News Giants in the Media

Remove this Banner Ad

Log in to remove this ad.

sydney_gws

All Australian
Oct 31, 2016
813
562
AFL Club
GWS
Other Teams
qpr
So where are the players now? Are they in Melbourne, but able to come back to sydney if they want to? At least some of their off season will be in an unlocked NSW, so they can go somewhere for a holiday.
 

Giant Strides

Moderator
Nov 23, 2015
6,700
9,068
AFL Club
GWS

Former Giant Sam Reid says he hit Toby Greene “between the eyes” in an honest chat after Greater Western Sydney’s season came to an end.

“It was over a couple of beers as well, I needed a couple of cups of courage to get into him. I told him a couple of home truths, and things he needs to work on. We’ve got a pretty good relationship,” Reid explained to SEN's Bob and Andy. “One thing I wouldn’t change is how competitive he is. I think there’s no doubt sometimes that gets in the way, he gets white line fever and his eyes glaze over. That’s the type of guy you want to play with, he’ll do anything for his teammates. (That said), some of the stuff he does is a bit controversial and we don’t condone any of that, especially the umpire stuff.”

“I wouldn’t get him to change his competitiveness, but he might have to rein it in and steer clear of the umpires and the silly little things. He’s so passionate, he’s once of the best blokes I’ve ever met. He’s the ultimate teammate, he really is. He hates being beaten. We’ve had blues a few times, getting into each other,” Reid continued. “It would have been a bit confronting for him, me hitting him between the eyes… I might leave it at that.”
 

General Giant

Hall of Famer
Apr 12, 2012
41,422
34,905
AFL Club
GWS

Former Giant Sam Reid says he hit Toby Greene “between the eyes” in an honest chat after Greater Western Sydney’s season came to an end.

“It was over a couple of beers as well, I needed a couple of cups of courage to get into him. I told him a couple of home truths, and things he needs to work on. We’ve got a pretty good relationship,” Reid explained to SEN's Bob and Andy. “One thing I wouldn’t change is how competitive he is. I think there’s no doubt sometimes that gets in the way, he gets white line fever and his eyes glaze over. That’s the type of guy you want to play with, he’ll do anything for his teammates. (That said), some of the stuff he does is a bit controversial and we don’t condone any of that, especially the umpire stuff.”

“I wouldn’t get him to change his competitiveness, but he might have to rein it in and steer clear of the umpires and the silly little things. He’s so passionate, he’s once of the best blokes I’ve ever met. He’s the ultimate teammate, he really is. He hates being beaten. We’ve had blues a few times, getting into each other,” Reid continued. “It would have been a bit confronting for him, me hitting him between the eyes… I might leave it at that.”
 

Land of the Giants

Club Legend
Sep 6, 2012
2,319
3,361
Sydney
AFL Club
GWS
Other Teams
Thunder
This is a reassuring, positive sign of a healthy, constructive team environment.

Sam and TFG both ‘team first’ club men and maximum respect to both of them for bluntly talking it out.

Bring on 2022.


Sent from my iPhone using BigFooty.com
So why wasn't it Coniglio "bluntly talking it out"?

Isn't he supposed to be the captain?
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

Giant Strides

Moderator
Nov 23, 2015
6,700
9,068
AFL Club
GWS
So why wasn't it Coniglio "bluntly talking it out"?

Isn't he supposed to be the captain?
To be fair, we don't know if Cogs has or hasn't. It was a question put to Sam Reid on radio about what he would say to Toby, and his answer was that he's just had such a conversation. Because it's about Toby, it's picked up by the media. Sam wasn't asked if Cogs had talked to him.
 

ClockworkOrange

Club Legend
Jan 30, 2016
1,093
1,731
AFL Club
GWS
So why wasn't it Coniglio "bluntly talking it out"?

Isn't he supposed to be the captain?
I guess Sam was in a unique position and was likely doing a departing tough-love favour for TFG personally and the club as a whole.

Sam has the benefit of being an older family man, retiring, club man with proven loyalty.

TFG definitely wasn’t expecting it as Sam tells it, and that would have made it even more impactful.

Sam was also taking the risk of being punched, but it sounds like TFG took it on board like the leader he is growing to be.

