Connor Idun during the round two match between West Coast and Greater Western Sydney at Optus Stadium, March 24, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

IF THERE was one player at Greater Western Sydney that symbolised the club’s dramatic transformation last season more than any other, it was Connor Idun.

Almost a year ago to the day, the Giants made the trip to Geelong for Toby Greene’s 200th game and took down the Cats to spark a form resurgence that would take them all the way to a one-point preliminary final defeat.

And it was Geelong native Idun, in front of friends and family, who was immense in the revival.

He had a team-high nine intercept possessions in his 19 disposals that day and a career-high 11 one percenters.

There had been impressive AFL performances from the 23-year-old previously, but this was the catalyst for Idun to prove he was one of the premier defenders in the competition.

Connor Idun and Jesse Hogan celebrate after the round 11 match between Geelong and Greater Western Sydney at GMHBA Stadium, May 27, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Likewise, the game as a whole sparked the Giants into becoming a completely different AFL proposition.

Amid a barren run of form that has seen the premiership fancy drop four games in their last five, Idun is of the belief, along with all at GWS, that history can repeat itself from this weekend.

“Yeh it was (a big game from him). I was playing a pretty big role that day and it all sort of fell into place,” Idun told

“I was pretty hyped up before the game to play well, not only for me but for the team, it was a turning point. We grew a lot of belief in our system from that game and we hope that this game is pretty similar to that.

“I always had that internal belief and I had played a few games quite similar to that, previously, but doing it on a bigger stage, down there, it gets a bit more airtime and publicity.


“We’ve looked back on that game. We want to try and replicate that this time around. Geelong are a quality team and they’ve had a couple tough weeks just like us, so both teams will come out firing and we’re so excited for the contest.”

The Giants’ recent slump has naturally raised questions over their premiership credentials.

No team has been more bullish, outwardly anyway, from the start of pre-season about its premiership goals than GWS, as it looks to capitalise on last season’s stunning run and secure an inaugural flag.

And the Giants are adamant there will be no resetting of that despite their current rut, rather a doubling down on the aspiration.

“Nah, we definitely can’t. We don’t change that,” Idun said.

“Every training session you have to have that in mind, that’s the goal and that’s what we’re trying to reach. We measure every game on it being a finals-worth performance. The last three weeks haven’t ,but that (premiership) goal is still burning bright in our minds.”

This week’s journey to Geelong may help provide a mindset shift that can act as the circuit breaker GWS desperately needs.

Toby Greene and teammates after the round 10 match between Greater Western Sydney and Western Bulldogs at ENGIE Stadium, May 18, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

 So often the favourites, the Giants are outsiders this week and at a venue that is rarely kind to visiting teams.

“As a club we want to try and hunt the other team no matter what the odds are saying. It won’t change too much we don’t think,” Idun said.

“It’s a little bit annoying, results aren’t going our way, we’ve got KPI’s as a club that we’re not hitting. All clubs do go through a slump at times and we were there last year so we know we can get out of it. It only takes one game to get back into the groove, so hopefully that’s this week.”

The fascination in this contest extends beyond GWS though, with Geelong also having lost three on the bounce.


The Cats welcome back forward-line legends in Tom Hawkins and former Giant Jeremy Cameron, and with Cameron given free license to roam wherever he likes in Geelong’s current system, the versatile Idun looms as his likely match-up.

“He’s someone that we think is possible on that match-up,” said Giants coach Adam Kingsley.

“(Idun is) Certainly very capable. Connor is one of those guys we have tremendous trust in. If we do give him that opportunity, he’ll really attack that with a great mindset,” Kingsley added.

“I’d love that. Trying to play on ‘Jezza’ would be great,” said Idun who is still looking for his first AFL goal after 78 games.

“I’d love to go head to head with one of the best forwards in the game. He’s not your typical key forward, he’s a freakish athlete so I’d put my running shoes on and go with him.”

“We love challenges like that and we take it personally, as a back seven, not just the players that are playing on them. Midfielders and forwards also play a part in that making sure that the ball isn’t coming in too cleanly which would be nice,” he added.