GWS on course for AFL flag record

In a season of multiple firsts for Greater Western Sydney, another prestigious one looms tantalisingly within reach.

With two more victories the Giants would secure an AFL flag faster than any non-Victorian club.

Locked in to a home preliminary final showdown with Western Bulldogs on Saturday, GWS are hurtling towards the end of their fifth season.

No club starting from scratch outside Victoria has won a flag that quickly.

A Giants premiership this year would also create another record as none of the non-Victorian clubs won a flag in their first finals campaign.

West Coast won their first flag in their sixth year in 1992 and added a second two years later.

The two SA clubs got there almost as quickly, with the Crows taking seven years and Port Adelaide eight.

The Giants were far from the fastest of the non-Victorian clubs to make a finals debut.

West Coast made it in just their second season and the two South Australian clubs got there in their third.

Some clubs had longer growing pains.

Fremantle and the Brisbane Bears each had to wait till their ninth season before they got a taste of finals action.

Brisbane’s extraordinary hat-trick of titles from 2001-2003 didn’t materialise until they became the Lions, having merged with Fitzroy in 1996.

The two South Australian and West Australian clubs were built along different lines from the league’s two youngest clubs, Gold Coast and GWS, who were loaded with high draft picks but were relatively light on players with AFL experience.

“It (the list building method) was different, but whether the quality of player was any greater or less, that’s subjective,” said Giants’ general manager of football operations Wayne Campbell.

“But they didn’t just go through the draft, they were given players essentially.

“Brisbane got the Fitzroy players that went up there that they could then either have or trade.

“It was done differently but all the sides had success relatively quickly.

“You look at Port Adelaide and Adelaide and West Coast when they came into the competition and when Fitzroy merged with Brisbane.

“They (all) had success in a relatively similar period of time (to the Giants), so it’s not unprecedented.”

THE WAIT FOR FINALS SUCCESS FROM NON-VICTORIAN CLUBS STARTING FROM SCRATCH:

ADELAIDE

*Year entered comp: 1991

*Flags won: 2 (1997, 98)

*How many seasons to make first final :3

*How far in first finals campaign: Lost prelim final

BRISBANE (factors in Lions and Bears)

*Year entered comp: 1987

*Flags won: 3 (2001-2-3)

*How many seasons to make first final: 9

*How far in first finals campaign: Lost quarter-final

FREMANTLE

*Year entered comp: 1995

*Flags won: 0

*How many seasons to make first final: 9

*How far in fIrst finals campaign: Lost elimination final

GOLD COAST

*Year entered comp : 2011

*Flags won: 0

*How many seasons to make first final: Yet to make finals

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY

*Year entered comp: 2012

*Flags won: 0

*How many seasons to make first final: 5

*How far in first finals campaign: Through to prelim final

PORT ADELAIDE

*Year entered comp: 1997

*Flags won: 1 (2004)

*How many seasons to make first finals: 3

*How far in first finals campaign: Lost qualifying final

WEST COAST

*Year entered comp: 1987

*Flags won: 3 (1992, 1994, 2006)

*How many seasons to make first final: 2

*How far in first finals campaign: Lost elimination final

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