One possible answer to your very good qu may be as follows.

If Cogs and TFG are to co-Captain in 2022, then Sam was probably the right guy to deliver it and they both owe Sam a big ‘thank you’.


Sent from my iPhone using BigFooty.com
 

dlanod

Moderator
Sep 14, 2006
46,690
66,520
Sydney
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
Other Teams
GWS; CCMariners; NQCowboys; Ravens
So why wasn't it Coniglio "bluntly talking it out"?

Isn't he supposed to be the captain?
Coniglio is Toby's peer. They both came in at the same time, they've both been keystones, but I admit I have trouble respecting guys who joined my company around the same time as me as managers so I'm not going to hold it against others.

Sam would be in a different position and it wouldn't surprise me to learn Toby looked up to him. Older, more experienced (initially), became a coach. Different positions.
 

Land of the Giants

Club Legend
Sep 6, 2012
2,319
3,361
Sydney
AFL Club
GWS
Other Teams
Thunder
maybe he did.
Yeah, maybe he did.

But unlike Reid, Coniglio's the captain, he's on megabucks, and he's going to be Toby's superior next year.

We know what a departing player thinks, which is great, but what about the captain?

To be fair, we don't know if Cogs has or hasn't. It was a question put to Sam Reid on radio about what he would say to Toby, and his answer was that he's just had such a conversation. Because it's about Toby, it's picked up by the media. Sam wasn't asked if Cogs had talked to him.
Maybe someone in the media should ask.

After the past two seasons, we've got a lot riding on it.

Coniglio is Toby's peer. They both came in at the same time, they've both been keystones, but I admit I have trouble respecting guys who joined my company around the same time as me as managers so I'm not going to hold it against others.
I totally get the "first among equals" concept.

But the captain is still first...
 

BringBackTorps

Club Legend
Jan 5, 2017
2,744
1,718
AFL Club
GWS
Daily Telegraph B. Read Two Long Feature Articles on the RL vs. AF "Battle" in WS 17.9.21 & 18.9.21

(It is worth noting that neither Read, nor other RL officials etc. quoted, mention that Greater Sydney RL GR male contact nos. have collapsed in recent years.

All over Sydney, the District RL comps. [from, usually, u12]- once discrete, & clubs playing only in their own District- are now forced to play in Combined Competitions. All the comps. now cover broad areas of Sydney, often forcing lengthy travel- due to greatly declining GR male contact nos.
This excludes the Penrith District RL comp.- but even it, from U19 onwards, is forced to play in a Combined Comp.

In contrast GR AF jnr club & Auskick nos. in WS have, approximately, tripled in 2021, cf 2010 . This was of a very low 2010 base of about only 60 club teams (U10 to U17) in all of WS.
In NS & ES, there are FAR greater AF nos. now- there has been an almost similar % increase in GR comp. & Club Auskick nos.

Nor is mention made that the forcibly renegotiated NRL Rights' $ from 27.5.20 have been cut by c. 25%- for Foxtel to 2027 inc., & Nine to 2022 inc.
The AFL, however, for seasons 2023-24 have a new record Rights' deal of $946m- whilst 11.6.20 to 2022 were cut by only 13%).





18.9 Part 2
"AFL v NRL: Helicopter flight that shocked Peter V’landys

The woes at Parramatta and Penrith opened a crack that GWS Giants rushed to fill. One helicopter ride revealed how fast the AFL moved.
ARL Commission chair Peter V’landys caught a helicopter flight over NSW’s Hunter Valley a few weeks back. What he saw shocked him.

“Complacency leads to failure,” V’landys said.
“People who think it is just going to happen are never successful. You need to put the work into it to get the results. It is a wake-up call how we have been infiltrated and whichever way you look at it, they (the AFL) have been successful.
“I went up in a helicopter (recently) and I was shocked at the number of AFL fields compared to rugby league fields.
“It was an eye-opener. It highlighted to me that they have made more progress than people give them credit. We are not going to take our eye off the ball here.
“People think it lands in their lap but it doesn’t.
“It’s not just western Sydney, it is everywhere. If someone comes along and does it better and brighter and works harder, they will get the results.”

