Harry Himmelberg celebrates a goal during round 23, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

AS SOMEONE who is well aware of how swiftly fortunes can change in the AFL, Harry Himmelberg is adamant he isn’t going to let the recent resurgence at Greater Western Sydney simply pass him by.

The-soon-to-be 28-year-old, who committed his long-term future to the Giants last season, stepped into a team that played finals in all of his first five years at the club and therefore could have been forgiven for thinking the good times would simply roll on.

But when the skids hit for three years after the 2019 Grand Final appearance and Himmelberg himself was shifted constantly between attack and defence, a stark reminder was served to not take the times at the top for granted.

Harry Himmelberg (left) and Tom Green look dejected after a loss during round eight, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

"When I came into the footy club, there was already success there and I guess you probably get this false misconception that it can just happen at times," Himmelberg told AFL.com.au.

"But then having some really dark times, where we weren't playing great footy, I think makes this run feel a little bit more special.

"To be able to turn the footy club around with some of our young players and our senior players getting back into career-best form is something that I find really fulfilling.

"And I do have a better perspective of how hard it is to not only play finals but win them now."

Toby Greene celebrates the Giants winning the semi-final against Port Adelaide on September 16, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Amid the changing times at GWS, so too has Himmelberg shifted with them, going from one of the key pillars in attack during the Leon Cameron era to a crucial cog in the backline under Adam Kingsley.

It’s a role he now feels far more comfortable in as part of arguably the best backline in the competition.

But with 161 majors, Himmelberg is still the Giants' third-highest goalkicker of all-time behind Toby Greene and Jeremy Cameron.

Jesse Hogan is just 41 goals behind him though and gaining fast.

"He's on track to absolutely blow past me," Himmelberg said.

"I was actually able to do a full pre-season there though (in defence), which is my first pre-season as a back since my first year. So that's been really good to just get that continuity with the guys and getting to know different patterns and how we all work together.

"To be a senior player now in the backline and work alongside guys like Connor (Idun) and see his development coming through the ranks. Jack Buckley off some of the probably worst injury years you'd see, it’s really exciting for me and it's why we play footy, to have those memories and hopefully get success together."

Harry Himmelberg in action during round two, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Signing a five-year deal to stay with the current flag favourites may seem like a straight forward call now for the academy product who hails from Wagga Wagga, but the uncertainty of early last year meant it was anything but.

The team across the bridge in the Swans were reportedly keen on wooing him across town and with uncertainty over his spot in an underperforming team, Himmelberg had plenty to ponder.

"I think you have to weigh up all these things when you're going through that process. I was really nervous about it because we had a new coach, all new staff. I wasn’t sure what the game plan was going to be and where I fitted into that," he said.

"But essentially from the moment 'Kingers' arrived, I had it in the back of my head that we were going to be a good footy club and that's how the year ended up playing out.

"Even though we were losing games in the first half of the year, I feel like I could see exactly where we were heading and the way that 'Kingers' embraces the family values that we valued when I first got to footy club, that really was special for me and I could see exactly where we were going. I could see the writing on the wall."

Adam Kingsley looks on during a Giants training session on March 22, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images

A journey to Canberra and a clash with the Saints is next on the agenda for the undefeated, top of the table Giants.

A trip to their home away from home at Manuka Oval is always taken seriously at the Giants, and after they ended a nine-game losing streak at the venue last season with a win over Gold Coast, they’re desperate to continue reversing their fortunes in the nation's capital.

"It's massive, to be honest. We want to make it a fortress and the fact that we sell it out nearly every time we play here, we probably owe the fans some success from the last couple of years," Himmelberg said.

"The boys love playing in Canberra, and that's exactly what we are going to try and do this year."