GWS Giants women are staking a claim for the hearts and minds of inner west footy fans with two home games slated for the iconic future home of rivals the Swans next season.
Sydney’s first AFLW team will play back-to-back matches at Marrickville’s Henson Park – also the home of rugby league’s Newtown Jets – in rounds four and five of the competition’s sixth season, sneaking in to wow inner west audiences before the suburban ground is handed over to new entrants the Swans in 2023.
The 2022 draw, to be announced on Thursday, has scheduled Giants home games at Blacktown International Sportspark and Manuka Oval in Canberra.
They may find themselves squeezed further west from Marrickville when the Swans arrive on the scene, but new signing and rugby sevens gold medallist Chloe Dalton promised the Giants would give them a run for their money.
“The biggest thing for us is that the Giants have been around for a number of years now in the AFLW and it’s really cool to have this opportunity to play in the inner west,” she said. “There’s a really strong footy community there so we’re hoping we get a little bit of support down here next year.”
Dalton, who played with Carlton before her second stint in sevens, has not played at Henson Park herself. She said the home of the Newtown Jets had a special place in her family’s history, particularly for her father, Brad.
“I was chatting to Dad the other day about it and he said he used to go and watch a lot of footy there so it’s pretty cool that my whole family will be able to come down and watch us,” Dalton said.
“You used to be able to drive your car in and park it on the hill and have a beer and watch the footy.”
The Giants have made one finals campaign in their six seasons, the coronavirus-affected 2020 season. Dalton joins draftees Ally Morphett, Jess Doyle, Georgina Fowler, Brodee Mowbray, Erin Todd and Casidhe Simmons, a former heptathlete.