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From the Archives: #WardWeek

Ryan Miller  May 11, 2018 9:32 AM

To celebrate co-captain Callan Ward’s 200th AFL game, we’ve gone all out with #WardWeek.

And #WardWeek would not be complete without us reflecting on Callan Ward through the ages in photo form. 

Young Callan

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We’re starting really young here with a cute baby photo of our now courageous co-captain. While what he’s wearing makes him look like the coolest hipster in Newtown his choice of hairstyle hasn’t changed too much. Ward has gone for a neat and tidy cut in 2018, but he has brought back the long locks many times throughout his 200 game career. 

On debut

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Not too many years later Ward would make his debut for the Western Bulldogs in round 11, 2008 as an 18-year-old. Still in year 12, Ward kicked a goal and collected the ball 12 times in a 27 point win over the Saints, showing glimpses of what was to come.

Don't miss the GIANTS taking on the West Coast Eagles in Callan Ward's 200th game on Saturday, May 12. CLICK HERE to get your tickets!

Ward becomes GIANT

After establishing himself as one of the best up and coming midfielders in the competition across 60 games for the Bulldogs, Ward announced at the end of the 2011 season that he was moving to the GIANTS. The then 21-year-old was unveiled in orange and charcoal for the first time in a press conference at breakfast point, alongside fellow recruit Rhys Palmer. Note the exceptionally young and excited Jeremy Cameron over his left shoulder.

A place in history

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You’re at a pub quiz and the question ‘Who kicked the GIANTS’ first goal in the AFL?’ comes up. The answer: Callan Ward of course. After leading the GIANTS onto ANZ Stadium for their first-ever AFL game alongside co-captain Phil Davis, Ward gathered the ball in the 16th minute of the first quarter and kicked truly on the run from 40 metres out.

Another first

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After a brilliant 2012 season Ward was named the inaugural Kevin Sheedy Medallist as the GIANTS’ club champion. In his first season as a GIANT Ward averaged 24.4 disposals, 5 tackles and 5 clearances per game while he also polled five votes in the Brownlow Medal. 

Courageous Captain

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Callan Ward looks to inspire the GIANTS during a pre-game talk against the Fremantle Dockers at Subiaco Oval in round 20, 2013. Ward has grown into his role as co-captain having been talked into the role by coach Kevin Sheedy. Ward’s leadership alongside Phil Davis has blossomed and his courageous acts on the field has won the admiration of team-mates and opponents alike. 

Derby specialist

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When it comes to Sydney Derbies you can count on Callan Ward to lift. Ward has won the Brett Kirk Medal as best on ground in a Sydney Derby twice, the first coming in the GIANTS’ historic round one, 2014 win over the Swans; their first derby victory. Ward was electric, kicking a goal, winning 11 clearances and kicking a goal in the 32 point win.

Vote getter

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Ward is the most successful GIANT when it comes to the Brownlow Medal. 66 of his 72 career votes have come as a GIANT with his 19 votes in the 2015 count seeing him finish in eight position. While Ward is yet to take home the ‘Charlie’, he’s often amongst the best dressed but it’s his fiancé Ruby who steals the show.

A special goal

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After kicking the GIANTS’ first-ever goal, five years later he’d kick the last goal of the GIANTS’ first-ever final. While not Ward’s best individual game, his game sealing goal in the 21st minute was one to savour for GIANTS fans as they downed the Swans by 36 points in the qualifying final at ANZ Stadium. 

‘Two peas in a pod’

 

Callan Ward and Phil Davis go together perfectly. They’re two different personalities with different leadership styles, but when they’re combined, they’re the perfect combination. As Sam Reid so elegantly put it in Emma Quayle’s article about Ward’s milestone; “You can’t have Phil without him, and you can’t have him without Phil. They’re two peas in a pod.”