Category Archives: Australian Football League (AFL)

Tom Downie and Shannon Noll visit the children at Ronald McDonald House in Westmead

I had the privilege of visiting the Ronald McDonald house in Westmead with GWS ruckman Tom Downie and Australian Singer/ Songwriter Shannon Noll on Tuesday afternoon. The charity has a healthy and strong partnership with GWS Giants with Tom and Shannon inviting all the children to the game on Saturday afternoon (20th of August) to watch them live in action. Shannon will be performing on the Virgin Australia stage at half-time and Tom has been named to play in the NEAFL side Saturday afternoon.

Ronald McDonald is such a terrific charity and to see the amazing work that goes on behind the scenes, you begin to understand how important it is to keep donating to this incredible charity and maintain the beautiful homely environment for these families who are facing challenging times. The hard work put in by the workers and volunteers at the home is inspiring and definitely eye opening. It was an amazing experience and allowed me to gain more knowledge about what Ronald McDonald House is all about such as families visiting from all around the world and they can stay from one day up to a year.

Tom plays for GWS Giants and has done so for five years. His commitment and love for footy easily came across when he started playing and educating the children with the AFL basics such as how to handball and kick a footy. He spent quality time with all the children on the play equipment, as they showed him their favourite sections, the most common was definitely the slippery dip.

Shannon Noll shared many personal stories of being on the road and the life of a musician as well as many stories from Australian Idol, and the close connection he continues to maintain with Guy Sebastian.

I can’t thank Tom and Shannon enough for how cooperative they were with a student journalist like myself. They were very willing and happy to be filmed and interviewed throughout the visit.

The most memorable part of the day besides the incredible amount of smiles on everyones faces was definitely my experience interviewing Tom and Shannon. I was more worried if Tom was in the frame because he’s 201cm’s tall!!!  This is huge, 25 centimetres taller than me, thankfully he was (YAY).

I cannot be more thankful to Tom and Shannon for providing interviews about what makes these visits so amazing. To get the insight was intriguing and interesting especially for myself. Special mention also to Dan’s mum, Fiona for allowing me to interview her about why the visit’s are so special.

It was an unforgettable experience.

Also huge thanks to Leigh the GWS media manager for making it happen, Michelle from Ronald McDonald House, Craig and Sam (GWS media) who were there on the day.

I encourage everyone to get out to the game on Saturday 20th of August (NEAFL and first grade) as both games are expected to be extremely close. You also get the opportunity to see Shannon Noll perform live !!!

And the most important thing, make sure to be wearing your orange gear for #TrueColours and remember  #GoGiants !!!


GWS Giants to play Sydney Swans in NAB Challenge Game

The friendly competition between Greater Western Sydney (GWS) Giants and Sydney Swans will be put to the test on Sunday afternoon for a NAB Challenge game.

If you are a huge AFL fan like myself you will be very keen to see these two Sydney teams play each other. The first game of last season consisted of these two teams going head to head and the outcome was very positive for GWS Giants. Sydney swans will definitely be looking to redeem a win against the giants in one of their first games of 2015. GWS looked to be good for the 2014 season after the win but unfortunately didn’t do as well as expected especially after losing quite a few key and talented players due to serious injury such as Jon Patton. jon patton injured





As a very passionate GWS fan, last year was a bit disappointing but I have no doubt they will play to the best of their ability every game of this season. They are looking good and have trained hard. Hopefully the hard work they have put in will have positive outcomes as I’m sure, the boys will be ready to have more victories this year than last.

It will be a great match on Sunday afternoon regardless of the score as it will be very good to have both teams back on the field. It’s always exciting when the season is lurking around the corner and is about to start back up. The NAB Challenge games are terrific as a practice for players and as well as the fans who are able to attain an idea of how the team will go in the season.

The GWS team will be announced midday on Friday (20.3.15).

Sydney Swans Team List- 7.  CUNNINGHAM, Harry 14.  BIRD, Craig 23.  FRANKLIN, Lance 37.  GOODES, Adam 39.  GRUNDY, Heath 4.  HANNEBERY, Dan 5.  HEENEY, Isaac 33.  JACK, Brandon 15.  JACK, Kieren 32.  JETTA, Lewis 12.  KENNEDY, Josh 11.  LAIDLER, Jeremy 44.  LLOYD, Jake 6.  MITCHELL, Tom 35.  NAISMITH, Sam 13.  NANKERVIS, Toby 26.  PARKER, Luke 38.  PYKE, Mike 24.  RAMPE, Dane 20.  REID, Sam 25.  RICHARDS, Ted 42.  RICHARDS, Xavier 27.  ROBINSON, Daniel 16.  ROHAN, Gary 2.  SHAW, Rhyce 40.  SMITH, Nick 22.  TOWERS, Dean


Should I become a Member in 2015?

Quite a lot of people are unsure about whether to pay money to become a member of their favourite team or not. This was a question that I wondered about a lot … I worried about if it was too expensive, not worth it and all the implications of paying online were too difficult. But ever since I became a member of the Warringah Sea Eagles I have loved it and would recommend it to everyone.

After becoming a member of your favourite team you realise how many benefits you get!!

My advice: Just Do It !

I strongly believe becoming a member of your favourite team in any code of sport such as NRL or AFL, makes you feel a real sense of belonging and a part of a family. Belonging is sharing your experiences with others around you and connecting with people who share the same interest as you. It is very rare that an opportunity arises to connect within a society and the many people around you in a common interest.

And for all NSW students who completed HSC are well equipped and have a healthy knowledge of the meaning of having a sense of belonging.

