GWS: “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.”

Giovanni Torre Columnist

By Giovanni Torre, Giovanni Torre is a Roar Expert

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55 Have your say

    The football community will gaze upon the four remaining contenders with a range of strong emotions.

    Everyone bar the supporters of Hawthorn delighted in the Hawks’ exit. (Click to Tweet)

    Collingwood fans were probably the second-happiest group of fans as the record of 1927-1930 remains unparalleled. Luke Beveridge scored a win for his late grandfather Jack in that regard.

    Geelong fans were third-most stoked, not only because of the rivalry between the clubs and the Cats’ role in sending Hawthorn packing, but it also brought Geelong a little closer to laying claim to “team of the 21st century” status.

    The Cats can nail that down by winning the 2016 flag. Hawthorn will have to wait until 2017 for a shot at wrestling it back.

    The old firm
    Hawthorn are gone, but Sydney and the Cats continue to infuriate everyone but their own supporters. One or the other has featured in the 2005, ‘06, ‘07, ‘08, ‘09, ‘11, ‘12, ‘14 grand finals, and between them they’ve taken five of the past eleven flags. If either side claim the premiership, neutrals can always say “at least it’s not the Hawks”.

    Geelong are a strange case though. 2014 was a mirage. Geelong were not in it against the Hawks in second qualifier, losing by 36 points, before being bundled out by North Melbourne. 2015 was a massive flop. Before the trading period late last year, the Cats were paying 17/1 for the flag, yet here they are.

    Sydney are the only top eight side Geelong hasn’t beaten this season, and what’s more their one game was at Kardinia Park. The Swans have been rocked by a few important injuries, but Geelong will need to be at their best for four quarters to put Sydney away. Tom Lonergan has historically played well on Buddy Franklin, but if Franklin pushes up the ground the Cats may rotate Harry Taylor into a “tagging” role, in want of a more accurate phrase.

    The key will be Tom Hawkins. His ability to bring other forwards into the game against Hawthorn held Geelong together. If the Cats are to make the most of their opportunities going forward, it will be Hawkins who makes it happen. Like a gigantic version of Roberto Baggio, Hawkins not only kicks goals but marshals the attack and sets up others for the kill.

    A lot will need to click for Geelong to beat Sydney, but if the “second tier” Cats fire it will be a clash for the ages.

    Geelong Cats Patrick Dangerfield Harry Taylor Steven Motlop AFL 2016

    The upstarts
    I have mentioned this before but the Western Bulldogs should revert to the name Footscray. There are a host of reasons this is a good idea for the club itself, but would also mean Greater Western Sydney could drop the “greater” without creating a situation in which the league includes Western, West Coast and Western Sydney.

    On Saturday evening the only people among the 7.4billion on earth not hoping for a Footscray victory will be the 22 Giants, their friends and family, and the staff employed by the Greater Western Sydney Football Club.

    This doesn’t mean we should blame the Giants or their staff. They are only making the best of a ridiculously good situation. The AFL wanted an instant on-field success in the apparently fertile demographic soil of western Sydney and it only took the sixth season to deliver.

    West Coast and Adelaide, unlike Fremantle and Port Adelaide, had no direct historical antecedent(s), but they were the inheritors of two incredibly rich football traditions. Anyone who saw the 1984 Victoria versus Western Australia game at Subiaco could not possibly have argued the Eagles of 1987 were an unworthy club, or that their 1988 finals appearance was ‘manufactured’.

    I suppose the Giants will say ‘we have to start our tradition somewhere, so we might as well start at the top’ and the league will agree.

    Yes, Western Sydney are being rewarded for having very few fans by getting a home final at their tiny stadium. Geelong fans may well point out the problem, but money talks and bullshit walks.

    Instead of focussing on the apparent negatives, let’s focus instead on why the Bulldogs will beat the Giants.

    The Giants slew Sydney on the outside with their pace, but the Dogs have the intensity to hold up the run – and the pace to match the Giants if space is opened up.

    If you want a vision of the future, remember that passage of play late in the first quarter against Hawthorn when the Dogs forwards locked the ball in about 35 metres from goal and laid tackle after tackle after tackle. They were relentless – finally procuring a shot on goal after frustrating a series of Hawthorn attempts to escape.