BIGGER & BETTER

Truth be told, complacency rather than the AFL has been the NRL’s greatest enemy in western Sydney. The ‘Heartland Project’ — the document pieced together on behalf of the ARL Commission a decade ago — made that eminently clear.

Parramatta spent the early years of GWS’s existence fighting an internal war. The Eels were regarded as a powerhouse in western Sydney but they didn’t act like it. They were a dysfunctional rabble, their progress on the field hampered by their failure to find stability off it.
The club reached its nadir in 2016 when the salary cap scandal tore it asunder. What happened next has been well-documented to the point where chief executive Jim Sarantinos is sick of talking about it.

It is worth, however, noting the comments of former ARL Commission chair John Grant when he attended the Ken Thornett Medal at the end of the 2016 season.
Grant still has the speech on his computer, having told a room full of players, officials and sponsors that they needed to use the disaster to regenerate the club.
“Having said that, we only had one agenda … and that was to restore the Parramatta club to the powerhouse position in the game that it should hold and that this game in western Sydney needs it to hold,” he told the room that night.
“So, can I take this opportunity to encourage all of you ... fans, members, staff, volunteers, sponsors and players to actively and overtly support the agenda for change, for a fresh start; and to discard forever the factional rivalries and backroom bickering that have brought this great club to its knees.”

Parramatta reached its nadir in 2016 when the salary cap scandal tore it asunder.

Parramatta reached its nadir in 2016 when the salary cap scandal tore it asunder.

That challenge has been more than met.
“We’re a long way removed from that,” Sarantinos said.
“That is well and truly in the rear-view mirror. We are very stable from a board perspective; the club is doing well commercially; there are still great opportunities with the growth of western Sydney, not just the population but with the growth of business.
“There is all these opportunities that are going to be in front of us over the next 10 or 20 years and we need to be well-positioned to take advantage of that.”

There was an anonymous quote in the ‘Heartland Project’ that resonates in the present environment. It illustrates just how far the Eels have come in a relatively short time.
“My national brand logo just can’t sit on an NRL club jersey alongside ‘Joe’s Smash Repairs’,” it said.
The Eels’ portfolio of sponsors now includes brands such as McDonald’s, Subaru and Taubmans.

Crucially, there remains a place for Joe’s Smash Repairs at a club that will edge closer to a grand-final appearance for the first time in more than a decade if it beats Penrith on Saturday night.
“All of this stuff is great but you can’t get away from the fact that winning is good for business,” Sarantinos said.
“Winning makes a massive difference.
“The footy team has been consistently good for the last two or three years which allows you to do certain things off the field which you wouldn’t if you weren’t winning.
“For us, the recovery is done. That is gone now. I am kind of sick of talking about the recovery and the rebuild because we are so far past that.”

NEVER A THREAT

Phil Gould insists he never really worried about GWS. Once Penrith got its house in order, it would be impervious to outside forces, even ones as affluent and motivated as the AFL.
For a long time, Gould held out hope that the ARL Commission would play a role in Penrith’s reinvigoration.
He walked away frustrated.

The Panthers went out largely on their own, their regeneration in the face of the AFL threat perhaps best symbolised by Stephen Crichton.
Crichton was a target for GWS. He chose rugby league and is now an elite player, knocking on the door of higher honours,
“I don’t worry about the AFL at all, to be honest,” Gould said.
“In Sydney, the Swans were here for 30 years before I stopped and asked whether they won today. They have their own audience and I don’t have any problem with that.
“I have no problem with kids playing their sport of choice, as long as they are playing something. Our rugby league kids can’t play AFL and they can’t play our game.
“Our game has spent so much time worrying about people who don’t watch our game at the expense of people who love it. We are constantly trying to please people who don’t give a rat’s arse about our game.”

Gould didn’t always see eye-to-eye with former NRL chief executive David Gallop but, in that regard, they were on the same page.
“While some of the loud voices in the game were predicting doom and gloom, we always knew that Israel (Folau) and Karmichael (Hunt) were a big risk and an expensive one,” Gallop said.
“In the end, it was a failure for the AFL. It showed that they were desperate to try anything to try to break the stranglehold that rugby league had over that area.”

