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Lights, cameras but no GWS action


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 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.

    Nitro Gangster
    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.

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

        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.

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

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