AFL: GWS Giants defender Connor Idun re-signs for four years as he looks to repay club’s faith in him

Marc McGowanNCA NewsWire
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Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: Supplied

Leon Cameron turned to Connor Idun in a time of need last week.

The Giants gave oft-injured spearhead Jesse Hogan the week off, and Cameron asked Idun to return to his forward roots despite him finding his place in the AFL as a defender.

“Leon was after someone who would bring a good contest, be a bit dynamic and play on instinct, so he backed me in as a role player,” Idun told News Corp.

“He knows I’ll do anything for the side, which is true. He gave me the opportunity, so it was good fun.

“I was running around like a headless chook early on but I was talking to Toby (Green) and ‘Himmels’ (Harry Himmelberg) and they helped me out a fair bit.”

Connor Idun has committed his next four years to the Giants. Phil Hillyard
Camera IconConnor Idun has committed his next four years to the Giants. Phil Hillyard Credit: Supplied

At age 21 and with 32 senior games under his belt, including 29 of them since the start of last season, Idun is ready to spread his wings but also repay the club’s faith in him.

Greater Western Sydney decision-makers think so, too, and have re-signed him for another four seasons.

London-born Idun became a Giant with the No.61 pick in the 2018 draft without any guarantee of ‘making it’ or even playing a single game.

His journey to now is why he opted for four years rather than two, even though he was told there were several Victorian clubs interested in luring the ex-Geelong Falcon back to his home state.

“It was a pretty slow start to my career and I came from a long way back,” he said.

Connor Idun wants to repay the Giants’ faith in him. Phil Hillyard
Camera IconConnor Idun wants to repay the Giants’ faith in him. Phil Hillyard Credit: Supplied

“I feel like my first few years were really learning years for me, then obviously last year I was able to play some regular footy up in the seniors, which was really awesome.

“It’s taken a lot of hard work and I’ve used the resources around me – good coaches, good players and good facilities – so the Giants made it really easy for me to take another step up.”

Far from being satisfied with his breakout season last year or in becoming a senior regular, Idun is working on removing his safety blanket as a defender.

“Last year and early this year, my role was more just to focus on myself and get my backyard clean, so just take care of the player I was playing on,” he said.

“Now I need to start transitioning into one of those players who can help my teammates at the same time.”

There is plenty of work to do as a team as well, with the Giants’ 1-5 start their worst since being winless at the same stage in their second season of existence in 2013.

But they don’t need to look far for inspiration, given they rebounded from a 2-4 record to win a final last year.

“We’re not shying away from where we are as a club. We’re in a tough spot and our footy has not been up to the standards that we should be playing at,” Idun said.

“Our reviews have been really harsh, and we’ve upped the ante at training. We’re taking the stairs instead of the elevator, Leon says, so we’re going the hard way up.

“Things will definitely turn around soon with the hard work and learning we’re doing as a side, because one of the most important things, I think, as a team, is we haven’t been playing intelligent (football).”

Originally published as AFL: GWS Giants defender Connor Idun re-signs for four years as he looks to repay club’s faith in him

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