to the world culturally. Is this getting through to you at all?

            • May 15th 2013 @ 11:48am
              me, I like football said | May 15th 2013 @ 11:48am | ! Report

              That sounds very xenophobic to me.
              Lynch him!

              • May 15th 2013 @ 1:08pm
                Ian said | May 15th 2013 @ 1:08pm | ! Report

                afl receives blanket coverage in australia but has no relevance outside it and limited relevance for half of australia’s population

          • May 15th 2013 @ 1:06pm
            Ian said | May 15th 2013 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

            what a terrible comment. why do they promote the A-League? its called football. for all the people in austalia that love football.
            shown that aussie rules has more non english speaking background followers than football?
            seriously inept and incorrect statement.

        • May 15th 2013 @ 1:49pm
          fadida said | May 15th 2013 @ 1:49pm | ! Report

          Chairman, Foz was a midfielder.

          Can we also petition too remove Sheedy? His crime is the greater of the 2

        • May 15th 2013 @ 3:41pm
          Planet Football said | May 15th 2013 @ 3:41pm | ! Report

          Actually, Foster didn’t play in the ‘backline’…. he was a midfielder.

    • May 15th 2013 @ 7:00am
      Bondy said | May 15th 2013 @ 7:00am | ! Report

      Kevin doesn’t realise sports entertainment though, Kevin makes the point that the Wanderers success has come from an open immigration policy, not true people like the sport no matter what skin colour, I think he’s still dodging the issue the A League have a sport where the score lines are not embarrassing in their sport if theirs a major difference between the two teams, in AFL if theirs a major difference between the two teams score lines look horribly imbalanced and heavily one sided ,high scoring games are not a feature to a sport with major hidings.

      After a year and a half some people find it strange that they play their home games in Canberra and not in the West that often ?, you have young men playing a physical game against older experienced men who are beating down on them and the Giants are getting beat by roughly 60 every week and your asking the sports supporters of the West to come join,,they won’t swallow it, get your team to win and the locals will follow. Kevin doesn’t want to understand that people don’t want to follow constant losers, simple.

      • May 15th 2013 @ 7:23am
        Stavros said | May 15th 2013 @ 7:23am | ! Report

        Bondy, Kevin fully understands what the situation is. Good to hear you say that ‘get your team to win and the locals will follow’. This is exactly the sort of thing GWS want to hear. I’m still confident that they will be a decent side in 3 years or so. The Suns have improved quite a bit in this their third year, so I think we can use that as a gauge for the Giants.

      • May 15th 2013 @ 7:30am
        Ahmed said | May 15th 2013 @ 7:30am | ! Report

        Didn’t the Socceroos beat a team 32-0 afew years ago?
        But yes i agree that once the Giants start winning the situation will improve dramatically.

        • May 15th 2013 @ 8:33am
          Paul said | May 15th 2013 @ 8:33am | ! Report

          Which is why they no longer play in the Oceania Football Confederation. Back in 2001 when that scoreline was registered against American Samoa, the interest in the game was tiny compared to what it is now.

          • May 15th 2013 @ 9:42am
            Nathan of Perth said | May 15th 2013 @ 9:42am | ! Report

            Although 6-1 and 7-2 scorelines popped up in the A-League a few times during the year and, by ratio, that was pretty bad as well.

      • May 15th 2013 @ 9:41am
        Nathan of Perth said | May 15th 2013 @ 9:41am | ! Report

        Agree with this; if I moved to West Sydney now I’d just about have to take dutch courage just to show up at Skoda each fortnight, and I’m hardly a casual of the code. It has been a particularly gruesome exercise in boys v men.

    • May 15th 2013 @ 8:40am
      Paul said | May 15th 2013 @ 8:40am | ! Report

      Amazing that the AFL would place a team without having done any groundwork in the area.

      Gold Coast hosted matches for a number of years before the AFL decided to give them a team. They initially wanted the Kangaroos to relocate but when James Brayshaw stepped in the way of that, they decided a 17th team would enter the competition. Of course, 17 is an odd number so to prevent boring byes they decided to add another team, and Western Sydney was it.

