Battle of the bridge

The Battle of the Bridge, Sydney Derby III will be played between the GIANTS and the Swans at ANZ Stadium on Saturday March 30.

The new name for the Sydney Derby was the brainchild of GIANTS Head Coach Kevin Sheedy and recognises one of Sydney’s iconic landmarks, the Anzac Bridge.

Swans co-captain Kieren Jack firmly believes that all of Sydney still belongs to the Swans.

“This talk of the ‘Battle of the Bridge’ I don’t really buy into it we see ourselves as Sydney’s team,” Jack told the Daily Telegraph.

“I went to school in Castle Hill and there’s plenty of people west of there who all go for the Swans. We’ve got supporters everywhere. We want to maintain that.

“We’ve got a pretty good stranglehold on Sydney and want to maintain that.”

GIANTS Chief Executive David Matthews said the announcement that the Sydney Derby will now be known as the Battle of the Bridge was an important step forward for AFL in New South Wales.

“Just as the AFL has the Showdown in Adelaide, the Derby in Perth and the Q-Clash in Queensland, now we have a fitting name for our own game, the Battle of the Bridge,” Matthews said.

“The Anzac Bridge is an iconic Sydney landmark that joins the city’s east and west and is a perfect symbol for this game between the Swans and the GIANTS.
“East versus west. The champion versus the challenger. Which side are you on?
“I also want to acknowledge the Swans for what they have done to build the game in Sydney over the past 30 years. As reigning AFL Premiers they are the benchmark of the competition and the emergence of the GIANTS is an opportunity to build a big cross town rivalry.”

GIANTS co-captains Callan Ward, Phil Davis, and new vice-captain Tom Scully feature alongside new Swans co-captain Kieran Jack and fellow premiership players Josh Kennedy and Ted Richards in an advertising campaign for the Battle of the Bridge launched this week.

Sheedy said the match also recognised the Anzac legacy. 

“Along with the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Anzac Bridge has become a powerful landmark in Sydney but also pays respect to those who served this country,” he said.

“We want this to be big event for the people of Sydney and there is no bigger event in sport than a local derby. We think this will become one of the great rivalries in Australian sport.”

The Battle of the Bridge, Sydney Derby III, between the GIANTS and the Sydney Swans will be played at ANZ Stadium on Saturday March 30 at 4.40pm.

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