Shortly before he ran out to play his very first game for the GIANTS, Daniel Lloyd handed a small piece of paper to assistant coach Mark McVeigh.
The forward was returning a note McVeigh had given him 18 months earlier, on the day Lloyd started training with the club in the hopes of winning a rookie list spot.
“The first time I went to the club Spike wrote on a sticky note, and he told me to just put it somewhere safe, or whatever it was,” Lloyd said.
He recalls the story in the latest episode of Becoming GIANT, presented by Bingo Industries.
“He said to me, make sure you give this back to me when you pay your first game.
“It just had the date – September 13, 2015, I think it was – and the time, 10.30am.
“I kept it and that was a good moment, I ended up giving that back to him before I ran out for my first game, and thanking him for everything that he did.”
It was McVeigh who alerted the GIANTS’ recruiting team to Lloyd, who was 23 and playing for McVeigh’s old club, Killarney Vale, on the NSW Central Coast in 2015.
A talented junior, Lloyd spent time at the Western Bulldogs as a NSW scholarship player but found himself struggling for motivation as he reached his late teenage years.
He was desperate for another chance when invited to train with the GIANTS, but was working full-time as a carpenter and had a wife, Crystal, and two young children to consider before making the move to Sydney.
“I wasn’t 100 per cent. There was a lot of excitement and I was also a bit nervous because that meant that my family had to move way from home,” Lloyd said.
“My daughter was just born so we had a newborn and a toddler, and Crystal had to move away from all her support network. So it was a mixture of everything, but at the same time it was just, ‘I’m not going to let this slip.’
“There were plenty of conversations with Crystal, and she’s always been so supportive of me all the way through. There was no hesitation for her, even though I feel like she’s probably given up the most for me to be able to do it.”
Lloyd is one of four players to have told the story behind his journey to the GIANTS in the podcast series, along with Heath Shaw, Lachie Whitfield and Matt de Boer.
Another former rookie - Zac Williams – will feature in next week’s episode.