      I attended a North Melbourne v Adelaide match at Carrara in 2007. On local radio, the Kangaroos were being referred to as “our Kangaroos”. This suggests that there was an appetite for a local AFL side even then on GC.

      Was such groundwork done in Western Sydney? No. Basing the appetite for AFL footy in Western Sydney on good crowds at Swans Homebush fixtures was daft, as those attending were barracking either for the Swans or the opposition, not hankering for their own team, and many of them came in from around Sydney, not just (or necessarily) the west.

      Playing matches at Blacktown to gauge support before coining a new team would have been wiser. Ironically, the groundwork that was lacking in Western Sydney was being laid in Canberra with matches previously being played there and where the Giants actually do command a good attendance.

      Move the team to Canberra and have them play the odd match in Western Sydney, rather than the other way around.

      • May 15th 2013 @ 12:49pm
        warren said | May 15th 2013 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

        Chairman -let me enlighten you. Nobody in Sydney really gives a s**t about Melbourne. They are too absord with themselves to worry about what anyone from Victoria thinks of them. The Storm got their premierships stripped away because the cheated it is as simply as that and to suggest anything different is ridiculous.

        • May 15th 2013 @ 1:36pm
          Chairman Kaga said | May 15th 2013 @ 1:36pm | ! Report

          How come the Brisbane Broncos were never even talked to at all? It had exactly the same management, still does, and it has been a pretty successful club.

          Also, that first premiership the Storm won, if that wasn’t fixed, I don’t know what is. The NRL and the refs conspired to make that happen. If you were a Dragons fan, you must have felt sick to your stomach. It will come out one day about the 1998.

          • May 15th 2013 @ 2:07pm
            Renegade said | May 15th 2013 @ 2:07pm | ! Report

            Chairman Kaka,

            WTF are you talking about?

      • May 15th 2013 @ 1:10pm
        Ian said | May 15th 2013 @ 1:10pm | ! Report

        good god. storm were stripped of their premierships because they cheated. it was a gutsy move by gallop to do that, and football’s advantage he is now with the FFA.

    • May 15th 2013 @ 8:42am
      andyincanberra said | May 15th 2013 @ 8:42am | ! Report

      Talk of failure is very premature. I remember in the first couple of years of the Storm, when they seemed not to be getting a toe-hold in Melbourne there were suggestions that they would move to the Central Coast. Then, they win a premiership in their 2nd year, and all of a sudden they are part of Melbourne’s sporting fabric.
      Let’s remember that this is team of kids. Very talented kids. In a few years they will be very successful on-field, which, like the Swans and the Storm, should translate into a strengthened supporter base.
      Something else. Last time I heard, the membership numbers of Giants are within a couple of dozen of the Storm. Not too bad for a 2nd year team.
      What Kevin Sheedy said was stupid, no doubt about it. But, what I think he was suggesting is that migrants are naturally going to gravitate towards a game they know.
      I’m unsure why the Giants are are the subject of such venom in online forums, when the Storm, Rebels and Force, all teams parachuted into non-traditional areas without community consultation, are not.

      • May 15th 2013 @ 9:34am
        Paul said | May 15th 2013 @ 9:34am | ! Report

        Andy, the team were competitive from the get-go. There was no backstabbing of the Storm by established clubs, probably because after the Super League War they didn’t have the resolve.

        Not the case with the Giants, who were even given a chance by the established clubs and even had Eddie McGuire describe their local area as the “land of the felafel”, amazing comment from someone who grew up in Broadmeadows which now has a large Middle Eastern community and whose brother is the state MP there.

    • May 15th 2013 @ 8:46am
      buddy said | May 15th 2013 @ 8:46am | ! Report

      Irrespective of how eloquently Mr Sheedy made his comparisons, the whole subject is not that complicated.

      AFL in Sydney is not the same as Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth. The number of players in junior and the amateur game reflect the level of interest and it makes little difference as to what part of Sydney you look at. We have seen some very poor crowds at Swans over the years and these invariably pick up when the team does well as Sydney is a fairly fickle population when it comes to watching any professional sport.

