A 2012 file photo of Callan Ward. Photo: Steve Christo
Callan Ward says his old club's scratchy form has opened the door for Greater Western Sydney to record its first ever AFL win on Saturday.
Ward is looking forward to his Western Bulldogs reunion at Manuka Oval on Saturday, almost a year after Ward ran onto the Canberra ground for the Doggies against Sydney.
It's a game he's had circled on his calendar since the AFL fixtures came out last year.
He's especially looking forward to pitting himself against a Bulldogs midfield packed with talent.
Players such as Adam Cooney, Matthew Boyd and Daniel Cross might not be in the best form at the moment but they certainly have plenty of class and experience.
''This is the one, round five, that I've always been looking forward to. Obviously the Dogs aren't going too great at the moment so it's a good chance for us to play some good footy and hopefully get a win,'' Ward told The Canberra Times yesterday.
''It is [a big chance to win] but I don't think we can really think about that too much. I've been saying all year if we can keep improving on last week's performance [that's all we need to do] and I think so far this year we've done that every week.
''This week's probably the best chance we get to have our first win as a footy club.''
The Giants targeted Ward as one of their high-profile, out-of-contract signings, as they did with Tom Scully and Rhys Palmer.
GWS valued his ability to win the hard-ball and lured him away from Whitten Oval to add a bit of grunt to its young midfield.
There's always plenty of interest when someone faces their former club for the first time but the Giants co-captain wasn't expecting any rough stuff from his former colleagues.
Instead he thought there'd just be a ''bit of a laugh'', especially from good mates Robert Murphy and Daniel Giansiracusa.
Ward hasn't sought out any advice from his experienced teammates about what to expect on Saturday.
Both Chad Cornes and Phil Davis would be able to give him a few tips after their return to Adelaide last weekend.
Davis, also a GWS co-captain, played against his former club, the Adelaide Crows, and copped a bit of stick from the fans.
But most of their ire was reserved for Cornes.
The Port Adelaide premiership player was an object of abuse for Crows fans the 24 times he played in the Adelaide derby.
While most footballers say they don't hear the crowd, Ward said he would hear every word of advice the Bulldogs fans offer on Saturday.
''It's always been a thing that I actually hear, which is strange, but I still don't think I'll cop it too much from the supporters.''