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GWS face one Giant task

Drumming up support: GWS coach Kevin Sheedy with breakfast television hosts Melissa Doyle and David Koch on Wednesday.

Drumming up support: GWS coach Kevin Sheedy with breakfast television hosts Melissa Doyle and David Koch on Wednesday. Photo: Getty Images

Greater Western Sydney Giants play Port Adelaide Power at Skoda Stadium on Sunday. A match between a team that has not won a game and a team that has not won in seven weeks.

David Koch and Melissa Doyle, hosts of a breakfast television program, were enlisted to promote the game. Koch is the chairman of Port Adelaide and Doyle was tempted to leave her ambassadorial role with the Sydney Swans to become the Giants' No.1 ticketholder. A recruiting coup the Giants have not yet matched on the field.

Yet, as adept as Kochie and Mel might be at turning the mundane reality of politics and business into something frothy, light and palatable for their army of breakfast-time devotees, the Giants-Power game is a hard sell. Indeed, if they can convince more than half a dozen people to abandon the harbour cruise, lunch with the family or even root canal surgery to attend this match, they will have earned their sauvignon blanc and canapes.

This is not another predictable attempt to cut the Giants down to size. The scoreboard has done a reasonable job of that. Eleven defeats by an average margin of 69 points. Raw figures that are a free kick to those hoping the AFL's expeditionary force will fail. Not all these doomsayers live north of the Murray.

Former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett said last week GWS would be the AFL's Gallipoli. He did not, presumably, mean a historic occurrence that symbolised the birth of nationhood. Others, including Swans president Richard Colless, have opted to warn western Sydney could be the ''AFL's Vietnam''. Which leaves ''the AFL's Tobruk'', ''the AFL's Iraq'', ''the AFL's Pearl Harbour'' and ''the AFL's Being Lara Bingle'' still available for those looking to compare the Giants perilous beginnings with other atrocities.

Anyone who has bothered to study the Giants' long-term strategy knows some of the gloom is ill-founded. Particularly the fears of those whose assessment is based solely on the club's initial on-field performance. Even if you believe the AFL is throwing good money after bad, there is no doubt they will keep doing it. The Giants will be given every chance to succeed over the next decade - even if they fail.

Similarly, the Giants' list of young stars remains coveted. From competent performances, like the first three quarters against Geelong last week when they trailed by two goals, more consistency will flow. Gold Coast Suns chose to complement their youth with an array of mid-aged stars including the brilliant Gary Ablett. Thus, they are proving more competitive in their third year than GWS will be in the early stages.

The Giants expect their team to grow with their supporter base. To use the awful expression favoured by those who mistake their life for a reality TV show, GWS want the fans to be part of their ''journey''. It remains, with the AFL's generous backing, a cogent plan. But one that requires unusual resilience.

Especially now, midway through the second year, when you can feel the first tremors. There is a growing feeling that the Giants must ''win now'' and ''can't continue to be embarrassed'', or their crowds - typically about 6000 - will not grow. Consequently, a call for short-term measures to provide long-term solutions. Hello Buddy Franklin, the powerful and charismatic Hawthorn forward cast as an instant solution to the Giants' problems on the field and, particularly, at the box office. But is he? Perhaps the most significant thing to consider about Franklin's potential signing is not what he would bring to the Giants, but how much he would debilitate the team he forsakes. Hawthorn have an able replacement in Jarryd Roughead and, in Cyril Rioli, perhaps the best small forward in the AFL. That Hawks fans are not climbing out on to window ledges at the thought Buddy might leave seems telling.

That Franklin has been mentioned as part of a supposed brat pack of high-profile cross-code, multi-club players - Quade Cooper, Kurtley Beale et al - has made some believe he might be more inclined to leave Hawthorn for Sydney. Yet, at the same time, it has made others wonder if any club should approach him with caution.

Franklin is doubtless in the Giants' cross-hairs. But, with their younger - potentially even better - key forward Jeremy Cameron on song, they have a chance to do something to silence the critics without reaching for the cheque book. Win.

