Giant leaps forward

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The Brown family know where their true colours lie – with their local AFL team the Greater Western Sydney Giants.


Chris Brown, his wife and their two children are part of the 12,165 people who signed up to be foundation members of the new club.


“We will go into the history books as being on board from the very start,” Mr Brown said.


But the club’s decision to have three home grounds in Blacktown, Sydney and Canberra will restrict his family from attending every home game.


Mr Brown said the travel to Canberra would be too far for the Kingswood family.


“It’s a little bit too far when you have young kids and I work shift work,” he said.


“[But] I can understand why it’s being held down there, Canberra has pumped money into the team and there is great support down there.”


The AFL fan previously supported the Richmond Tigers for 30 years, but Mr Brown said he would switch to follow his local team.


“I am excited. I see great things for the team,” he said.


“Football is very tribal in Australia and I know the AFL will make this work so I will put my support behind the team.


“My son is jumping out of his skin, he’s already met some of the players and they have been great and really approachable, which is what you want.”


While Mr Brown remains positive for his new-found team, it has been a rocky few weeks for the Giants with Chief Executive Officer, Dale Holmes, resigning before the season even commences.


But Giants coach, Kevin Sheedy, said Holmes’ resignation would not affect the club’s momentum in the 2012 season.


“A club isn’t built around one person, we have over 100 people working to make this club what it is,” Sheedy told the Weekender on Tuesday.


“The landscape of AFL, and every other sport for that matter, is constantly changing so we must adapt.


“Whilst Dale put in a lot of effort in building the brand, we are now up to the next stage.”


The Giants will kick off their first ever AFL season with an historic stand-alone round one match against cross town rivals, the Sydney Swans, on March 24 at ANZ Stadium. But it happens to fall on the same weekend as the NRL’s western Sydney derby between Parramatta and Penrith.


Sheedy concedes that breaking into the predominately NRL dominated western Sydney area will be difficult.


“Our goal for next season is to be an exciting team full of young players. Whether we win or lose we will entertain the fans with footy,” Sheedy said.


Earlier this week, management met to discuss, among other things, the new club’s emblem and song.

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