Greater Western Sydney Head Coach Kevin Sheedy has thanked GIANTS fans for their support at the end of the club’s inaugural year in the AFL.
Sheedy said the GIANTS had achieved a number of milestones in their first year, including:
* The GIANTS first wins in Sydney and Canberra
* A record eight NAB Rising Star nominations
* Re-signed several young players to long term contracts
* Opened a world class venue at Skoda Stadium
* A membership of more than 10,000
* The announcement of a new training base at Sydney Olympic Park
* Appointed Leon Cameron as Senior Assistant Coach and successor to Kevin Sheedy
“This has been an historic year for the game in New South Wales and the ACT,” Sheedy said. “We defied many of the critics who said we wouldn’t win a game and our young playing list, including 36 debutants, has shown they are capable of playing a tough and exciting brand of football.”
Sheedy said the GIANTS had worked hard off the field to build a significant and growing fan base in Western Sydney and across New South Wales and the ACT. This has been reflected in the growth of the game in these regions which showed -
* A 35 % increase in AFL crowds in Sydney and Canberra, up to 393,868 in 2012
* A 30 % jump in membership (GIANTS and Swans) to 44,456 in 2012
* A 33 % increase in TV ratings for AFL matches with a cumulative audience in 2012 of 6.4 million viewers in Sydney (the highest increase of any capital city)
* An 8% rise in participation in NSW and ACT up to 148,230 including a 27 % increase in Western Sydney
“With the entry of the GIANTS and the Sydney Swans winning the premiership it has been the biggest year in the history of the AFL in Sydney and Canberra and we can’t wait for 2013 to begin, starting with the Sydney Derby at ANZ Stadium on March 30,” Sheedy said.
“We have already signed more than 6000 members for 2013 and we have a lot to look forward to with seven new draftees and two rookies joining the club and an exciting fixture including the first ever match under lights at Manuka Oval in Canberra against St Kilda on April 13.
“On behalf of the GIANTS I want to thank everyone for their fantastic support during 2012 and wish them a happy and safe Christmas and holiday period. We look forward to seeing you in 2013.”
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