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The similarities between the Canberra Raiders and the GWS Giants

Tim Gavel 23 September 2019 14
Canberra Raiders

The Canberra Raiders and GWS Giants have more in common than the will to win. Photo: Supplied.

When the Canberra Raiders made their debut in the NSWRL in 1982, few could have imagined that the side which finished with the wooden spoon in that first year would go on to win the premiership in their eighth season.

The Greater Western Sydney Giants, with their well-documented connection to Canberra, also finished with the wooden spoon in their debut year in the AFL in 2012. They are now in the last throes of preparation for a tilt at the premiership in their eighth season.

The similarities don’t end there.

Both clubs encountered hurdles when pursuing entry to their respective leagues: the NSWRL and the AFL.

The Raiders faced significant opposition from a number of Sydney-based clubs, some using the potential of fog at Canberra Airport as one of the reasons why a team shouldn’t be located in this region. Thankfully forward-thinking minds prevailed.

From the moment GWS was established, they have endured plenty from high-profile figures associated with Melbourne-based clubs, including suggestions the team is an artificial club created by an AFL hell-bent on expansion at the expense of existing clubs.

Team Song: Preliminary Final

The loudest voice, the biggest heart!

Posted by GWS Giants on Saturday, 21 September 2019

Other clubs were upset over the prospect of losing players to the Giants under draft concessions.

The barbs about fabricated team culture have been addressed in the wake of the victory over Collingwood, but it’s doubtful the obvious demonstrations of the spirit within the playing group will alter the mindset of those who still believe in a Victoria-only league.

One thing is for certain, the culture displayed by GWS in beating the Pies has similarities to the spirit shown by the Raiders in their victory over the Melbourne Storm.

Like the Raiders under Ricky Stuart with his ‘community first’ mantra, GWS and coach Leon Cameron have spent plenty of time working with the underprivileged migrant sector in Western Sydney. Both sides are now harnessing greater support.

If the Raiders beat Souths on Friday night, and GWS upsets Richmond in the AFL decider the following day, it would cap off the most remarkable sporting year for clubs associated with the ACT and Canberra sporting teams.

Bring on Friday!


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14 Responses to The similarities between the Canberra Raiders and the GWS Giants
Capital Retro 7:44 am 28 Sep 19

“Play more matches in Canberra and then the $23m our government paid you will be justified.”

I have been in Melbourne for the past 2 days and no one I spoke to was aware that Canberra has anything to do with GWS so how is it “justified”?

Shan Weereratne Shan Weereratne 6:41 am 28 Sep 19

At least call yourself GWS-Canberra if you wish to represent the ACT as well. Play more matches in Canberra and then the $23m our government paid you will be justified.

Ben Jones Ben Jones 8:28 am 26 Sep 19

Still a better investment to the local community than Light Rail

bj_ACT 11:14 am 25 Sep 19

I still see big differences. You see Raiders players around Canberra, at community functions, at schools and regularly on TV and Radio talking up the city and the people of Canberra.

Why Mr Barr gives more taxpayer money to GWS I’ll never know.

Capital Retro 7:56 am 25 Sep 19

I disagree with the headline because the Raiders receive a lot less from the ACT ratepayers via our sports-mad government than the GWS while the Raiders are based in Canberra and the GWS are not.

George Lemon George Lemon 7:55 am 25 Sep 19

The only connection GWS has with Canberra is the over two million dollar cheque the Labor Greens Government gives to them each year.

    Kirsty Noad Kirsty Noad 8:26 am 25 Sep 19

    George Lemon GWS have a strong presence amongst the primary school community in Canberra. They have been active role models at the school I teach at, running clinics, attending assembles and connecting with our children and their education. So I think it's fair to say that they are very much a Canberra team and have steadily developed an active and positive presence in our schools. I will also add that at junior Afl they have strong connections with their games they play in Canberra, representing individual children on pre game media packages, not to mention half time games with Canberra rookies. I would say the connection is strong and building, it's positive and children genuinely see the club as role models.

    James Strang James Strang 9:54 am 25 Sep 19

    Indeed. Not to mention the player clinics for local AFL teams and the Giants Academy, which gives Canberra kids a direct pathway to the AFL. One of the top rated new talents is Canberra's Tom Green, who will be officially drafted to the Giants in November. There's also Giants AFLW games in Canberra; and the Giants netball was sold out at the AIS just weeks ago. Giants have over 30,000 members and games have been better attended in Canberra than they've been in Sydney.

    But, you know, whinging is easy. Go Giants!

    George Lemon George Lemon 10:27 am 25 Sep 19

    James Strang and paid $2.2 millions dollars by the rateoayer for this privilege.

    Al Jones Al Jones 12:12 pm 25 Sep 19

    James Strang the Raiders do just as much at schools, run clinics etc week in and week out, not just when they come to town for a game. they also have a number of local players in their first grade squad. the issue George Lemon is raising is the governement doesnt give the Raiders millions of dollars. not sure how he is whinging, just stating a fact.

    Kirsty Noad Kirsty Noad 12:14 pm 25 Sep 19

    James Strang well said. All of these positives have long term community benefits and that's exciting and rewarding.

    James Strang James Strang 12:14 pm 25 Sep 19

    George Lemon so what? Money well spent. Proven community benefit. The poor suffering ratepayer just dropped a billion on the tram with a half million dollar launch party. $2 million is outstanding value and I can't wait for the deal to be renewed!

Judith Breen Judith Breen 7:54 am 25 Sep 19

Go The Raiders 🏆

Greg Garth Greg Garth 7:23 am 25 Sep 19

Raiders and Richmond for me.

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