7 comments so far

  • GWS will mirror what the Suns have done this year and show huge improvement next season. The on field performances of their kids is better than the Suns at the same stage and they haven't had the advantage of an Ablett so far. Their superstar will come next year when Franklin comes up and he will join a crop of the most talented young players in the comp who after completing their 3rd pre season will be getting strong enough to compete with the competition. I reckon the on field performance will turn around real quick for the Giants and with that so will attendances and media coverage.

    Date and time
    June 16, 2013, 7:04AM
    • Once again Richard an insightful article. There does however look to be one glaring inaccuracy. Why does the AFL continue to claim that there are crowds of approximately 6000? Maybe 3000 at a stretch. Perhaps if the AFL were to record and publish statistics for the upcoming federal election we would find Julia Gillard in a neck and neck race with the incoming Tony Abbott. Here's an idea, how about Sheedy take up a position in the Labour party when his services are no longer required at Western Sydney? Julia-" How does it look Sheeds?" Sheedy-" Are we counting boat people?" Julia- " Kevin!" Sheeds- " Oh yeah forgot we can't say that. Bloody killing 'em. We'll win for sure!"

      Date and time
      June 16, 2013, 7:45AM
      • I assume you talking about GWS average including the crowds from WA,SA,Vic because they would be lucky to total 6000 in the games they have played in Sydney at their so called home ground.
        But then Richard this is just a continuation of the reason I don't watch Offsiders any more since they appear to think you are a rugby league anything,you are just another AFL puff piece writer with all the lack of research that it entails.
        Just give you an AFL handout and hey presto out comes a column extolling the virtues of a non team with a coach who should quit while he was ahead,from what I can gather in Sydney he is regarded as a not very funny joke.
        Maybe you can apply to be chief propaganda man for them, at least that would be honest and all would know where you are coming from in your sports?read AFL centric coverage

        Date and time
        June 16, 2013, 9:32AM
        • sincere apologies SMH. Many thanks for posting my comments.

          Date and time
          June 16, 2013, 10:52AM
          • One thing that is certain about the GWS team.After they have been playing for 100 years, they won't be pulling sub 10,000 crowds, like some NRL teams are.

            Aussie Jack
            Date and time
            June 16, 2013, 11:02AM
            • The 9000 men of the AIF 9th Division were not defeated during their 9 month-long siege of Tobruk. There the Easter Battle of 1941 took place in which the NSW 2/17th Battalion and in particular the 17ths B Company( dad and his mates including at least one aboriginal warrior elder from Wollongong ) jumping out of their foxholes to engage with fixed bayonets and wipeout a large number of the enemy infantry as they entered the outskirts of Tobruk behind the Panzer tanks. No wonder they didn't speak about it and we're just starting to realise what they had to do. The short silhouetted scene was shown on the ABC at the start of the 2012 production "Desert War" film about Tobruk on Anzac night last April 25. The Easter 1941 Battle was the first victory for the Allies in WW2. The Aussies, Kiwis,Polish and Indians were not defeated at Tobruk. They left Tobruk to go onto the AIF's bloody major engagement of WW2 which was the Battle of El Alamein and which heralded the second defeat of General Rommel's Afrika Korp. Tobruk was left in the hands of other Allied forces to defend the fortification. By the way about 4 of the 9 battalions(x1000) were young men from NSW and Qld and no doubt followed their own cultural sporting roots of Rugby League and some Union.

              Date and time
              June 16, 2013, 12:09PM
              • Homebush isn't the Western Suburbs, not to most western suburbs residents. Hopefully GWS are like 'Being Lara Bingle'. Short-lived.

