After winning 11 matches and narrowly missing out on the 2015 finals, GWS have exceeded everyone’s (including their own) expectations with a top-four finish and double chance.
The Giants will kick off their maiden AFL finals appearance with a blockbuster qualifying final clash with their crosstown rivals, the Sydney Swans.
The AFL’s newest club has shown the Gold Coast why they are miles ahead of them in terms of development, but they certainly are not there to make up numbers in September.
And it could not have come at a better time.
After being often upstaged by the A-League’s Western Sydney Wanderers in terms of fan base and support, the Giants have finally given hope to the AFL that success in the area may not be too far away.
When the Swans and Giants met in round three, the Swans came out 25-point victors at the SCG.
In the reverse fixture in round 12, it was the Giants who proved too much for Sydney by 42 points.
This makes for an interesting encounter on Saturday week; if the Giants are going to overcome their opponents, they face a tough test.
Greater Western Sydney’s key to unlocking the Swans on game-day will be their run from half-back and their dominant midfield, although they must deal with the threat of Coleman Medal runner-up, Lance Franklin.
Franklin has averaged more than three goals a game this year and the Giants’ defence must be tight and ready for the task.
They also rely heavily on the finals experience of Steve Johnson who was once dubbed “Mr September” due to his ability of turning up the volume during the finals.
Although the task that lies ahead of them seems tough, if they manage to defeat their rivals then a grand final spot may not be too far-fetched for them.
They have lost just twice at home this season and will prove to be a stern test for anyone in the preliminary final should they make it.
The Giants have a huge chance to contradict their critics; a win against the Swans could very-well put them on the way to their first ever grand final, in their first ever finals appearance.
Written by Michael Barbaro