K rock Football

West’s nod to the past

Assistant coach Matt Ianelli (middle) models the Geelong West heritage jumper alongside co-captains Ryan Ganz and Josh Viney.

GEELONG West president Chris Wilkie may not have got his wish for the Giants to play a one-off game at their spiritual Bakers Oval home for Past Players’ Day, but he did get the next best thing.

The Giants will honour their Geelong West Cricket and Football Club roots by wearing a heritage jumper modelled on several versions of what the Cheetahs wore before the alliance with Geelong West-St Peter’s at the end of 2016 in Saturday’s crucial clash with Thomson.

The yellow and blue striped jumper also features a Cheetah head that was prominent on a West Coast Eagles-style jumper worn through the 1990s and early 2000s.

“Ideally, we’d love to have a game at Bakers, but the ground’s just too small,” Wilkie said.

“This is the next step to bring something in for the guys that have played at the Cheetahs.”

West last played at Bakers Oval for premiership points in 2007 before transferring to West Oval as co-tenants with the Roosters.

Wilkie said the dimensions of the ground have changed since their move.

“They’ve just brought the (perimeter) fences in a bit more,” he explained.

“It (boundary line) used to be a metre from the fence; now it’s come into two metres, so it’s made it impossible to play senior football on.

“It’s in good nick; we just couldn’t get it through.”

Wilkie says the Past Players’ Day continues West’s work to build a strong connection with its history.

“The last 2-3 years, people have come down and enjoyed the day, and they’re actually coming back to the footy more than just Past Players’ Day, which is a great sign for the club moving forward,” he said.

Saturday’s function starts at noon at West Oval. For more details, contact Chris Wilkie on 0416 858 392.

Twitter: @tom_king79