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

THE TASK of trying to stop Carlton’s twin towers in attack already entails plenty of significance for Connor Idun come Saturday night, but Greater Western Sydney’s inaugural 'Welcome Game' will add an extra layer to the evening for the Giants defender.

Born in London and raised in Geelong, Idun possesses strong Ghanian roots through his UK-based father, who he has only begun to reconnect with in the past 12 months.

Through that emotional process he has started to learn more about his African origins and the significance it has in his make-up as a person and footballer.

On Saturday evening the Giants will be celebrating the diverse communities of Western Sydney at Engie Stadium with a range of cultural entertainment and food.

It’s an occasion that now takes on greater consequence for Idun as he builds his relationship with his Ghanian father, who travelled from England and saw him play in the flesh for the first time in the opening round win over Collingwood.

"It was good for him to see what I actually do for work. He saw how big it is over here. He sends a lot of messages after games and he's one of the biggest supporters now and that's been great," Idun told

Connor Idun during the Opening Round match between Greater Western Sydney and Collingwood at ENGIE Stadium, March 9, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

"To have someone extra to talk to about the games now is really special.

"Before I came to the club, I didn't know too much about it (Idun's Ghanian heritage). A lot of boys at the club, especially Stephen Coniglio, encouraged me to be proud of where you come from, and I've really opened up to it and it's something I'm proud of. I'm still learning a lot about it.

"The importance of family is a big part of it, I know where I get my energy from, Ghanians have a lot of energy," he said.

Lachlan Sholl is tackled by Connor Idun during the round 16 match between Adelaide and GWS at Adelaide Oval June 29, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

As Idun delves deeper into his family roots, the Giants gun defender is drawn even more to the responsibility he has as a GWS player to their unique, local community.  

And that will come to the fore as his club celebrates that with the 'Welcome Game' in their own backyard against the Blues on Saturday night.

"There are a lot of kids around western Sydney that are Ghanian, and they come up to me and chat to me about it and that makes me so proud to be a role model and something I don’t take lightly," he said.

 "It's a great initiative. I'm a very proud Ghanian multicultural person and I'm proud that the club is doing something along those lines.

"Out west in Sydney there's a lot of multicultural people, so to get them to the games – there'll be nice dancing, nice food, I’ll be in the changerooms unfortunately so won't be able to eat it – but we’ll be playing for them and Western Sydney this weekend for sure," Idun added.

Connor Idun after the Opening Round match between Greater Western Sydney and Collingwood at Giants Stadium, March 9, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

 Come bouncedown though, Idun will have his hands full trying to help stop Coleman Medal leader Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay up forward for the Blues in the continued absence of their defensive leader in Sam Taylor.

 “It sucks when you lose the best key defender in the league, but I don’t think he’s played the last couple times against Carlton so we’re kind of used to it,” said Idun.

"Leek Aleer did really well last time on McKay and Jack Buckley always does what he does, so it's on the rest of us to support and we need to be more of a system defence, we've been too one-on-one the last few weeks."

Languishing in 10th place with six defeats in their last eight games, the Giants have faded severely from their early season form and are a long way off their bullish premiership ambitions set at the start of the campaign.

Saturday night’s clash with second placed Carlton presents the chance to spark their season into gear as they look to rediscover the manic and fanatical pressure game that served them so well last year.

"That's what we talk about when we talk about our tsunami, it doesn't show up for the full four quarters, it's just patchy. We can get on streaks and be hot but also give up goals at times. We need to get back to our DNA, which is our tsunami pressure, and then expose teams on the back of that," said Idun.

"There's no better team (in Carlton) to take on to respond to last week. The boys will be firing and ready to go. They've got an elite team. We stack up well against them, we’re keen to get in the contest and play our tsunami brand."