      Each weekend there are thousands of people engaged in local sports and many of these players and families do not engage in any sport at a higher level, so participation is high and spectating is relatively low. The comparison with WSW is not really necessary. The round ball game attracted around 10,000 per match up until the time when it became apparent that it was likely to be a highly successful season and along with every other sports team, success attracts more support. There are many followers in Western Sydney who did not like travelling to Moore Park to see the only professional game and WSW was able to forge a strong link with the targetted audience. Undoubtedly, the club had a head start in terms of likely support. Assocaition football, Soccer, call it what you will is a world game played and watched by millions around the world and it has a world cup where over 200 countries begin competing. It surely makes sense then that the likely number of supporters will be far greater than for a code that is played at professional level in only one country or two if you make the comparison to Ireland? It makes no difference whether the supporters are indigenous, immigrants or whatever label you put on them. The crowds in Melbourne come from all walks of life in much the same way that WSW fans are labelled.
      Therefore, ultimately it boils down to popularity, success and the level of interest there is in the game where a team is located. If the AFL was expecting initial crowds of 20,000 plus, it is likely they did not properly research the subject thoroughly. If the fledgling club can survive on gates of 5-10,000 and supporters want to be part of a team that may initially be heavily beaten by many opponents, then they have a formula that will work and should stick with it.

      • Roar Pro

        May 15th 2013 @ 9:38am
        Sports Candy said | May 15th 2013 @ 9:38am | ! Report

        The fact that so many people are defending Sheedy and his organisation shows how an AFL fan thinks.

        If someone from any other sport said it, it would be front or back page news and labelled racism.

        Sydney Sports fans are not fickle. We have the best selection of entertainment and things to do of any city in the world, so we go for quality, not quantity.

        WSW are far more entertaining than the GWS and its got nothing to do with Australia’s immigration policy.

        • May 15th 2013 @ 9:48am
          Christo the Daddyo said | May 15th 2013 @ 9:48am | ! Report

          “Sydney Sports fans are not fickle. We have the best selection of entertainment and things to do of any city in the world, so we go for quality, not quantity.”

          You do realise your second sentence contradicts your first don’t you?

          • Roar Guru

            May 15th 2013 @ 9:49am
            Redb said | May 15th 2013 @ 9:49am | ! Report

            Yep. Craig Fister and a host of other self appointed victims.

            • May 15th 2013 @ 11:19am
              pete said | May 15th 2013 @ 11:19am | ! Report

              So did Sheedy say to Foster “your sport is for boat people” or not?

              • Roar Guru

                May 15th 2013 @ 11:35am
                Redb said | May 15th 2013 @ 11:35am | ! Report


                How do we know? Was it said in jest? Sportsman nights are pretty willing and fair game for jokes that cross the line.

                It may have been a poor taste joke but then again Foster might be a tad serious. He seems to take subjective views on lot of things and they are usually pro soccer and anti everything else.

                Thin skinned I think.

              • May 15th 2013 @ 11:57am
                pete said | May 15th 2013 @ 11:57am | ! Report

                Seems like Sheedy has more to hide. Why no public response to say it was yet another joke? Foster must be right

              • Roar Guru

                May 15th 2013 @ 12:00pm
                Redb said | May 15th 2013 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

                Has any of Sheedy’s work in other areas sunk in or are you going to just stick with what Foster tells you. if yes, see ya.

                Sheedy is so anti soccer he wrote the forward for a book by Rale Rasic. Have you heard of him?

              • May 15th 2013 @ 1:13pm
                Ian said | May 15th 2013 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

                sheedy’s work with the indigenous is to get them to play AFL.
                sheedy said at a public conference ‘your sport is for boat people’

                what part of that is even remotely amusing?
                closet xenophobia.

              • Roar Guru

                May 15th 2013 @ 1:57pm
                Redb said | May 15th 2013 @ 1:57pm | ! Report


            • May 15th 2013 @ 1:54pm
              yewonk said | May 15th 2013 @ 1:54pm | ! Report

              so if dont like some ones post you can just have them deleted?

