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Giants will always be bigger than Suns: ex-AFL boss


Demetriou’s comments feature in Greater Western Sydney’s special five-part podcast Here Come The Giants, which chronicles the creation of Giants from an idea to a must-have team for the AFL.The two new clubs effectively received the green light at the same time, given AFL bosses didn’t want to have a bye each weekend and were keen to present nine-game rounds for the broadcast negotiations which helped net the league’s first billion-dollar deal. Executives from the cashed-up AFL felt the global financial crisis was the ideal time to add teams to the competition in NSW and Queensland to take on the rugby codes and soccer and become a truly “national” game.This ambition cruelled any chance Tasmania had at the time of scoring its own AFL team, a battle that is ongoing.Demetriou believes the varied factors that made Greater Western Sydney the “perfect” spot for AFL expansion more than a decade ago will also see it thrive in the decades ahead.“If you’re trying to start a team in a market; the things you would look for are large population, socio-economic factors, diversity, growth opportunities, Indigenous population and an area that had some massive growth potential,” Demetriou said.“When you looked at Greater Western Sydney; you had a population of two to three million people.“I think the last count that I remember when I was at the AFL; they had 60-odd languages being spoken in the region, a large Indigenous population, (there was a) huge growth corridor in Greater Western Sydney and a huge area of growth in socio-economic terms as well.”The Suns entered the AFL in 2011, while the Giants followed a season later, but it’s Greater Western Sydney that Demetriou is far more bullish about.The clubs’ on-field results are heavily in the Giants’ favour, including five finals appearances to none and them reaching the 2019 grand final, but the ex-AFL head honcho’s vision is beyond kicks and marks.Demetriou even said it was “a no-brainer” to introduce a team in the west of Sydney.“Greater Western Sydney, even though it didn’t know anything about AFL football and it wasn’t an AFL market; it ticked all the boxes. It was the perfect place to put an AFL team,” he said.“Out of anywhere in Australia where you wanted to put a new team; it was the one that ticked all the boxes and had the most potential.“I’ve often said this is a 20-to-30-year build in Greater Western Sydney, but it’ll be a very, very big club one day – much bigger than the Gold Coast Suns will ever be.“Gold Coast will be a small, niche club in a small, niche market … “Greater Western Sydney, tapping into the multicultural diversity, women, Indigenous, growing socio-economic backgrounds, broadcasting, two to three million people – you couldn’t get any better than that.”>>> The first episode of Here Come The Giants will be released on Thursday, coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the club’s first AFL game

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