14 March 2024

TRAC alumni kicks off AFL career with thumping win over the reigning premiers

| Jarryd Rowley
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TRAC graduate Harvey Thomas finished with nine touches in his AFL debut last weekend. Photo: GWS GIANTS instagram

TRAC graduate Harvey Thomas finished with nine touches in his AFL debut last weekend. Photo: GWS GIANTS Instagram.

Former student at The Riverina Anglican College and Turvey Park Bulldogs player Harvey Thomas kicked off his AFL career in style on Saturday (9 March) with a demolition of the Collingwood Magpies.

The GWS GIANTS defeated the 2023 premiers by 32 points in front of a packed ENGIE Stadium, as Thomas showed glimpses of what’s to come with nine touches off the interchange.

Thomas got the tap on the shoulder to play last Thursday (7 March) and admitted he had a nervous few days waiting to play his first game.

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“I knew I was a chance [of playing] but I was really paranoid, I didn’t want to tell myself I was playing until I was told,” Thomas said.

“It was a bit late notice, but once I was out there and was running around for a few minutes I started to get really settled.”

It was a nervy start for Harvey however, as his first touch of the ball was smothered. Despite the shaky start, Thomas said it was pure relief once his first possession was recorded.

“My first touch was a bit of a worry,” Thomas said.

“It got smothered, but the relief set in once I was able to get the ball to Browny [Callum Brown], which was awesome to do early in the game.”

Thomas said the 21,235-stong crowd was easily the biggest he’d ever played in front of and thanked the GIANTS fans for coming out in full force.

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“It was definitely loud; it was awesome to be a part of it,” he said.

“The GIANTS faithful showed up and really helped us get over the line; we lost to them in the semi-final last year, so to be a part of a team that was able to get over the line for the first game of the year is quite special.”

Thomas was a part of the increasingly successful GIANTS Academy, a development academy for players from NSW and the ACT. He was named the 2023 GIANTS Academy Player of the Year.

Thomas was presented his guernsey by fellow Wagga local Harry Himmelberg, who is also a graduate of the GIANTS Academy and Mater Dei Catholic College.

Thomas and the GIANTS will host the North Melbourne Kangaroos at Sydney Olympic Park this Saturday (16 March). Kick off is at 4:35 pm.

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