Let's hope that Ablett plays and history repeats
23 APRIL 2012 SPORT Canberra Times photograph by GRAHAM TIDY Story by Fleta Page. Greater Western Sydney AFL team co-captain, Phil Davis, at Manuka Oval, ahead of this weekend's clash with the Western Bulldogs. Photo: Graham Tidy GGT
HISTORY was made the last time we played at Manuka Oval and we're out to make it happen again tomorrow.
Red Hill's Josh Bruce kicked our first ever AFL goal in Canberra and there's a good chance we can bring up our maiden win on the same patch of grass.
Israel Folau and Karmichael Hunt will also make history when they go head-to-head for the first time.
I've loved big Izzy's progress so far and I'm excited by Karmichael's development this season - he's come on in leaps and bounds and if Izzy can do the same it'll be massive for the Giants.
I'll be doing my best to ensure we get our first win in the city I grew up in and I'd love a sell-out crowd getting right behind us tomorrow. We've been playing some very good football and were right in the game last week against Carlton until three quarter-time.
Plus we're starting to compete for longer periods each game.
When you play against seasoned bodies, half the challenge is being able to compete for the full four quarters.
We've already beaten the Suns once this year, in the NAB Cup, and we'll be using that for motivation.
For us, in our first year in the competition, we haven't played many teams twice so that will be a great help.
We know they'll be a completely different side - last time Gary Ablett didn't play, while Michael Rischitelli and a few other players only played half a game.
Their recent form has been impressive. They're a much-improved side on how they were playing at the start of the year, pushing Fremantle last week.
But we'll take plenty of confidence from the fact we were able to beat them in the NAB Cup.
There's been no practice of the song this week but if we're fortunate enough to win then we'll belt it out a little bit better than we did that day.
Despite an injury cloud hovering above Ablett, we've prepared as if he's going to play and we hope he does.
As a young side, we want to play against the best sides and the best players every week. We want Dylan Shiel and Taylor Adams and those young midfielders to get a go against the best players.
But all our focus hasn't been just on Ablett.
In modern footy there's so much research done and planning that goes into every game that we've also looked at the Suns' other players and are ready for whoever runs out if Gary doesn't.
I'll be up against some top youngsters - Sam Day, Tom Lynch, Charlie Dixon - and even the veteran Campbell Brown has been playing up forward.
They've got lots of ability but they're young, which suits us because we're a young back line as well.
On Sunday we've got a family day at ANU from 9.30am-12noon and I'll be heading along after I've popped into my Gran's house to wish her a happy Mother's Day.
Phil Davis is captain of the GWS Giants