                Date and time
                June 16, 2013, 5:18PM

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                AFL 2016

                Round 1
                Thu, 24 MarTimes shown AEDT
                RIC vs CAR 19:20MCG
                Sat, 26 MarTimes shown AEDT
                MEL vs GWS 13:40MCG
                GCF vs ESS 16:35MS
                NTH vs ADE 19:25ES
                SYD vs COL 19:25ANZ
                Sun, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
                WBU vs FRE 13:10ES
                PTA vs STK 15:20Adelaide Oval
                WCE vs BRI 19:40Domain Stadium
                Mon, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
                GEE vs HAW 15:20MCG
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                Round 2
                Fri, 01 AprTimes shown AEDT
                COL vs RIC 19:50MCG
                Sat, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
                ADE vs PTA 13:45Adelaide Oval
                ESS vs MEL 14:10MCG
                BRI vs NTH 16:35G
                STK vs WBU 19:25ES
                FRE vs GCF 19:40Domain Stadium
                Sun, 03 AprTimes shown AEST
                GWS vs GEE 13:10SO
                HAW vs WCE 15:20MCG
                CAR vs SYD 16:40ES
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                Round 3
                Fri, 08 AprTimes shown AEST
                PTA vs ESS 19:50Adelaide Oval
                Sat, 09 AprTimes shown AEST
                STK vs COL 13:45MCG
                RIC vs ADE 14:10ES
                SYD vs GWS 16:35SCG
                GCF vs CAR 19:25MS
                WCE vs FRE 19:40Domain Stadium
                Sun, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
                NTH vs MEL 13:10BA
                WBU vs HAW 15:20ES
                GEE vs BRI 16:40SS
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                Round 4
                Fri, 15 AprTimes shown AEST
                WCE vs RIC 20:10Domain Stadium
                Sat, 16 AprTimes shown AEST
                ESS vs GEE 13:45MCG
                HAW vs STK 14:10AS
                BRI vs GCF 16:35G
                CAR vs WBU 19:25ES
                ADE vs SYD 19:40Adelaide Oval
                Sun, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
                GWS vs PTA 13:10SO
                COL vs MEL 15:20MCG
                NTH vs FRE 16:40ES
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                Round 5
                Fri, 22 AprTimes shown AEST
                HAW vs ADE 19:50MCG
                Sat, 23 AprTimes shown AEST
                SYD vs WCE 13:40SCG
                GCF vs NTH 16:35MS
                WBU vs BRI 19:25ES
                PTA vs GEE 19:40Adelaide Oval
                Sun, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
                STK vs GWS 13:10ES
                FRE vs CAR 16:10Domain Stadium
                MEL vs RIC 19:10MCG
                Mon, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
                COL vs ESS 15:20MCG
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                Round 6
                Fri, 29 AprTimes shown AEST
                NTH vs WBU 19:50ES
                Sat, 30 AprTimes shown AEST
                MEL vs STK 13:45ES
                ADE vs FRE 14:10Adelaide Oval
                GWS vs HAW 16:35Spotless Stadium
                RIC vs PTA 19:25MCG
                GEE vs GCF 19:25SS
                Sun, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
                BRI vs SYD 13:10G
                CAR vs ESS 15:20MCG
                WCE vs COL 16:40Domain Stadium
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                Round 7
                Fri, 06 MayTimes shown AEST
                RIC vs HAW 19:50MCG
                Sat, 07 MayTimes shown AEST
                COL vs CAR 13:45MCG
                GEE vs WCE 14:10SS
                SYD vs ESS 16:35ANZ
                GCF vs MEL 17:10MS
                WBU vs ADE 19:40ES
                FRE vs GWS 20:10Domain Stadium
                Sun, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
                STK vs NTH 15:20ES
                PTA vs BRI 16:40Adelaide Oval
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                Round 8
                Fri, 13 MayTimes shown AEST
                ADE vs GEE 19:50Adelaide Oval
                Sat, 14 MayTimes shown AEST
                ESS vs NTH 13:45ES
                HAW vs FRE 14:10AS
                GWS vs GCF 16:35Spotless Stadium
                BRI vs COL 19:25G
                RIC vs SYD 19:25MCG
