THE last time the distinct GWS guernsey ran out onto Manuka Oval hell froze over.
For once in that year between 2019 and 2021, coronavirus was not to blame.
Heavy snow fell on a ground for the first time in living VFL/AFL memory amid 11,741 brave souls that turned out weeks before the club’s historic grand final appearance.
While the Giants men had their three Canberra matches last year cancelled for playing in AFL hubs, the women missed an opportunity to play at its second home in favour of Wagga.
It’s been 722 days between AFLW matches in the capital and a lot has changed.
For the first time, the Giants won more matches than they lost in a season during 2020.
Finishing second in the new conference system that has since been scrapped, their third defeat of three points to Melbourne ended their season in a first-ever final.
But the more things change, the more they tend to stay the same.
One of Canberra’s finest female footballers will front up on Saturday for the Giants’ clash with Brisbane Lions at Manuka.
Britt Tully has been there since the very beginning.
The established Gungahlin recruit from the inaugural draft has set the standard for others to follow since playing in round 1, 2017, in the club’s opening round of the new AFLW.
It’s been easy for aspiring Giants in the capital to look up to the model of consistency and watch Tully showcase that in front of home fans.
The rugged midfielder has returned at the end of every AFLW campaign, crowned the AFL Canberra women’s best and fairest winner in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
“The GWS academy has taken off in Canberra during the last couple of years,” Tully said.
“A lot of people have asked when we are going to play, when are we going to be back.
“Usually we’ve had a very good crowd at Manuka.
“It’s a good opportunity to get all these young girls in the academy down to the game; it’s really important.”