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Lights, cameras but no GWS action

Date

Chris Wilson and David Polkinghorne

26TH APRIL 2012- SPORT- STORY LEE GASKIN - THE CANBERRA TIMES- PHOTO BY MELISSA ADAMS. Telstra Tower lit up orange for ...

26TH APRIL 2012- SPORT- STORY LEE GASKIN - THE CANBERRA TIMES- PHOTO BY MELISSA ADAMS. Telstra Tower lit up orange for the GWS. Photo: Melissa Adams MLA

The lights were on, but nobody was home.

Iconic Telstra Tower glowed orange last night to mark the impending arrival of Canberra’s surrogate AFL team the Greater Western Sydney Giants, who only fly into town this morning on the eve of their first AFL premiership match in the capital.

The Giants will fly straight out again after tomorrow’s match against the Western Bulldogs at Manuka Oval, the first of 30 AFL premiership matches in Canberra as part of a 10-year, $26 million ACT Government-funded deal.

The lighting of Telstra Tower is the latest symbol the Giants have employed to try and reflect a connection with Canberra in their foundation season. It will be lit orange before all Giants games.

The Giants, who will wear a Canberra guernsey with the Telstra Tower insignia, will even launch a modified club song today that includes Canberra in the opening line of the lyrics: ‘‘Well, there’s a big, big sound from Canberra town. It’s the sound of the Mighty Giants’’.

‘‘We consider Canberra an integral part of this club and want people to feel connected to it,’’ Giants chief executive David Matthews said.

The Giants have defended their hit-and-run trip to Canberra for this match, given their hectic travel schedule will see them play their first six games at different venues – five in separate cities. The Giants will hold an open training session at Manuka from 1pm today.

The long-term vision of the Giants in Canberra was backed yesterday by AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou, who will be at tomorrow’s game with Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

‘‘Finally at least the ACT community can have a club of their own, whereas in the past we’ve had fly-in fly-out games,’’ Demetriou said.

‘‘Now as a club it gives them [the Giants] time to build and it’s not going to happen overnight and it won’t happen in one year.

‘‘It’s a long project, it’s a long commitment, it’s a long agreement and I think over time they will connect with the community.

‘‘They’re doing lots of other things outside of just the game day but I think you’ll see that that changes in time.

‘‘They are a very young team that’s finding its feet, still learning the ropes, and from our perspective they’re making a real fist of it.’’

4 comments so far

  • Its all very well the GWS playing Footscray 'real name' in Canberra and hoping for a good attendance.
    Point is the game itself, the Australian Football game would attract supporters at Manuka if it was Fremantle and the Weagles.
    The ACT $26mil input to the GWS will do more to line the pockets of national AFL clubs and officials than it will ever do for the game in the capital.
    The ACT needs supporters to local matches, not just the 300 to 500 faithful per match.
    The sad outcome I see is some ACTAFL clubs under the umbrella of the NEAFL eventually and I repeat "sadly" going to the wall.
    Love him or hate him Jason Akermanis will do more for ACT aussie rules in a weekend than the NEAFL and GWS will in a season.

    Commenter
    Nitro Gangster
    Location
    ACT
    Date and time
    April 27, 2012, 1:12PM
    • For WHO?

      Pitty we dont see this kind of support for our local teams, living here, with may be even "Canberra" in the teams name.

      Commenter
      Letto
      Date and time
      April 27, 2012, 1:23PM
      • AND made the city tunnel orange, oh wait...

        Commenter
        Tomtom
        Date and time
        April 27, 2012, 1:25PM
        • Im sure the CANBERRA Raiders and ACT Brumbies would love $2.6M a year from the govt.
          Why give so generously to an out of town team who merely want to use the ACT for revenue raising and really dont give a toss about local AFL fans.

          Commenter
          Woppadingo
          Date and time
          April 27, 2012, 4:41PM

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          AFL 2016

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          Thu, 24 MarTimes shown AEDT
          RIC vs CAR 19:20MCG
          Sat, 26 MarTimes shown AEDT
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          GCF vs ESS 16:35MS
          NTH vs ADE 19:25ES
          SYD vs COL 19:25ANZ
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          WBU vs FRE 13:10ES
          PTA vs STK 15:20Adelaide Oval
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          ESS vs MEL 14:10MCG
          BRI vs NTH 16:35G
          STK vs WBU 19:25ES
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          Fri, 08 AprTimes shown AEST
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          SYD vs GWS 16:35SCG
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          Fri, 15 AprTimes shown AEST
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          WBU vs BRI 19:25ES
          PTA vs GEE 19:40Adelaide Oval
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          Fri, 06 MayTimes shown AEST
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          Fri, 20 MayTimes shown AEST
          HAW vs SYD 19:50MCG
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          PTA vs WCE 16:35Adelaide Oval
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          SYD vs NTH 19:50SCG
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          RIC vs STK 14:10MCG
          GWS vs FRE 16:35Spotless Stadium
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          STK vs BRI 12:00ES
          ESS vs CAR 12:00MCG
          GCF vs PTA 12:00MS
          SYD vs RIC 12:00SCG
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