    It is the destiny of Bevo’s Bulldogs to face one of the old firm on grand final day. I have already predicted it will be Geelong. Whether it is the Swans or Cats who stand in the way of the tide of Footscray’s revolution, there are many who will be hoping they get swept aside.

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    The Crowd Says (55)

    • September 19th 2016 @ 7:08am
      Blake Standfield said | September 19th 2016 @ 7:08am | ! Report

      If GWS can win it this year it will be a bit ahead of time and an impressive achievement. From next year it will just be manufactured and inevitable.

    • September 19th 2016 @ 8:05am
      michael RVC said | September 19th 2016 @ 8:05am | ! Report

      No, there will be plenty, perhaps the majority outside Victoria who do not hope for a WB win. Favoured by the fixture venues, you wonder if WB would have made the top 8 if not for that.

      • Roar Guru

        September 19th 2016 @ 8:23am
        Cat said | September 19th 2016 @ 8:23am | ! Report

        You mean to tell me that Vics will root for Vics and interstaters will root for interstaters? Wow, such a revelation! Who’d have thought people could be so petty as to root based on archaic state borders?

        • September 19th 2016 @ 11:19am
          Mr B said | September 19th 2016 @ 11:19am | ! Report

          Do you mean ‘non-vics’?

      • September 19th 2016 @ 8:28am
        mattyb said | September 19th 2016 @ 8:28am | ! Report

        Fixturing sure is terrible. I wonder though if the WB had gotten to play Essendon and Carlton twice whether they would have finished top four and be playing a home final this week.

      • September 19th 2016 @ 8:32am
        I hate pies said | September 19th 2016 @ 8:32am | ! Report

        Michael, are you referring to the run of games at Etihad to start the season? Are you suggesting that the co-tenants there play their home games somewhere else, just so the dogs don’t get a run of games there?
        They may have played a heap of home games up front, but that just means that they played more away games later in the year.

        • September 19th 2016 @ 6:12pm
          michael RVC said | September 19th 2016 @ 6:12pm | ! Report

          No, IHP. Check your statement. After their bye, they played 7 games in Melbourne, five of which were at Etihad. That took them thru to R23, when they played Freo at DS.

          You wouldn’t seriously suggest that 9 games in your home town, 7 of which at your home ground to complete your first 12 games of a season is not a blatant advantage would you? Set up their season perhaps? Then of your next 11 games, to play 7 in your home town with 5 at your home ground to complete their advantageous fixture?

          WB are a very good side and have some improvement in them, but their fixture is a serious advantage, without which I question how their 2016 season would have played out.

      • Roar Guru

        September 19th 2016 @ 8:56am
        Redb said | September 19th 2016 @ 8:56am | ! Report

        So it was just a fluke they beat West Coast at Subiaco and Hawthorn at the MCG.

        • September 19th 2016 @ 6:31pm
          michael RVC said | September 19th 2016 @ 6:31pm | ! Report

          No, two great wins. That does happen, even to Melb, St K and others of their ilk.

    • September 19th 2016 @ 8:35am
      hal said | September 19th 2016 @ 8:35am | ! Report

      GWS are a manufactured side who have got so many concessions from the AFL. There is a lot of resentment towards them. They will beat Footscray but Geelong will get them in the grand final. On a more superficial note their jerseys look ridiculous. It is time to return to simple designed jerseys. GWS should have a St Kilda panel design jersey. West Coast should have a royal blue jersey with a yellow sash or yellow V. Sydney should just wear the old South Melbourne design. Hawthorn should go back to proper verticle stripes not this idiotic shield design they wear at the moment, and Gold Coast need a total make over complete with color changes. Port and Freo finally ditched their idiotic designs and Adelaide put their hideous away jerseys in the trash can. Carlton need to put their ugly away jerseys in the can too. They also need to bring back the old cloth monogram where the letters over lap one another. Their current monogram looks cheap. To cut a long story short GWS need to flush their current jerseys down the can.