            • May 15th 2013 @ 3:52pm
              Jimbo said | May 15th 2013 @ 3:52pm | ! Report

              Craig Fister 🙂 is he the new ALF.

          • Roar Pro

            May 15th 2013 @ 9:53am
            Sports Candy said | May 15th 2013 @ 9:53am | ! Report

            How am I contradicting myself?

            We have so much to choose from that we only like to go to the best entertainment, whether it involves sport or not.

            • May 15th 2013 @ 10:28am
              Monopoly Man said | May 15th 2013 @ 10:28am | ! Report

              Yet time and time again studies will show that people from all the other capital cities go to sport, music, theatre, museums etc in far greater numbers.

              No me thinks Syndey-siders like to sit in their homes or venture to the local RSL and continually tell themselves how thriving and happening Sydney is.

              • May 15th 2013 @ 10:56am
                Renegade said | May 15th 2013 @ 10:56am | ! Report

                What’s the numbers for people at the beaches and people just going into the harbour for a day or night out…??

              • May 15th 2013 @ 11:01am
                Monopoly Man said | May 15th 2013 @ 11:01am | ! Report

                In winter..

                Probably the same as Brisbane or Perth, perhaps a bit higher then Port Phillip. Still not enough to make up the difference. Sydney siders are predominantly home bodies.

              • May 15th 2013 @ 11:28am
                VOG said | May 15th 2013 @ 11:28am | ! Report

                Monopoly Man up until last weekend the weather in Sydney was 24 degrees and the ocean temp at 20, very swimmable believe me. But maybe we should all hve gone and sat in a concrete bowl in our beanies and scarves to watch GWS instead.

              • May 15th 2013 @ 12:36pm
                Nathan of Perth said | May 15th 2013 @ 12:36pm | ! Report

                Well this has taken a turn for the ludicrous.

            • Roar Pro

              May 15th 2013 @ 10:34am
              Sports Candy said | May 15th 2013 @ 10:34am | ! Report

              Sydney has the highest participation numbers for all sports except AFL.

              We like to play sport or watch our kids play too.

              • May 15th 2013 @ 10:57am
                Monopoly Man said | May 15th 2013 @ 10:57am | ! Report

                Yes very good, that explains the empty stadiums. As for attending music festivals, going to the theatre or museum.. well as I said once again Sydney lags behind the other capital cities.

              • May 15th 2013 @ 12:06pm
                me, I like football said | May 15th 2013 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

                Thats simply untrue Victoia has a higher participation rate overall than NSW when it comes to sport participation. including in such mainstream sports as basketball, netball, cricket, tennis and golf not just Australian football

              • May 15th 2013 @ 12:21pm
                Titus said | May 15th 2013 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

                “As for attending music festivals, going to the theatre or museum.. well as I said once again Sydney lags behind the other capital cities.”

                Hmmm……actual figures seem to have NSW well ahead but I’m prepared to take your word for it instead MM.


              • May 15th 2013 @ 12:40pm
                me, I like football said | May 15th 2013 @ 12:40pm | ! Report

                “the data was limited to the Australian Major Performing Arts Group (AMPAG) of companies”
                from the ABS
                ATTENDANCE RATE (%) NSW Vic
                Art galleries 25.7 26.2
                Museums 23.2 25.6
                Zoological parks and aquariums 35.2 38.5
                Botanic gardens 31.5 40.0
                Libraries 32.4 33.4
                Archives 3.1 4.4
                Performing arts
                Classical music concerts 9.4 9.9
                Popular music concerts 29.3 31.1
                Theatre performances 16.4 17.4
                Dance performances 10.9 9.3
                Musicals and operas 16.7 20.5
                Other performing arts 15.6 18.0
                Total attending at least one performing arts event 51.4 54.5
                Cinemas 64.4 69.2
                Total attending at least one venue or event 83.2 87.2

              • May 15th 2013 @ 4:24pm
                Titus said | May 15th 2013 @ 4:24pm | ! Report

                Oh really MilF?

                It is pretyt much anything that sells tickets. Though it admits smaller theatres and productions that self ticket are under represented.

