GIANT celebration for Kippax Oval opening
The Kippax Oval re-opening was a blockbuster day of football action, when it hosted the GWS GIANTS Fan Day and the ACT U23 Representative match against the UWS GIANTS.
ACT Sports Minister Andrew Barr MLA joined AFL NSW/ACT Deputy General Manager Craig Bolton to unveil the newly redeveloped ground, which is home to the Belconnen Magpies.
The redevelopment is the result of more than four years of work and cost over $3 million shared between the ACT Government, the Belconnen Magpies Football Club, the Magpies Sports Club, AFL NSW/ACT, the Ginninderra Cricket Club and Cricket ACT.
The UWS GIANTS were in their element for the main event, continuing their build up to the 2013 NEAFL season with a 51-point win over an ACT under-23 representative team.
Several players with AFL experience starred for the GIANTS, with Sam Reid and Anthony Miles the standouts.
GIANTS coach Brett Hand was pleased with the performance by his young side.
“It was a good hit out against some stronger bodies. I was happy with how we approached the contested ball and how we won first possession,” Hand said.
“Anthony Miles and Sam Reid were very impressive with their work at the stoppages as well as their spread both offensively and defensively.”
Ruck pairing of Andrew Phillips and Tom Downie gave the GIANTS first use of the ball with a dominant display, winning the hit outs 36-16.
Will Hoskin-Elliott was another player to impress as he comes back from injury.
“Will got a few touches in his second game back, he found plenty of space and was quite solid as he builds towards full fitness,” Hand said.
Number 12 draft pick Kristian Jaksch played his first match of the pre-season and looked dangerous in the 40 minutes he played, having five shots on goal and booting two majors.
The side also included nine players from the Slater & Gordon Academy with 17 year olds Jack Steele (Belconnen) and Jake Barrett (Temora) showing they have a bright future.
After a bye in round one, the GIANTS get their NEAFL season underway against the Sydney Swans on March 30th, at ANZ Stadium.
UWS GIANTS: 15.10.100
GIANTS goal kickers: Reid 4, Steele 4, Ugle 2, Jaksch 2, Barrett, Wharton