                Sun, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
                CAR vs PTA 13:10ES
                MEL vs WBU 15:20MCG
                WCE vs STK 16:40Domain Stadium
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                Round 9
                Fri, 20 MayTimes shown AEST
                HAW vs SYD 19:50MCG
                Sat, 21 MayTimes shown AEST
                COL vs GEE 13:45MCG
                GCF vs ADE 14:10MS
                PTA vs WCE 16:35Adelaide Oval
                NTH vs CAR 19:25ES
                FRE vs RIC 19:40Domain Stadium
                Sun, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
                MEL vs BRI 13:10MCG
                GWS vs WBU 15:20Spotless Stadium
                STK vs ESS 16:40ES
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                Round 10
                Fri, 27 MayTimes shown AEST
                SYD vs NTH 19:50SCG
                Sat, 28 MayTimes shown AEST
                BRI vs HAW 13:45G
                MEL vs PTA 14:10TIO Traeger Park
                STK vs FRE 16:35ES
                ESS vs RIC 19:25MCG
                ADE vs GWS 19:40Adelaide Oval
                Sun, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
                CAR vs GEE 13:10ES
                COL vs WBU 15:20MCG
                WCE vs GCF 16:40Domain Stadium
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                Round 11
                Fri, 03 JunTimes shown AEST
                NTH vs RIC 19:50BA
                Sat, 04 JunTimes shown AEST
                HAW vs MEL 13:45MCG
                CAR vs BRI 14:10ES
                GEE vs GWS 16:35SS
                GCF vs SYD 19:25MS
                FRE vs ESS 19:40Domain Stadium
                Sun, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
                COL vs PTA 13:10MCG
                WBU vs WCE 15:20ES
                ADE vs STK 16:40Adelaide Oval
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                Round 12
                Fri, 10 JunTimes shown AEST
                ESS vs HAW 19:50ES
                Sat, 11 JunTimes shown AEST
                PTA vs WBU 13:40Adelaide Oval
                BRI vs FRE 16:35G
                GEE vs NTH 19:25ES
                WCE vs ADE 19:40Domain Stadium
                Sun, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
                STK vs CAR 13:10ES
                RIC vs GCF 15:20MCG
                GWS vs SYD 16:40Spotless Stadium
                Mon, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
                MEL vs COL 15:20MCG
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                Round 13
                Fri, 17 JunTimes shown AEST
                NTH vs HAW 19:50ES
                Sat, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
                BRI vs WCE 13:40G
                FRE vs PTA 16:35Domain Stadium
                WBU vs GEE 19:25ES
                Sun, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
                SYD vs MEL 13:10SCG
                ESS vs GWS 16:40ES
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                Round 14
                Thu, 23 JunTimes shown AEST
                ADE vs NTH 19:50Adelaide Oval
                Fri, 24 JunTimes shown AEST
                COL vs FRE 19:50MCG
                Sat, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
                RIC vs BRI 13:40MCG
                GWS vs CAR 16:35Spotless Stadium
                STK vs GEE 19:25ES
                Sun, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
                HAW vs GCF 15:20AS
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                Round 15
                Thu, 30 JunTimes shown AEST
                WCE vs ESS 20:10Domain Stadium
                Fri, 01 JulTimes shown AEST
                PTA vs RIC 19:50Adelaide Oval
                Sat, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
                GCF vs STK 13:40MS
                SYD vs WBU 16:35SCG
                CAR vs COL 19:25MCG
                Sun, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
                MEL vs ADE 15:20MCG
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                Round 16
                Thu, 07 JulTimes shown AEST
                PTA vs HAW 19:50Adelaide Oval
                Fri, 08 JulTimes shown AEST
                GEE vs SYD 19:50SS
                Sat, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
                GWS vs COL 13:40Spotless Stadium
                GCF vs BRI 16:35MS
                WBU vs RIC 19:25ES
                MEL vs FRE 19:40TIO
                Sun, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