                I notice you typed yours up instead of providng a link, if you want to provide a link i will have a squiz.

            • May 15th 2013 @ 10:36am
              Nathan of Perth said | May 15th 2013 @ 10:36am | ! Report

              A valuation that changes from minute to minute – it’s very much a self-contradiction, and a massive bit of excusemongering to boot.

              • Roar Guru

                May 15th 2013 @ 10:46am
                Redb said | May 15th 2013 @ 10:46am | ! Report

                Sports Candy,

                “Sydney loves its sport, whether we’re at the game”

                To be contrary, Melbourne would have significantly higher sporting crowds than Sydney with 10% less population.

              • Roar Pro

                May 15th 2013 @ 10:51am
                Sports Candy said | May 15th 2013 @ 10:51am | ! Report

                That doesn’t mean the people who do go to the games are fickle. Most of them follow their team no matter what

                A lot of people in Sydney just don’t like sport, whatever it is. Probably half the people who went to see LA galaxy don’t even follow football, they just went to see Beckham.

              • May 15th 2013 @ 11:36am
                VOG said | May 15th 2013 @ 11:36am | ! Report

                Redb, 50% of players ever for socceroos from Western Sydney, over half the current Australian cricket team NSWmen, Wallabies an Kangaroos historically exclusively NSWmen & Qlders. All the gold medals from the last Olympics won by NSW & Qld I believe. But admittedly a lot of people in Victoria ae interested in AFL and I assume most of the Sydney Swans and GWS players are from there.

              • May 15th 2013 @ 12:05pm
                Nathan of Perth said | May 15th 2013 @ 12:05pm | ! Report

                Has less to do with the quality of the players and more to do with the internal politics and cliques of NSW 😛

              • May 15th 2013 @ 12:46pm
                VOG said | May 15th 2013 @ 12:46pm | ! Report

                Nathan I’d argue it stems more from the Southern states obsessions with the AFL. NSW & Qld’s dominance of our international sporting teams has only got greater with the rise of the AFL in the last 20 years. The Southern States are importing NSWmen into their shield sides.

                Australia’s international sporting reputation is largely built on our international teams performance who both these days and historically were overwhelmingly reliant on NSW & Qld leadership and manpower.

              • Roar Guru

                May 15th 2013 @ 2:20pm
                Redb said | May 15th 2013 @ 2:20pm | ! Report


                America would probably win more gold medals also if their best athletes didn’t go to NFL or the NBA.

                I’ve long argued in response rugby league should merge with rugby union as this would be better for Australia’s international sporting reputation. Union is the far bigger sport.

                In fact why not ban all other football codes than soccer in the quest for the World Cup.

                No-one seems to agree that its the be and end all after that. Funny that. 🙂

                Long Live the Sherrin.

      • Roar Guru

        May 15th 2013 @ 9:42am
        Redb said | May 15th 2013 @ 9:42am | ! Report

        Can’t argue with any of that.

        I don’t think the AFL was expecting 20,000 at games.

        The Giants could be excused for getting belted last year, but on Sunday they crashed miserably and frankly you would have to be a real diehard to stick with them. This is the low base and I can’t see as a problem based on their level of competitiveness.

        I know I turned the game off as soon as it became a blowout.

        • May 15th 2013 @ 10:39am
          Nathan of Perth said | May 15th 2013 @ 10:39am | ! Report

          Another pummeling like that and AFL House might have to start reviewing options. It’s quite possible that in its haste to avoid a weekly bye, the gun was jumped in launching the second team before the player pool could adapt.

          Almost a shame Malthouse went to Carlton.

          • Roar Guru

            May 15th 2013 @ 10:51am
            Redb said | May 15th 2013 @ 10:51am | ! Report


            We have to remember that Adelaide are reknown flat track bullies. Adelaide are not that good and GWS are not that bad.

            The next few weeks will be tough for the Giants, thus it will look worse than it could have been.

            Sheedy can’t escape the truth that the Giants were not ready to play. Their mindset against Essendon was very different the week before. Perhaps being young is an excuse for inconsistency but Sheeds and the coaching staff have to cop the blame for the lack of competitiveness.