      • September 19th 2016 @ 2:49pm
        Tony H said | September 19th 2016 @ 2:49pm | ! Report

        They should also close pubs at 6pm, take the vote back off women, and make the teams drink beer in the rooms! Bring back the good old days! 🙂

        • September 19th 2016 @ 6:58pm
          hal said | September 19th 2016 @ 6:58pm | ! Report

          How do equate a rant about stupid looking jerseys with reactionary right wing politics? My political views are far left (not wishy washy greens nor sell out ALP) but that doesn’t mean that stupid looking jerseys are cool.Big G’s, stylized birds, anchors, and shields look ridiculous. The simple jerseys look the best; take those of the nba or nfl: they are simple and stylish plus they aren’t polluted with corporate sponsor logos.

      • September 19th 2016 @ 3:59pm
        Simoc said | September 19th 2016 @ 3:59pm | ! Report

        I reckon GWS have the best jerseys in the AFL apart from Freo. Hawthorn normally has the worst.

        And I hope they win the flag and give those Victories kiddies something to whinge about for many years.

        Sydney vs GWS would be an excellent Grand Final.

        The NSW State may be hopeless at rugby league but its doing great at the Victorian footy game.
        Showing the Vics how professionally run teams look. Richmond can only dream.

        • September 19th 2016 @ 4:17pm
          Bob said | September 19th 2016 @ 4:17pm | ! Report

          Personally would have Freo and GWS holding up the bottom in terms of worst guernsey. Essendon, Richmond and new Port guernsey are great as is the old Fitzroy one that gets pulled out once a year.

          • September 19th 2016 @ 7:08pm
            hal said | September 19th 2016 @ 7:08pm | ! Report

            My favorite jerseys are Carlton’s with a cloth monogram, North Melbourne’s, Geelong’s, Freo’s, and Port’s. My least favorites are Gold Coast’s, West Coast’s, all Hawthorn jerseys (stripes with pointed tips, stylized hawks etc), Sydney’s, Carlton’s white shield away jersey, and GWS’s.

        • September 19th 2016 @ 6:48pm
          Republican said | September 19th 2016 @ 6:48pm | ! Report

          The AFL clearly are planning for a GWS win, if the allocation quota for Doggies fans at Spotless is any indication.

        • September 19th 2016 @ 6:52pm
          Republican said | September 19th 2016 @ 6:52pm | ! Report

          Which Guernsey are you referring to?
          Most of the ‘franchises’ can’t choose between the 20 or more ensembles they have hanging in their wardrobes, so the marketeers keep designing ever more nauseating dog breakfasts for strips that render them void of identity.
          I reckon the old tried and true ones are the best truth be told.

      • September 19th 2016 @ 7:32pm
        Republican said | September 19th 2016 @ 7:32pm | ! Report

        …..I’m on the same page as you hal.
        Talkin bout my generation…….

    • Roar Guru

      September 19th 2016 @ 8:38am
      XI said | September 19th 2016 @ 8:38am | ! Report

      I’m a Giants fan and, shockingly, aren’t cheering for a Bulldogs win. Also not a staff member, player or friend/family member.

      I also don’t think the “haven’t earnt it” argument doesn’t really stack up since the draft picks and other options to build a squad were agreed to by the other teams and the Suns had similar concessions and haven’t done anything with them. I’d like to see a Sydney Derby GF just to really piss off Eddie and all the other VFL supporters.

      • September 19th 2016 @ 10:48am
        I hate pies said | September 19th 2016 @ 10:48am | ! Report

        You’re a rare breed. I’ve got more kids than there are GWS supporters. The other clubs were told to suck it up; GWS have earned nothing.

        • September 19th 2016 @ 1:02pm
          Chris Love said | September 19th 2016 @ 1:02pm | ! Report

          Must be a Collingwood supporter eh?

      • September 19th 2016 @ 1:17pm
        Gecko said | September 19th 2016 @ 1:17pm | ! Report

        The Giants deserve more respect than they’re getting. Plenty of high draft picks have flopped because the right culture wasn’t put in place (think Melbourne) and plenty of mature recruits have flopped because they were poorly chosen (think Campbell Bown, Jared Brennan, Nathan Bock et al at the Suns). GWS are in the prelims this week because they got these elements right.

        They’re my second favourite team remaining in this finals series.