Gould, now back in the southwest as general manager of football at Canterbury, added: “We don’t see much of them (the AFL) out in the west any more.
“They are probably still out there trying to promote themselves and do whatever but I don’t think it has impacted rugby league; or it hasn’t impacted rugby league because we got Penrith right.
“Penrith is now a force in the game and is competitive. Our thing was, if we get rugby league right, we wouldn’t have to worry about AFL.
“I never feared the AFL and if the rugby league did, they didn’t do anything about it. We fixed it by fixing Penrith and Parramatta did it by fixing Parramatta.”

THE FUTURE

Ask Andrew Demetriou whether GWS has been a success and he insists the better time to make that call would be after the next decade.
The AFL has poured more than $200 million into the club and, while it has found a niche, it hasn’t really made a dent in rugby league heartland. For all the investment, its crowds were on the wane before Covid-19 intervened.

“I always said it was a 20- to 30-year exercise,” Demetriou, the former AFL chief, said.
“I would say it’s probably ahead of schedule. It has had very good success on the field for a club that has been in the competition for nigh on 10 years and it has produced some marvellous players.
“It is still a long, long haul. It is another 20 years. In the early years of GWS, when they were getting smashed, everyone thought this was a disaster.
“But it was pretty much on mark with where we thought it would be. I would say it’s on track to deliver what we thought it would.”

Kevin Sheedy looks out over an AFL ground being built at Blacktown.

Kevin Sheedy looks out over an AFL ground being built at Blacktown.

The NRL and its clubs remain on guard and the coming off-season will be spent fortifying its heartland. It will do so from a position of strength.
By the end of this season, more than 18 million eyeballs will have tuned in on television to watch the clubs in western Sydney.

“You’re never complacent, you never take anything for granted,” NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo said.
“What we need is a co-ordinated approach. We need a way to bring it all together and providing the best possible experience for all ages and all genders.
“The world is moving and changing. We need to change with it.”

That also means staying on your toes when it comes to the AFL. It isn’t going anywhere.
“All my rugby league mates in western Sydney said, ‘geez, you have put a rocket under us, haven’t you’,” AFL legend and inaugural GWS coach Kevin Sheedy said.
“I said, ‘well, let’s get everyone sorted and see how good you can be too because, at the moment, you are just rolling along’.
“All of a sudden they have V’landys. Would V’landys have been there if the Giants had not been there? Probably not.”







17.9.21 Daily Telegraph
PART ONE: INSIDE STORY OF AFL INVASION

Penrith and Parramatta will meet in a western Sydney blockbuster in the unfamiliar surrounds of Queensland on Saturday night. A decade ago, these mortal enemies were locked in a turf war as rugby league’s heartland came under assault from the AFL and GWS.In the first of a two-part series on how the west was won, we talk to the key players from a decade ago and go inside the war that had rugby league and its clubs warning that the battle for western Sydney was life or death.

Don’t mention the war
Phil Gould almost lets out a sigh as he casts his mind back a decade and paints an emotive picture of rugby league’s plight in western Sydney.

“I was never worried too much about the AFL if rugby league got it right, which rugby league wasn’t doing,” Gould says.
“I said if GWS wins a comp in five years time and Penrith and the Eels are running last and second last, that won’t be a good look.“
"I said where it is situated at the moment, if you leave Panthers in its current form to defend the west, maybe not in my lifetime but in my grandchildren’s lifetime, we will see an area where AFL dominates this part of the world.”

As Penrith prepare to meet Parramatta in Queensland on Saturday night, the sense is that rugby league has fortified its strength in western Sydney and ring-fenced the region from the AFL.
Had the game not been forced north due to Covid-19, there is every chance 70,000 people or more would have packed into Stadium Australia to watch the sudden-death final between two of the game’s powerhouses.

Yet go back a decade or so and western Sydney was a war zone as the AFL moved in and sought to capitalise on the sorry state of the two biggest clubs in the region – the Eels and Panthers.
Gould walked into a Penrith club that was on its knees. He was meant to be a coaching director but ended up being the general manger of football and, by extension, the face of rugby league.