    • May 15th 2013 @ 9:00am
      Col Quinn said | May 15th 2013 @ 9:00am | ! Report

      Sheedy’s comments have been taken out of context. The comments were not racist or bigoted. What they were is Sheedy telling the AFL to start a tactical retreat and pull out of an area that never wanted an AFL side and has now become antagonistic towards the concept, because of cultural and traditional attachments. The AFL and many of the Roars AFL supporters should listen carefully to what Sheedy has said. Much of the problems with the GWS can placed directly at the feet of the AFL.
      When the Swans were established they were located where there was strong and traditional AFL support. The Swans were welcomed into Sydney. At the Swan’s launch the National Captains and Heads of the Rugby League, Rugby Union and Soccer were all invited and all were present. Sydney wanted its own AFL team. Instead of putting the next Sydney AFL where there is a big AFL presence, the Hills District, where a team has been demanded for years, the AFL selects Blacktown. The AFL then proceeds to buy several local councils and establishes AFL only grounds in areas where there are shortages of sporting facilities for other codes, particularly Soccer. These councils have now realised that the AFL lied to them and they are progressively reversing the AFL only dictums. The AFL approached Hornsby Council with another land grab attempt in 2012 but the AFL’s questionable statistics were ignored by the newly elected council and the land grab thwarted. Think of the antagonism from the people of Sydney’s West to the GWS concept.
      Having realised that the promised support in Blacktown was non-existent, the GWS moved away. What a slap in the face. What a huge waste of money, considering that many of the Victorian Leagues are desperate for funds.
      In recent times the AFL’s statistics have been shown to be wrong in two Senate hearings and their own statistician, through academic rigor, has disputed most of the claims made by the AFL. When I was growing up in Victoria the AFL (then VFL) was named on numerous occasions for questionable business practices in relation to the VFA but the VFL already “owned” the government of the time.
      The doubling of crowd figures at GWS home games has now become a running joke in Sydney Western Suburbs. Admittedly, the NRL did the same back in the 1990s, when RL was going down hill. However, I was at game last year where the crowd was announced at 6012. The laughter was the loudest thing in the stadium. There were less than 3000. We counted them. Last week’s game’s, against the Crows, crowd claims of nearly 6000 spectators are rubbish. There are a number of people who have done counts off video and they are saying in the range of 2500. Before any says the rest were in the bar, why were they in the bar and the bars at Skoda could not hold more than1000.
      Many are promoting Auskick as the way the AFL will gain support in Sydney’s West. Well you see a lot of Auskick balls being played with in Sydney’s West. The kids are using them to play Touch or RL. A free gift from the AFL to RL.
      The highly promoted origins of AFL, how that has changed over the years! When I was a little boy in Victoria we were taught that gold miners from England and Ireland brought the game to Australia, where it developed into what we see today. We were taught that English teams used to come to Australia and play Victorian sides at open rules and this was possible because a similar game was played in England. Victoria used to play against NSW and Queensland, using a combination of Victorian and northern rules. Now we are being told that AFL originated in Australia and this is why we should all play it.
      What I have written is going to attract a flurry of criticism but very little will come from Sydney’s West, where I live and continue to support the Swans and occasionally St Kilda. Listen to Sheedy and move GWS to where it is wanted.

      • May 15th 2013 @ 9:28am
        Honiara said | May 15th 2013 @ 9:28am | ! Report

        Col Revisionist

        English rugby teams came here in the 1889s and played rugby in the north and Victorian and rugby rules in the south.

        Ken Arthurson and the NRL banned RL players from attending Swans training after Wayne pearce taught tackling techniques in hafeys time…

        As for the rest of your rant, the alleged grab for grounds by the AFL in Sydney has been debunked many times…

        • May 15th 2013 @ 2:27pm
          Jimbo said | May 15th 2013 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

          Col has been debunked many times, he just repeats ad nauseum, better to ignore, he will just repost.