        • September 19th 2016 @ 7:03pm
          Republican said | September 19th 2016 @ 7:03pm | ! Report

          I agree and this is why I hope in hope that the Doggies shatter the plastics illusions of grandeur this Saturday.
          It seems there are a majority of those who contribute to the roar who are of their generation and who I am guessing have been deprived I would say, because they confuse being a consumer, which they all are unconditionally so, with being a supporter.
          I hate pies, stick to your guns son.

        • September 19th 2016 @ 7:28pm
          Republican said | September 19th 2016 @ 7:28pm | ! Report

          GWS are a creation and indeed an illusion that the AFL multinational monster in collaboration with another multi national soul sucker, Channel 7 have poured inordinate amounts of $’s and resources into, to the detriment of the league and indeed the code in my opinion.
          Why, well it is really quite personal I suppose but as someone who has supported the code all my life in a city where the game is inherent of the sporting DNA, we find ourselves yet again expected to eat humble pie and even, ‘suck it up’ as the AFL’s expedient and insulting neglect of the nations capital and others, goes on unfettered.
          I mean why would I support (and I know that word support won’t necessarily register with most of you here who are actually consumers), yet another concocted I don’t know what really to call them, plonked in a completely unmeritorious demographic i.e. GWS.
          They don’t deserve any respect in this context because they have manufactured their identity and in doing so are duplicate in their exploitation of a real footy demographic usurping, Canberra and/or Tasmania.
          Go Foot es cray.

          • September 19th 2016 @ 9:40pm
            swift foetus said | September 19th 2016 @ 9:40pm | ! Report

            I’m actually beginning to love your posts now. can you please tell me more about the good old days? reds under the bed – is that an old swannies song?

    • September 19th 2016 @ 8:59am
      penguin said | September 19th 2016 @ 8:59am | ! Report

      4 good and worthy teams in a wonderful season. I am in awe of GWS. I personally think that the Swans will win it but without Tippett, Mills, Rohan and McVeigh it is a big ask, particularly after a 6 day break. No favours for the Swans in the fixturing this year – ANZ was a nightmare, always the ugly stepsister, and now a 6 day break.
      I love the Doggies but I can’t see them beating the class of GWS at Spotless. An all Sydney Granny beckons…

      • September 19th 2016 @ 10:48am
        I hate pies said | September 19th 2016 @ 10:48am | ! Report

        Geelong will pump Sydney, for all the reasons you’ve listed there.

      • Roar Guru

        September 19th 2016 @ 11:03am
        Cat said | September 19th 2016 @ 11:03am | ! Report

        ANZ was the same ‘nightmare’ you hosted finals at in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 … coincidentally not one time in those years did you host a final at the SCG … yet some people were ‘shocked’ and ‘outraged’ the game was played at ANZ.

        • September 19th 2016 @ 11:33am
          Jim said | September 19th 2016 @ 11:33am | ! Report

          Maybe Cat the Swans didn’t play finals there because the AFL wouldn’t even envisage budging on its contract with ANZ stadium (remember the finals contract is between the AFL and ANZ, not the Swans and ANZ). It was only the Swans move to end the other contract early that finally created some opportunity for discussion in that space.

          • Roar Guru

            September 19th 2016 @ 11:38am
            Cat said | September 19th 2016 @ 11:38am | ! Report

            Well, you won’t have to worry about it ever again, won’t be an option once it is transformed permanently to a rectangle stadium, however no one should have been surprised or outraged when the Swans had to host a final in the same venue they had used the previous 5 years.

            • September 19th 2016 @ 5:35pm
              Amp said | September 19th 2016 @ 5:35pm | ! Report

              When ANZ has been converted will GWS have to move their home games against the Swans to the SCG as it has a larger capacity?

    • Roar Guru

      September 19th 2016 @ 9:30am
      Rick Disnick said | September 19th 2016 @ 9:30am | ! Report

      “On Saturday evening the only people among the 7.4billion on earth not hoping for a Footscray victory will be the 22 Giants, their friends and family, and the staff employed by the Greater Western Sydney Football Club.”

      ***NEWS FLASH***
      Not many people outside Victoria care about AFL — sorry had to put that in before the A-League nutjobs jump on it.

      GO CATS!

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