The Eels weren’t much better, struggling on the field and a political basket-case off it. The AFL was circling with money to burn and a deep desire to spend it as a means to ensure the success of the GWS Giants.

Former AFL boss Andrew Demetriou insists he wasn’t looking for a fight but it sure came looking for him. Demetriou was the man who bankrolled the AFL’s incursion into western Sydney a decade ago.
The man responsible for signing the blank cheques that lured Israel Folau across the sporting divide and saw the AFL launch a public relations blitz on rugby league heartland, putting up posts on lush green fields and threatening to take over hallowed ground at Birchgrove Oval.

For many in rugby league, it was a declaration of war. A life or death struggle for the code that prompted the NRL and its clubs to take a good hard look at themselves and re-evaluate the way they went about their business.
The message from NRL head office was don’t engage. Don’t give the AFL and GWS oxygen. Yet, rugby league couldn’t help itself as temperatures began to rise in the west. They were drawn in and the AFL relished the attention.

“You have to remember that we were in a situation that … in the greater western Sydney, AFL wasn’t slipping off anyone’s tongue,” Demetriou said.
“It wasn’t even slipping off the front of the tongue lobe to be honest. We weren’t known, the code wasn’t known.

“We had to try to make as much noise as we could to get noticed to be honest. In all parts of Australia you knew something about AFL, except in western Sydney.
“I remember one article that said it was going to be my Vietnam.”

The man responsible for that incendiary story was Geoff Carr, the former chief executive of the NSW Rugby League. It was Carr who suggested the AFL’s incursion into western Sydney would end the same way the Vietnam War did for America, a comment he stands by to this day.
“It hasn’t changed,” he says.
“The war is still on and they haven’t won it. They signed Israel Folau but they were all PR stunts. The goalposts was a PR stunt, the playing numbers was a PR stunt.
“I can remember they wanted to take over Birchgrove Oval. They went to the council and listed all the playing numbers, but at the end they had no club.
“It was all guns blazing. (Andrew) Demetriou, Kevin Sheedy – they just talked it up. We fell into them a bit. But I got sick of all the people saying how many goalposts there were.”

The goalposts

When it comes to the fight for western Sydney, you can’t avoid the goalposts. When the ARL Commission was formed in 2012, GWS was about to kick off its first season in the AFL.
The AFL had devoted years to wooing councils and government. They spent money hand over fist to have goalposts erected on grounds that were once the domain of rugby league.
It was a concerted and targeted campaign to claim the kids, every cold and calculating move run by strategists operating out of AFL head office.

“I remember everyone was obsessed with taking about the goalposts they saw springing up everywhere,” Carr said.
“They had this presence that wasn’t a presence. They had no playing numbers and no competition numbers.
“They were developing this huge myth about how they had taken over western Sydney. My view at the time – and it still is – is that was all smoke and mirrors.”

Still, one of the first things former ARL Commission chair John Grant did when he came into office at the start of 2012 was meet with Gould and representatives of the four western Sydney clubs.
The message was loud and clear – we need help to keep the AFL at bay.

“Gus (Gould) painted it as a very serious issue,” Grant said.

“Parramatta had their drama. Penrith had their own dramas with their own leadership. While they were rebuilding they lost traction and focus as well.
“We had the AFL investing another team in Sydney, which was a big deal. We had people appointed to the board of the western Sydney AFL side who were top shelf people in the business community in Sydney.
“They were investing in schools. They paid to put goalposts in. We were in a very poor position from the point of view of standing tall.
“The AFL made a big play.”

The AFL were cashed up thanks to a mega broadcasting deal that left rugby league in the shade. They talked a big game and had the money to back it up.
They also had a man who was happy to sell the cause. Kevin Sheedy was an iconic figure in the AFL and he was appointed GWS coach in late 2009, a full two years before the side would enter the AFL.

Sheedy made it his mission to press as much flesh as possible.
“I was an alien,” Sheedy said.
“We put an AFL team in the middle of four NRL clubs and stole a player called Israel Folau. We made about $12 million worth of publicity.

The AFL were very shrewd in their choice of Kevin Sheedy.

“I have it all written down, I have every photo. I used to go back after work and take photos of the stadium, where we started at Rooty Hill RSL.
“It is a classic (story).”
No meeting was too small for Sheedy. No-one worked the corridors of politics and local sporting clubs better.

