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Saturday's grand final. Saturday's grand final. Featured


Plenty to celebrate in defeat
THERE is no rear vision mirror in life. And grand final post-mortems in professional sport can be as confronting as a pathologist’s autopsy report.

You cannot hide the results of the medical procedure.

The late and great rugby league coach Jack Gibson said: "Winners have parties and losers have committee meetings.''

GWS Giants got whacked in last Saturday's grand final 17-12 114 to 3-7-25 _ in their first AFL grand final by the experienced Richmond Tigers, which has won two titles in three seasons, 2017 and now 2019.

After eight years in the AFL, the Giants the AFL funded creation entered the big time in 2012.

Four finals series in a row from 2016 to 2019 have shown the bedrock is solid at a club with a richly talented playing list, a strong administration, good coach in Leo Cameron, strong corporate and community support and 30,000 members, which has rapidly grown in recent years.

Western Sydney has embraced the GWS Giants like a mother does her newborn child.

Now for the future.

GWS Giants CEO Dave Matthews, highly regarded by his peers and the AFL in administration land, said while the club has grown and will continue to flourish, it is time to look forward not back.

In media interviews over the weekend, Matthews said the club has achieved much in eight years but it is the next decade for the club which is crucial.

On Sunday at the club's fan day after the grand final loss at their Sydney Olympic Park headquarters, hundreds of supporters gathered, meeting the players, had photographs taken with them and mixed with their idols who don the orange, white and charcoal colours.

Build for the future

But Matthews was emphatic the time is to ''build more for the future.''

''We want to reach a point in the next few days where we stop talking about about the last eight years and start talking about what the next eight or 10 looks like,'' Mathews said.

''We know we must put in the hard work to get where we are today.

''We are not the biggest club in the competition, but we are a powerful club now.''

Giants star Jeremy Cameron, who kicked the opening goal of the grand final at the MCG on Saturday, said the club must learn from the pain of losing the premiership decider and refocus for 2020 and beyond.

At the meet and greet the loyal supporters on Sunday at their headquarters, Cameron said the players have a strong bond.

''We are a very tight club and in this club everyone in this club is a very a good mate,'' he said.

And we help each other out a lot away from football and we are better people because of it.''

Cameron, who is under contract until the end of 2020, could soon sit down with the management and discuss a contract extension.

Cameron came to the Giants at 18 from Victoria. The talented roster at the Giants, could undergo some renovation in the off-season with several players' futures unclear at present.

Veteran Heath Shaw has indicated he will play on for a 17th season.

While Shane Mumford, who did play with the Sydney Swans and came out of retirement to link with the Giants, has not made any comment about his future.

GWS Giants grass roots development and recruitment campaign has seen junior numbers swell in western sydney at school and junior club level.


Michael Walls
0407 783 413

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