                CAR vs ADE 13:10MCG
                WCE vs NTH 15:20Domain Stadium
                ESS vs STK 16:40ES
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                Round 17
                Thu, 14 JulTimes shown AEST
                SYD vs HAW 19:20SCG
                Fri, 15 JulTimes shown AEST
                FRE vs GEE 20:10Domain Stadium
                Sat, 16 JulTimes shown AEST
                RIC vs ESS 13:40MCG
                NTH vs PTA 16:35ES
                WBU vs GCF 19:25CAZ
                ADE vs COL 19:40Adelaide Oval
                Sun, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
                CAR vs WCE 13:10MCG
                STK vs MEL 15:20ES
                BRI vs GWS 16:40G
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                Round 18
                Fri, 22 JulTimes shown AEST
                COL vs NTH 19:50ES
                Sat, 23 JulTimes shown AEST
                SYD vs CAR 13:45ANZ
                GCF vs FRE 14:10MS
                WCE vs MEL 16:35Domain Stadium
                WBU vs STK 19:25ES
                GEE vs ADE 19:25SS
                Sun, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
                ESS vs BRI 13:10ES
                HAW vs RIC 15:20MCG
                PTA vs GWS 16:40Adelaide Oval
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                Round 19
                Fri, 29 JulTimes shown AEST
                GEE vs WBU 19:50SS
                Sat, 30 JulTimes shown AEST
                GWS vs RIC 13:45SO
                HAW vs CAR 14:10AS
                COL vs WCE 16:35MCG
                BRI vs PTA 19:25G
                NTH vs STK 19:25ES
                Sun, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
                MEL vs GCF 13:10MCG
                FRE vs SYD 15:20Domain Stadium
                ADE vs ESS 16:40Adelaide Oval
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                Round 20
                Fri, 05 AugTimes shown AEST
                RIC vs COL 19:50MCG
                Sat, 06 AugTimes shown AEST
                SYD vs PTA 13:45SCG
                MEL vs HAW 14:10MCG
                GCF vs GWS 16:35MS
                WBU vs NTH 19:25ES
                ADE vs BRI 19:40Adelaide Oval
                Sun, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
                CAR vs STK 13:10MCG
                GEE vs ESS 15:20ES
                FRE vs WCE 16:40Domain Stadium
                View All Fixtures
                Round 21
                Fri, 12 AugTimes shown AEST
                WBU vs COL 19:50ES
                Sat, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
                BRI vs CAR 13:45G
                HAW vs NTH 14:10MCG
                GWS vs WCE 16:35Spotless Stadium
                STK vs SYD 19:25ES
                PTA vs MEL 19:40Adelaide Oval
                Sun, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
                ESS vs GCF 13:10ES
                RIC vs GEE 15:20MCG
                FRE vs ADE 16:40Domain Stadium
                View All Fixtures
                Round 22
                Fri, 19 AugTimes shown AEST
                WCE vs HAW 20:10Domain Stadium
                Sat, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
                NTH vs SYD 13:45BA
                RIC vs STK 14:10MCG
                GWS vs FRE 16:35Spotless Stadium
                COL vs GCF 19:25ES
                PTA vs ADE 19:40Adelaide Oval
                Sun, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
                CAR vs MEL 13:10MCG
                BRI vs GEE 15:20G
                ESS vs WBU 16:40ES
                View All Fixtures
                Round 23
                Sat, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
                HAW vs COL 12:00MCG
                STK vs BRI 12:00ES
                ESS vs CAR 12:00MCG
                GCF vs PTA 12:00MS
                SYD vs RIC 12:00SCG
                NTH vs GWS 12:00ES
                GEE vs MEL 12:00SS
                ADE vs WCE 12:30Adelaide Oval
                FRE vs WBU 14:00Domain Stadium
                View All Fixtures
                AFL 2015
                Overall standings
                Team P W L D % Pts
                Adelaide Crows 0 0 0 0 - 0
                Brisbane Lions 0 0 0 0 - 0
                Carlton 0 0 0 0 - 0
                Collingwood 0 0 0 0 - 0
                Essendon 0 0 0 0 - 0
                Fremantle 0 0 0 0 - 0
                Geelong Cats 0 0 0 0 - 0
                Gold Coast Suns 0 0 0 0 - 0
                View all

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