“It was a PR war and I think to be fair, the media loved it,” said former Canterbury chief executive Andrew Hill, who was involved with GWS before returning to rugby league.
“It was great headlines. I think where Gus (Gould) was right was that rugby league was being complacent. Penrith weren’t as dominant. Parra hadn’t had success.
“As soon as they got Kevin Sheedy involved, it was headline after headline. Without Kevin Sheedy and Israel Folau, GWS wouldn’t be there they are now.
“If you looked at the media reports and media monitors, the in-kind value that club got from those two, no-one else would have got that.
“I guess it is a good example of the money that was at the AFL. League people would sit back and go what a waste of money, he (Folau) was hopeless.
“AFL people said we got it, we spent it and boy, didn’t we get some publicity out of it.”

The NRL's Heartland report from July 2012 that examined rugby league in Western Sydney.

The NRL's Heartland report from July 2012 that examined rugby league in Western Sydney.

The heartland strategy

With the game under siege, the ARL Commission responded by hiring a consultancy firm to put together a strategy for western Sydney. Christopher Brown was a long-suffering Parramatta fan when the NRL knocked on his door.

The commission wanted a broad brush view of western Sydney and a plan for making sure it remained a rugby league stronghold. From that meeting, the ‘heartland project’ was born.
Brown consulted far and wide as he sought the answers to rugby league’s vexing problems.
He spoke to politicians including now-opposition leader Anthony Albanese, a long-time South Sydney supporter, and former treasurer Joe Hockey.
He spoke to business leaders and powerful sports and media identities such as AOC president John Coates and 2GB star Ray Hadley. He was charged with finding out how the people with the power felt about rugby league in the west.

It wasn’t pretty. The secret report, which has been obtained by News Corp, is littered with anonymous quotes that paint a picture of a code that was out of touch with its constituents and badly trailing the AFL in corporate Australia.
“The NRL is crippled by its insular approach. Where is the new talent from outside its gene pool that the AFL has,” one said. Another added: “There is a lack of professionalism in the NRL.”
On and on it went.
“We are here spending millions trying to get consumers in western Sydney to look at our products but league just ignores its own powerful brand there,” another said.

Kevin Sheedy and GWS had the NRL running scared.

Kevin Sheedy and GWS had the NRL running scared.

The quotes also provided a snapshot into the way the AFL greased the government wheels and how naive rugby league was in that department.
“AFL was among the first to win the Premier after the election win,” one quote read. “They didn’t ask anything. Just wanted to say hello. NRL didn’t even invite the boss to Origin I.”

It was damning and it showed why rugby league was right to be concerned. The AFL was heaping pressure on a fractured code.
Parramatta and Penrith were in disarray. Country Rugby League and NSW Rugby League were at odds. The left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing.

“The heartland strategy – it alerted them to the western Sydney issue and that they had a problem coming,” Brown said.
“Rugby league took western Sydney for granted for so long, never invested in it, it was a sport run by the eastern suburbs for the western suburbs.
“I remember growing up as a kid and things didn’t happen in western Sydney unless the publican and the rugby league guy approved it.
“They had this power that has dissipated. Have they done enough about the problem? Everyone has done a little bit of something.
“It is just almost structurally unable to be done. The warlords say this is our region, our club. The aggression towards head office – you are a bloated head office. There is a reason they are bloated – you have to do something.

Parramatta finished last in 2012 and one point off the bottom in 2011.

Parramatta finished last in 2012 and one point off the bottom in 2011.

“They have to get the will to impose themselves.”

Gould pleaded with the commission to take the west, and Penrith in particular, seriously. His plea he says fell on deaf ears, leaving the Panthers to dig their own way out of their hole.

“(The ARL Commission’s) first ever board meeting was at Panthers,” Gould said.
“We needed to talk to them about the position the Penrith club was in – both financially and from a development standpoint.
“To summarise it all, I said if you are relying on Penrith to protect the western areas of sport against the AFL, then Penrith can’t compete.
“We could have easily been out of business in 2011 and the league would have had no idea. John Grant promised he would help. We didn’t see him for five years.”

