We are 10 months away from the first AFL game to be played by the Greater Western Sydney Giants. The AFL are trying to bolt on a club to a region that has not moved swiftly to institute an AFL playing culture, seemingly in order to please Channel 7, whose holy grail is the Friday Night footy game to compete with Channel 9’s. Even now, the region including Campbelltown, Penrith and Blacktown has only 13 junior clubs. The only senior clubs in the catchment areas are Holroyd, Camden, Campbelltown and Penrith. Compare that to the competitions in Melbourne, where there would be hundreds of clubs in the same geographical region. It’s little wonder there is anger in Melbourne (and from a grumpy old leaguie in Sydney) about this seemingly outrageous risk.
The problem is, however, how can GWS attract western Sydney fans? The “Swannies” have a largely affluent following of professionals and other “White” people in Sydney. This is why many have scoffed that Sydney can miraculously conjure a club with a following similar to that of the Western Bulldogs and Collingwood – people from the Western Suburbs from working class roots. There is one clear solution – boganising the game, making it attractive to cashed up people ready to support rugby league and another game. After all, there are many in the CUB community in places like the Hills District and the Macarthur region who like to look down their nose at Penrith, find it hard to park their Hummer near the Parramatta Stadium and just can’t wear supporting a club that has anything to do with that Green loving Balmain. They are ready for the picking. However, it is important that they learn lessons from the Suns.
The “Black Hole” Suns (my name for them) are making a good attempt at boganising their appeal. They have a Suns “Shine” program (geddit, Suns Shine) and have orange as a part of their uniform. However, I think they have missed out through writing a forgettable song and not recruiting enough bogan players, like Buddy Franklin and the entire Collingwood list. Gary Ablett Jnr. is far too nice and friendly for the average bogan. They also haven’t recruited enough of any existing AFL players, but that’s a matter for others to cover.
What the Giants need to do in order to attract the cashed up bogans is the following:
1. Use a popular song as the basis of the new club song.
Suggestion 1 – Living on a Prayer
The Giants want to take the field.
Playing for the boys
working for the west
It’s tough so tough.
Players work the field all day
working for the west
They bring home their wins for love for home.
The team says We’ve got to hold on to what we’ve got
‘Cause it doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not.
We’ve got each other and that’s a lot for the west –
We’ll give it a shot.
We’re half way there – oh, ho, We’re playin’ for the Giants
Take the marks and we’ll make it I swear – oh, ho, playin’ for the Giants.
Suggestion 2 – The Australian Option, You’re the Voice
We have the chance to take the marks together
We can score what we want to score
We gotta win the flag, before we get much older
We’re all westie heroes
We all want to shine
How good is this awesome club
Down the barrel of the goals?
We’re the Giants, try and understand it
We’re out west and proud of it
We’re are gonna win in style
We’re not gonna lose a game
2. Boganise the Uniform. It’s good that they have gone with Orange – so I’m picturing female fans matching their love of tandoori colouring with the guernsey. However, there needs to be some more bling and Gucci style designs on the “supporter gear” – after all the Giants are really just a giant G on their new strip – not an actual Greek style Giant in sight.
3. Give away a Maxtreme Prize each week to fans. That could be a car of some description – though it’s a bit of a concern that Skoda have come on board with the Giants – a rather nicely built European car that doesn’t roar or do mad burnouts. Or maybe the Giants will ask the good people of the Czech Republic to make a special version just for the fully sick crowd.
4. Build in some boganity to the eating and drinking options at the newly refurbished Corona Stadium at Homebush. Full range of imported beers, a KFC where there could be Double Slamming competitions, a Pizza Hut and any number of other franchises. Of course, the Maxtreme Platinum section of the Corona Stadium would have newly made ex-Burmese Australians serving said foodstuffs to the bogans. After all, the Corona Stadium was built with their hard earned tax dollars.
5. Bring back Brendan Fevola from the Casey Scorpions – and put him on an incentive deal which sees him get paid more for each time he does some kind of activity that brings him bogan notoriety and makes him even more of a legend. If any player was built for the challenge, it’s Fev. And besides, I’d really like to see Fev try to take on Kevin Sheedy. That would be worth any admission.