The little kid’s dream is about to come true and the AFL’s newest finalists have declared themselves ready for the challenge.
Saturday week’s all-Sydney qualifying final at ANZ Stadium against the Swans will be the first taste of finals action for most of the GWS Giants.
Steeled by several hard pre-seasons and multiple heavy defeats in their first three years, the Giants have no doubt they will be up to the task.
“It wasn’t too long ago we were little kids dreaming about playing in these games watching guys like Stevie (Johnson) and Heath (Shaw) and Mummy (Shane Mumford) run around in finals games,” Giants’ midfielder and foundation player Stephen Coniglio said.
“For us it’s been a long time coming and I know we’re all very much excited,
“Time will tell as to how we go on the big stage, but one thing’s for sure there’s a lot of guys are ready.”
The hunger for success of Coniglio and several other foundation players has been recognised by more recent recruits including former Geelong triple-premiership winner Steve Johnson.
“Some of those guys have gone through some absolute beltings in their career and they haven’t forgotten,” forward Johnson said.
“They are really motivated by trying to get to the big stage.
“I’ve joined the club and I’ve come to realise just how hard it was for some of these guys guys that turned up here as 17-year-olds from all round the country….were living away from their families. Also on the back of that weren’t getting the results they were after.
“But to see how they’ve all stuck together and the motivation of that group of players to want to have some premiership success has certainly driven me to want to improve and want to help play a role in getting them to a grand final one day.”
Coniglio described the acquisition late last year of former Cats forward Johnson as the cream and cherry on top of the Giants recruitment cake.
West Australian Coniglio has become the Giants premier run-with player this year.
He was looking forward to tussling again with a powerful Swans midfield he said had “crazy depth.”