      • Roar Guru

        May 15th 2013 @ 9:34am
        Redb said | May 15th 2013 @ 9:34am | ! Report


        As has been said many times, GWS is like the Storm in Melbourne. There was virtually zero rugby league played in Melbourne when the Storm arrived. It is still a very minor sport but that has not stopped the NRL and News Ltd from supporting it 15 years on.

        Every word you have said about the Giants in Western Sydney can be compared to the Storm in Melbourne in terms of presence.

        The Giants are 2 years old and like a toddler can barely walk as opposed to run.

        The rest of your rant about the origins of the game – meh. Different day same dribble.

        • May 15th 2013 @ 9:39am
          Paul said | May 15th 2013 @ 9:39am | ! Report

          If you’re going to make comparisons with the Storm, compare them to the Swans.

          The Giants would be more akin to a second NRL team in Melbourne, based in an area such as Casey.

          • Roar Guru

            May 15th 2013 @ 9:48am
            Redb said | May 15th 2013 @ 9:48am | ! Report


            Australian rules has always had a sporting competition presence in Sydney. Rugby league was non existent in Melbourne.

            Western Sydney is considered a different city by many in Australian political, cultural & sporting circles.

            The comparison is entirely appropriate in terms of the task ahead.

            The other comparison of GWS is Melb Heart.

            • May 15th 2013 @ 10:04am
              Punter said | May 15th 2013 @ 10:04am | ! Report

              Yes that’s correct except for the GWS & Melb Heart comparison, because Melb Heart like their WSW counterparts also has ‘recruiting officer called the immigration department recruiting fans’. Sorry couldn’t help myself..
              But the fact remains, this is the truth.

              • Roar Guru

                May 15th 2013 @ 11:02am
                Redb said | May 15th 2013 @ 11:02am | ! Report


                Heart and the Giants have a lot in common. Both second teams who grabbed a small share of the existing fanbase +/- 20%. Heart have had crowds of 4,500.

                In some ways though the Giants have more potential becuase Sydney / Sydney West is a divide, Melbourne lacks a geographic point of difference for Heart to target.

                Doesn’t guarantee it will turn that way though.

              • May 15th 2013 @ 1:59pm
                Punter said | May 15th 2013 @ 1:59pm | ! Report

                Another thing that GWS & MH have are legends of their sport coaching them. Both having done great things for the sport. But they may not have the street cred outside their sport, although John Alosi goal was seen by most Australians.

              • Roar Guru

                May 15th 2013 @ 2:16pm
                Redb said | May 15th 2013 @ 2:16pm | ! Report


                yeah Alosi better known as a player than a coach. Sheedy been a coach for a long time, 1981.

              • May 15th 2013 @ 3:59pm
                clipper said | May 15th 2013 @ 3:59pm | ! Report

                Agree with your points Redb – as you say Melbourne lacks the geographical point of difference that Sydney has, so GWS and Storm comparisons are valid except for one major point – Storm hit the boards running and have been at, or near the top for most of their 15 years. If this had happened to GWS then the crowds may have been better, although it’s hard to know how the crowds would be afftected if the Storm eventually slide down the ladder

        • May 15th 2013 @ 9:39am
          Paul said | May 15th 2013 @ 9:39am | ! Report

          If you’re going to make comparisons with the Storm, compare them to the Swans.

          The Giants would be more akin to a second NRL team in Melbourne, based in an area such as Casey.

        • May 15th 2013 @ 10:05am
          Col Quinn said | May 15th 2013 @ 10:05am | ! Report

          RedB or Andrew or whoever you are. I am nearly 70 I have been around considerable longer than you and I still have the VFL history pamphlets handed out when I was in school, signed by Bernie Smith who was one of the VFL stars that visited our school. I know how the AFL has distorted history and fact. You are typical of the AFL revisionists, trying to change history to suit your purpose. The Storms approach to Melbourne was the same as the Swans approach to Sydney, nothing like the high handed questionable tactics used by those establishing the GWS. Also, I saw Austin Wotherspoon’s Victorian RL side play the touring British side in Melbourne in 1962, so no RL in Melbourne? When you get home from school this afternoon open a few history book, not written by the AFL, and get the view of earth that the rest of the world sees.

