Toby Bedford celebrates after Greater Western Sydney's win in the elimination final over St Kilda at the MCG on September 9, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

TOBY Bedford endured an unusual fortnight leading into his first ever finals campaign, but the Greater Western Sydney forward is just relieved to be playing in September.

Bedford was cited for an off-the-ball bump on Zac Fisher in round 24 and due the pre-finals bye, had to wait a week before his case was heard.

The Giants failed in their bid to overturn the suspension at the Tribunal, but succeeded at the Appeals board, just two days before the elimination final against St Kilda and a total of 11 days after the Fisher incident took place.

Toby Bedford in action during the semi-final between Port Adelaide and Greater Western Sydney at Adelaide Oval on September 16, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

Fresh off another strong performance in the semi-final win over Port Adelaide on Saturday night, Bedford said his focus was steering clear of the Match Review Officer's attention having also been cited - and banned - in round 21.

"It really feels like a while ago now, but it's something want to forget. I don't want to end back up there," Bedford told

"It was quite different and intense, but getting off that week and being able to play – I just want to keep myself out of hot water now for the last, hopefully, two games.

"It was a weird week, but I'm just stoked I was able to get off."

Bedford (16 disposals, three clearances) was a key part in the Giants' second-quarter burst that tore the Power apart on Saturday night, continually finding space pushing onto the wing from the half-forward flank and using his speed to his advantage.

"We managed to get ourselves in a good position and we just managed to hold on. We rode our momentum that we pride ourselves on, and it's just an unbelievable feeling to win," Bedford said.


"The first quarter is always going to be hot – they're a really good team and the pressure was on. But we knew once we wore them down a little bit and played our game, we're hard to stop. And that showed in the second quarter.

"They're a hostile crowd, there's no denying that. It was unbelievable, to play in front of those fans is a great feeling and we create our momentum."

Bedford spent four seasons on Melbourne's list before being traded last year for pick No.44 as he pushed for greater opportunities at AFL level.

Toby Bedford celebrates a goal with Alex Neal-Bullen during the match between Adelaide and Melbourne at the Adelaide Oval in round 16, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

He was the sub in 10 of his 16 games for Melbourne last year – not taking to the field at all on eight occasions – but has already managed 18 games for the Giants having missed the first chunk of the year with a hamstring injury.

"It's probably the best decision I've ever made. I'm loving it," Bedford said.

"The confidence that the team and the boys give me to just go out there and play my role. We support the little things and we feel really valued out there. The boys are a family, and I guess that's why I'm loving it up here.

"I think everyone knows now – and if you didn't, you do now – we can go all the way. We genuinely believe that, and I think others do too now."