Giant Buzz




By Pamela Sherpa

Written 25 March 2012


Everything comes to those who wait.

Living in NSW for nearly 25 years has caused much angst where football is concerned. Telecasts at unreasonable hours despite having a so called national game has been frustrating. But with the introduction of GWS now I have an AFL team to follow in this state. I haven’t followed the Swans because I barrack for Essendon.  I can now attach myself to a new team because geographically they are attached to me.


Canberra is two hours from where I live in the Snowy Mountains, so the Giants have become my local AFL team. I’m a GWS member. I feel connected.



Tonight will be an historic one for football as the league’s newest team, the  Greater Western Sydney Giants play their first  game in the 2012 home and away season. Not only do I feel great about being at this historic  game I’m one of the lucky people going out onto the ground before the game. Part of the pre match entertainment! Oh my goodness!

We’ve been asked to wear black pants and shoes, and no high heels !  No problem there, I’ll be in sensible flat shoes.


Upon arriving at the meeting spot  I meet other excited GWS fans and we chat about where we all began our football lives.  Gunbower, Wodonga, Maryborough, Fremantle, Brisbane to name a few. Now we all share a common cause- supporting the Giants. The organisers arrive and give us orange T-shirts and caps and brief us. Ooooh! This is like a pre game warm up.

Our job is to help lay out the big giant orange G on the ground. As we will be out on the ground when the teams run out we have been instructed that if a ball comes our way to be sure to handball it  back-not throw it!

It’s a glorious night to start the football season and I’m happy to be out on the oval absorbing the atmosphere.

With the G mission accomplished I rush back to my seat and the game has started. I’m in the GWS orange section of course and I marvel at the fullness of the crowd.

There are fans exhibiting dual football citizenship everywhere. Ladies in home knitted Geelong scarves , men in Hawthorn jackets, people wearing Swans jumpers but all wearing orange Giants membership caps. The people behind me have bought memberships for both Sydney teams. They want to watch footy every weekend.


The Giants do well to contain the Swans to less than 10 goals before half time. The Giants first goal is greeted with jubilation- as are their subsequent goals. They will be hard to come by this season and therefore precious. The third quarter is a blow out as the Swans pile on quick goals and it’s awful footy to watch. In the last quarter  tired bodies make mistakes but the Giants provide a spark of excitement when they score 2 goals. The Swans are eventual winners by 63 points.


But the  night has been about more than the score.


As footy fans paid tribute to Jim Stynes’ football journey and reflected on the way he embraced our great game, a new team beginning its journey was embraced by footy fans. The game is the big winner.