The fightback

Grant to his credit concedes the commission failed to bring the heartland strategy into effect.
They did, however, secure more money for the code through broadcasting rights and that gave them the ability to strike back.
The key though was the clubs. Parramatta and Penrith needed to get their houses in order. The Eels and Panthers are powerhouses now but a decade ago they were anything but.
They held the west in their hands.

Tomorrow: How Parramatta and Penrith got their act together and fended off the AFL

https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=AFL+v+NRL:+Helicopter+flight+that+shocked+Peter+V’landys&via=dailytelegraph&url=https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/nrl/battle-for-western-sydney-how-emergence-of-gws-forced-penrith-parramatta-to-get-house-in-order/news-story/f0533fdc930e838bdea60b4443579fbb
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/sponsored/THfdFY5akJZdFXbTVcvg/playing-the-us-profit-rebound/
 
Last edited:

General Giant

Hall of Famer
Apr 12, 2012
41,422
34,905
AFL Club
GWS

Greater Western Sydney, meanwhile, train at Tom Wills Oval at Sydney’s Olympic Park


The field - a golf driving range converted into an oval - was given that name in 2013. Former AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou, then-NSW sports minister Graham Annesley and Wills’ biographer Greg de Moore were on hand for the naming, hailing the decision as fitting because Wills was from NSW.

De Moore told the ABC he felt there was a “thread of truth” in the latest revelations about Wills.
The Giants declined to comment when approached on Monday, but club sources have indicated they are also seeking consultation on whether the oval should be renamed, and are sensitive to the importance of the issue.
 

Hendo_21

Team Captain
Aug 14, 2021
411
470
AFL Club
GWS

Greater Western Sydney, meanwhile, train at Tom Wills Oval at Sydney’s Olympic Park


The field - a golf driving range converted into an oval - was given that name in 2013. Former AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou, then-NSW sports minister Graham Annesley and Wills’ biographer Greg de Moore were on hand for the naming, hailing the decision as fitting because Wills was from NSW.

De Moore told the ABC he felt there was a “thread of truth” in the latest revelations about Wills.
The Giants declined to comment when approached on Monday, but club sources have indicated they are also seeking consultation on whether the oval should be renamed, and are sensitive to the importance of the issue.
Certainly has to be re-named would be great to pay homage to a fomer aboriginal great from NSW or any great player for that matter!
 

Land of the Giants

Club Legend
Sep 6, 2012
2,319
3,361
Sydney
AFL Club
GWS
Other Teams
Thunder

Greater Western Sydney, meanwhile, train at Tom Wills Oval at Sydney’s Olympic Park


The field - a golf driving range converted into an oval - was given that name in 2013. Former AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou, then-NSW sports minister Graham Annesley and Wills’ biographer Greg de Moore were on hand for the naming, hailing the decision as fitting because Wills was from NSW.

De Moore told the ABC he felt there was a “thread of truth” in the latest revelations about Wills.
The Giants declined to comment when approached on Monday, but club sources have indicated they are also seeking consultation on whether the oval should be renamed, and are sensitive to the importance of the issue.
The sooner this country builds a dedicated memorial to the Frontier Wars, which includes this type of revelation, the better off we'll all be.
 

Ichabod Noodle

Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 13, 2011
8,990
13,066
The Riff
AFL Club
GWS
Other Teams
Raiders, Brumbies
As much as I am appalled by this story, I believe there are issues with jumping to a conclusion that would eradicate the legacy of someone who actually did a lot of good - and particularly with indigenous peoples elsewhere.

He lived with indigenous communities for lengthy periods of time learning their ways (where do you think he came up with the idea for footy comes from?) He coached and toured with indigenous cricket teams.

one horrific incident - yes - but that can‘t be allowed to be his only legacy.


If that was the case then we HAVE to get rid of anything and everything named for Macquarie.

Macquarie, who basically set Sydney Town on the path that would take us to modern day Australia. We would not be the nation we are today without his vision and his policies. NSW parliament sits on Macquarie St. in his honour.

Macquarie - the guy who authorised aboriginals to be strung up in trees as a deterrent to others. The guy who put a bounty on their heads.