With all the different options you are always bound to find one that suits yourself. As I am a student I buy the one I can afford. For example I paid $55 for the white wing (3 game) package. This is perfect as it’s affordable for me and it has many benefits including-

  • General Admission access to any three (3) Sea Eagles home games including Brookvale Oval and alternate venues
  • Exclusive 2015 Member Cap
  • 2015 Membership Card
  • 2015 Keyring
  • 2015 Bumper Sticker
  • 2015 Lanyard
  • Regular exclusive Members ‘The Inside Swoop’ e-Newsletter
  • 10% discount on all Sea Eagles Merchandise
  • 10% discount on Sea Eagles home game tickets for family and friends
  • Priority purchase period for all major Rugby League fixtures including SOO and Grand Final

With the variety of options of memberships for each club you are definitely in luck with finding a package that suits your preferences.

Having the sense of connection within the community is very valuable and allows you to connect with other fans and the players. Manly believe “Your membership makes us Stronger Together”.

If you are interested becoming a Manly Warringah Sea Eagles member just click this link and before you know it you will become part of the family and own a membership.

Manly Sea Eagles Membership

Jon Patton praised by Giants Medical Staff

Jon Patton (GWS Giants forward) tore his ACL during the AFL season last year (2015) (My blog about his devastating injury can be found here- )

jon patton injuredPatton in agonising pain- photo source: getty images

He has impressed the GWS Giants Medical Staff and is travelling to Philadelphia to meet with Bill Knowles, a sports rehabilitation specialist.

Patton spoke to club media and stated “It’s about making a positive out of negative. I get to go overseas and work with one of the best ACL rehab guys in the world and it’s something I’m really grateful for”.

Patton is an inspirational athlete and has a positive attitude about travelling overseas.This is the second time the injury has occurred to him at this high, demanding level of sport. As a huge fan I believe this is a great opportunity for him and wish him the best of luck over there.

Many younger fans would admire this brave decision to gain as much information as he can about the injury. It sends a brilliant message  to all children playing the sport and provides knowledge about how much pressure the body is put under during sporting matches.

It allows a reflection on how important looking after your body such as your muscles and bones and I believe Patton expresses this message through turning the negative injury into a positive. Looking at the bright side is fundamental and Patton portrays this through his decision of travelling to the other side of the world to seek help and knowledge about how to overcome and prevent this injury.

Hopefully the outcome will stay positive and Patton’s recovery and pre-season training will end well. Myself, the fans and himself are all praying the injury does not occur any time soon!

~ My experience with meeting my favourite sport players!! ~

As you probably know I am a huge Manly Sea Eagles fan (NRL) and Greater Western Sydney Giants fan (AFL). Being fans of these two clubs only means I obsess over players from each club.

I have to admit I may have an unhealthy obsession with both clubs but I support both teams with all my heart. Passionate is the word that comes to mind. Throughout this blog I would like to share my experience of my favourite player from each club. Having just one favourite player is very difficult but there are clear winners in both teams.

In Manly Sea Eagles if you haven’t already guessed by now my favourite player is the one and only Daly Cherry Evans (DCE). My slightly embarrassing crush on him was clear from the first game he started playing for Manly. I met him in 2011 and on Facebook labelled him as my ‘future boyfriend’. This crush has lasted until now (and will forever live on).

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And when I saw how well he encouraged, listened and taught the children was incredible and inspirational!


He is the game changing half back of the team and the one that definitely has a spark like no other. As a person he is so generous, nice and warm-hearted (which is the obvious reason he has a partner and two  daughters).

My experience with talking with Daly was absolutely amazing and it was an experience that I will never forget as I will always remember how kind he was. He will forever be known as my favourite Manly player.

In the Giants (AFL) team you could also probably guess (or know) that my favourite player is Jonathon Patton. I first became a fan of Jon Patton when I watched him play a brilliant game of footy and then I searched and  found out he was 1.97m! And me being 175m tall, as a girl you struggle to find many tall guys out there so it was a crush that was easily formed.

The time when I met Jon Patton was one that many would get a good laugh out of. I was at the airport waiting for someone when I notice these tall, lean boys wearing orange.. I take a closer look and a few sneaky shots and realise that it’s the GWS Giant Players.

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I remember this experience like it happened yesterday. After noticing who they were I go up to Jed Lamb who was taking a look inside a shop at the airport and clearly remember saying

“Hey, I’m sorry to interrupt but can I please get a photo, I know I’ll regret it if I don’t”! And they Jed and another play Adam were happy to get in a photo and a member of the team was nice enough to take the photo for me.


Jed then kindly asks “Do you want a photo with any of the other boys, it will have to be quick though cause we are about to board our flight”

At this point in time I am absolutely frozen and expressionless on my face because all that is going through my mind is ‘Hannah quickly say a player, you look stupid, you need to get another photo, Hannah just choose one’. I wanted photos with so many players like Rhys Palmer, Jon Patton, Will Hoskin Elliot, Tommy Bugg, Jeremy Cameron and Heath Shaw I quickly realised I needed to say someone before they got onto the plane.

After my embarrassing stutter, I finally blurt out ‘Jon Patton’. Jed quickly rushes me up to the line and yells to Jonny to come out. I politely ask him for a photo and he is so humble and says ‘sure, no worries’ Jed takes my phone from me and says ‘smile’. All I remember after smiling and thanking him for the photo was saying ‘Good Luck against the Gold Coast tomorrow’. (I hoped he was impressed that I knew who they were playing).


The photo will forever be one of my favourite photos as it brings back the best experience/ I could not believe what just unfolded and was definitely in shock! (I definitely called him my ‘Bae’ after this photo cause we would make a pretty cute couple) Straight after it happened I was shaking and I had to call my mum so she could calm me down!

Both these experiences were the biggest fan girl moments but I will be forever grateful I was lucky enough to meet them and hopefully in the future be able to meet them again.