On Saturday, Spotless Stadium will open its gates to GWS Giants fans across Sydney, as the Giants face the Hawthorn Hawks in their first Sydney home game of 2016.
I have very fond memories of Spotless Stadium. After becoming a member of the Sydney Thunder during BBL05 and WBBL01, I spent many summer evenings at Spotless Stadium cheering as Andre Russell hit boundary after boundary, watching the rise of Chris Green as a bowler and saying a fond farewell to Mr Cricket as his career ended.
The weather has now changed. It’s a little bit colder outside and the days are shorter. That means that it is well and truly football season and it’s time to pull out my GWS membership, put on my orange gear, pack a scarf and get ready for some AFL. I’m hopeful that Spotless Stadium will hold many fond Giants memories to at the conclusion of the season.
So what do you need to know ahead of the Giants first game at Spotless Stadium? Whether you are a die-hard fan or a new Giants member (like me), you are guaranteed an excellent afternoon out.
Who are the Giants?
You all know who the Giants are. The Greater Western Sydney Giants! Our team represents Greater Western Sydney in the Australian Football League. Our colours are orange, charcoal and white. Our mascot is named G-Man and you can see him parading around the ground at Spotless Stadium.
We also have an excellent team song called ‘There’s a Big Big Sound’. This song was written by Harry Angus from the Cat Empire (and you had better learn the words, because when the Giants win on Saturday afternoon, you definitely want to take part in singing the team song after the game).
Spotless Stadium is the Sydney home of the Giants. The Giants also play 4 games a year in Canberra at Manuka Oval. This weekend will be the Giants first home game in Sydney since the AFL season started. Spotless Stadium is also home to the Sydney Thunder and is located at Olympic Park.
Who are the Giants playing?
This weekend the Giants will be looking to make it 3 wins in a row. With a big win over Port Adelaide at Manuka Oval last weekend (151-65), the Giants have a big test ahead as they face the reigning premiers, the Hawthorn Hawks.
Hawthorn will be looking for 4 wins in a row and quite remarkably, have won their last three games against the Western Bulldogs, St Kilda and Adelaide by just 3 points. I’m hoping that lightning does not strike a fourth time this weekend.
Giants to keep an eye on?
Jeremy Cameron who returned from suspension just last week and kicked five goals against Port Adelaide. Cameron will also have fond memories of the last time the Giants faces the Hawks where he kicked seven goals.
Shane Mumford, or Mummy as he is more affectionately known. He has been outstanding so far in 2016 and is forming a lethal combination with Rory Lobb. But, more importantly, Mumford as a leader and is one of the most experienced players in the Giants squad. Last year, Mumford suffered a season ending injury in Round 11 last year. At that point, the Giants were 5th on the AFL ladder. Without Mumford… we missed the top 8 and did not play Finals Football. You do the math. A fit Mumford is key for the Giants so keep an eye on the strong ruckman during this game.
But I could keep going. Phil Davis. Heath Shaw. Callan Ward. These players have been in career best form this year and will no doubt take it to another level in front of a Sydney crowd.
Tomorrow I’ll be on the hunt for a player to pick as my favourite for season 2016.
Let’s have some fun
Going to the AFL is about so much more than just watching football.
The Giants are a family and our game-day experience has something for everyone.
Do you like music and to sing and dance? Perfect. Thirsty Merc will perform not once, not twice, but thrice. The Aussie band will kick off our Sydney campaign, entertain us at half-time and then play following the match.
Do the kids need to have a run around after the game? Then kick to kick is for you. After every Giants home game, fans are able to take the field after the game to have a kick on the hallowed turn that is Spotless Stadium.
Love football? Then we have a game on our hands. Giants v Hawthorn will be one of the games of the round this weekend.
But why do people keep yelling ‘BAAAAALLL’.
The first time you go to an AFL game, you will undoubtedly notice people yelling ‘BAAAAALLLL’. This is short for ‘holding the ball’ and fans will yell it out when a player is tackled and does not dispose of the ball.
I’m very much looking forward to this game – the first Sydney home game for the Giants this year. I’m hopeful we can topple the premiers.
Ladies who Leap xxx