Former Collingullie-Glenfield Park premiership winner Harry Perryman can't wait for his first taste of AFL finals when Greater Western Sydney take on rivals the Swans in Saturday’s do-or-die encounter at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Perryman has played eight games this year, including the last two rounds against Sydney and Melbourne, and was thrilled when Giants coach Leon Cameron let him know he’d held his spot in the backline.
“I was pretty up and about,” Perryman said. “This time last year I wouldn’t have thought I’d be in this position. It’ll just be good to run out with the boys and hopefully get the win.
“I’ve thought about it a few times. It’s pretty exciting, especially when the anthem will be on and that but I’ll try not to think about it too much.”
Perryman confirmed his parents Max and Liz will miss the Riverina League semi-final at Narrandera to be in the crowd at the SCG on Saturday night but Collingullie-GP’s game against Griffith rules out brothers Nick and Ed from attending.
“Hopefully they get up,” Perryman said. “I’ve been following them. Hopefully they can knock off Griffith – I reckon this week could be a little sneaky chance to knock them off.”
As for his own Swans challenge, Perryman said a strong start is going to be important against Sydney.
“The Swans are always bloody hard to beat, especially in finals. It’s going to be a tough challenge but we should be up for it… I reckon if we can start well and try and shut their crowd down early it will go a long way to winning the game hopefully,” he said.
Perryman will be joined by fellow Riverina players Harry Himmelberg (Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes), Jacob Hopper (Leeton-Whitton) and – remarkably – Zac Williams after the Narrandera product was called up for first game of the season after an Achilles injury in January.
Giants co-captain Phil Davis on Friday declared Williams a massive inclusion.
“That’s one of the all-time greats in terms of what he’s been able to do,” Davis said. “When he did it, everyone thought his season was over and everything had to be perfect. His diligence and work ethic is something to be applauded.
“He’s a special part of our group. He’s a cheeky little bugger and that’s what we love about him. The morale boost when everyone found out he was going to play was enormous.
“We don’t expect him to be the Zac Williams of round 10 last year when he was up and going but we expect him to come in and play a really good role… You bring a bloke in who wins his own footy and that’s so important in finals footy.”