          • May 15th 2013 @ 10:33am
            Ahmed said | May 15th 2013 @ 10:33am | ! Report

            I imagine you are also aware of the racism faced by Aborigines back during that time as well. I dont think the white fellas would have been willing to admit that their beloved football was actually an indigenous sport.

            You see this correction of history around the world. No longer was Sir Edmund Hillary the first man to conquer Everest … he now correctly conquered it with Tenzing Norgay. No longer did white men build America, it was the black slaves. Many inventions from China which were previously recognised as a Western Invention are also now being recognised.

          • May 15th 2013 @ 10:43am
            Mals said | May 15th 2013 @ 10:43am | ! Report

            Well said Col.

            The grab for council grounds in Sydney by the AFL did happen but unless Redb drove up from Melbourne in his AFL roadshow caravan he wouldn’t have seen it with his own eyes.

            • May 15th 2013 @ 11:10am
              Tax but no rep said | May 15th 2013 @ 11:10am | ! Report

              If you read the SMH you would have AFL grab view but posts on here previously showed that Clegg of the SMH beat up a story about his junior soccer club needed more fields in Balmain area and linked it to junior AFL bidding for filelds (like every other code)..

            • May 15th 2013 @ 12:46pm
              me, I like football said | May 15th 2013 @ 12:46pm | ! Report

              Ha! It’s like those that don’t believe the moon landing happened. Mals, that conspiracy has well and truly been put to bed.

          • Roar Guru

            May 15th 2013 @ 11:13am
            Redb said | May 15th 2013 @ 11:13am | ! Report


            Rugby League has been played on and off in Melbourne. Rugby union like Aussie Rules in Sydney has been a constant presence in Melbourne.

            There is nothing revisionist about it, you’re being a hypocrite.

            My history of rugby league goes back to 1992 when I attended a Britain v Australian test match at “Princes Park” with some mates from Albury. I was a fan of Balmain and have a good understanding of both rugby codes from the 1990s.

            You don’t like AFL using Australia’s Game – that is tough. It obviously grates at you. It is and has been known as Australian Rules, Aussie Rules, Australian Football – no amountof historical fudging on your behalf will change that.

            So many are quick to point out ‘AFL’ is only played in Australia – and there it is in essence “Australia’s Game”.

            • May 15th 2013 @ 12:57pm
              Bondy said | May 15th 2013 @ 12:57pm | ! Report


              I don’t mind the Australia’s game bit it doesn’t bother me but you say its Australia’s game but half the nations watching NRL at the same time ???

              • Roar Guru

                May 15th 2013 @ 1:59pm
                Redb said | May 15th 2013 @ 1:59pm | ! Report


                When the NRL say their “Greatest game of all” – the world is not watching.

      • May 15th 2013 @ 10:22am
        Ahmed said | May 15th 2013 @ 10:22am | ! Report

        Im guessing you didnt count the corporate boxes

        • May 15th 2013 @ 10:29am
          Titus said | May 15th 2013 @ 10:29am | ! Report

          There were a few in the Enron box I think.

      • May 15th 2013 @ 10:59am
        Renegade said | May 15th 2013 @ 10:59am | ! Report


        I’ve lived in the hills district for my whole life…..where is this big AFL presence that is crying out for a team?? People were saying the same thing when GWS got the ahead…..the hills is dominated by League and Soccer.

        • May 15th 2013 @ 11:22am
          Nathan of Perth said | May 15th 2013 @ 11:22am | ! Report

          I think you’ll find rather that the hills are actually alive with the sound of music.

          • May 15th 2013 @ 11:24am
            Titus said | May 15th 2013 @ 11:24am | ! Report


            • May 15th 2013 @ 11:32am
              Nathan of Perth said | May 15th 2013 @ 11:32am | ! Report

              Not quite what I was hoping for!

      • May 15th 2013 @ 1:15pm
        Ian said | May 15th 2013 @ 1:15pm | ! Report

        they were ignorant and stupid comments though.

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