You can acknowledge both greatness and flaw - and most of the celebrated people of history have both. You rub him from history because of this one incident, then you have to rub most people from history - starting with Macquarie.

Or you can use it as an educational tool, ensuring that the history you teach is an accurate one.



Tom Wills Oval - named for the man who invented football.

Tom Wills was a pioneer of our game. Without him this game we live wouldn’t exist. He was Champion of the Colony a number of times and a player and a significant administrator in the game‘s developmental years. Born in NSW He spent a great deal of time with indigenous peoples of Victoria bringing to our culture the basics of a game called Marn Grook. He coached and toured with indigenous cricketers. Which is why, it’s surprising to discover he also participated in a revenge atrocity and massacre of indigenous people in Queensland. He was also a deeply troubled soul who committed suicide by sticking a pair of scissors in his neck in Heidelberg at the age 44. How much the guilt he felt played in that we’ll never know.




you can both honour and be honest. In fact, you need to be.
 

dlanod

Moderator
Sep 14, 2006
46,690
66,520
Sydney
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
Other Teams
GWS; CCMariners; NQCowboys; Ravens
If that was the case then we HAVE to get rid of anything and everything named for Macquarie.
Honestly I expect calls for that to happen at some point.

Wills is a bit more of an interesting niche case.

AFL has a disproportionately Aboriginal base, so has more invested in avoiding this kind of controversy. Conversely, there's fewer invested in resisting any change.

you can both honour and be honest. In fact, you need to be.
The problem in simplistic statements is that it's easy to honour people when you put their names on things. It's harder to add context to make it actually honest. Everyone will hear "Tom Wills Oval". No one hears "Tom Wills Oval, implicated in a massacre."

It's a bit different when it's a statue or historic monument, because they almost always include a contextual plaque or the like that can be updated.
 

GWS Goose

Norm Smith Medallist
Nov 14, 2011
8,247
14,090
Emu Plains
AFL Club
GWS
As much as I am appalled by this story, I believe there are issues with jumping to a conclusion that would eradicate the legacy of someone who actually did a lot of good - and particularly with indigenous peoples elsewhere.

He lived with indigenous communities for lengthy periods of time learning their ways (where do you think he came up with the idea for footy comes from?) He coached and toured with indigenous cricket teams.

one horrific incident - yes - but that can‘t be allowed to be his only legacy.


If that was the case then we HAVE to get rid of anything and everything named for Macquarie.

Macquarie, who basically set Sydney Town on the path that would take us to modern day Australia. We would not be the nation we are today without his vision and his policies. NSW parliament sits on Macquarie St. in his honour.

Macquarie - the guy who authorised aboriginals to be strung up in trees as a deterrent to others. The guy who put a bounty on their heads.


You can acknowledge both greatness and flaw - and most of the celebrated people of history have both. You rub him from history because of this one incident, then you have to rub most people from history - starting with Macquarie.

Or you can use it as an educational tool, ensuring that the history you teach is an accurate one.



Tom Wills Oval - named for the man who invented football.

Tom Wills was a pioneer of our game. Without him this game we live wouldn’t exist. He was Champion of the Colony a number of times and a player and a significant administrator in the game‘s developmental years. Born in NSW He spent a great deal of time with indigenous peoples of Victoria bringing to our culture the basics of a game called Marn Grook. He coached and toured with indigenous cricketers. Which is why, it’s surprising to discover he also participated in a revenge atrocity and massacre of indigenous people in Queensland. He was also a deeply troubled soul who committed suicide by sticking a pair of scissors in his neck in Heidelberg at the age 44. How much the guilt he felt played in that we’ll never know.




you can both honour and be honest. In fact, you need to be.
My thoughts are similar.
The world is full of grey. People aren't good or bad, they are a mixture of both.
People like Wills and Macquarie did lots of positive things that made Australia what it is today. They also did a number of horrific things.
People are also a product of their times, I think it serves more value to acknowledge the wrong doings of the past.
These atrocities of the time involved otherwise good people, these issues were systematic or structural not bad people doing bad things.
Looking through this lens serves us better as a learning tool than the painting those involved as bad people.
 

Remove this Banner Ad

Remove this Banner Ad