Greater Western Sydney co-captain Phil Davis wants Saturday’s Anzac Day clash with Gold Coast in Canberra to be a permanent AFL fixture – even if it’s purely for selfish reasons.
Davis grew up in the nation’s capital and had two grandparents serve in World War II.
“My grandfather was in the air force and my grandmother was in the army driving a truck,” Davis said.
“Both survived, which was terrific.
“So the military’s always been part of my life and Anzac Day is always a day on the calendar that gets circled.”
The 24-year-old said he didn’t inherit his toughness from family, admitting he was “as soft as they come”.
“My grandma’s significantly tougher than I am, but it’s going to be an exciting day tomorrow,” he chuckled.
“In the past, it’s always just been Collingwood and Essendon, but it’s a great initiative by the AFL to give us the opportunity.
“Being in Canberra you get immersed in the history of the war and Australia’s military campaigns and it’s a great honour to be a part of that.”
For the third time this season, the Giants enter a match as favourites.
Still without Gary Ablett, the Suns are winless in 2015 and will be desperate to beat the only team in the competition younger than themselves.
The visitors have won the past four matches between the two sides by an average margin of 49 points, and Davis reckons last weekend’s narrow nine-point loss to Geelong will spur them on even more.
“We understand we’re playing a very good side and we’ll have to be our very best to be competitive,” he said.
GWS coach Leon Cameron was predicting an emotional meeting between the two sides, given the occasion.
“But that’s always the million dollar question – how do our young lads handle that emotion and come out when that ball bounces with their energy levels still high?” he said.
“Whether you come up with a milestone or such a significant day, the buildup is a little bit different – they know there’s a fair bit to it.
“They know they’ve been lucky enough to be given this game and hopefully it can become a regular event.”
The round four clash marks utility Rhys Palmer’s 100th AFL game in his eighth season.