While the story of the Greater Western Sydney Football Club dates back further than the decade since joining the AFL competition, it was ten years ago this week that we heard the big, big sound for the very first time.

On May 12, 2012, the Giants defeated the Gold Coast Suns by 27 points in front of 8,603 fans at Manuka Oval in Canberra.

It was a historic day for a football club in its infancy and one sculpted by many helping hands.

The first win for the Giants was never going to be just another win, this is a club that was coached by Kevin Sheedy - one of the game's greatest ever coaches, and had an NRL State of Origin representative in its forward line in Israel Folau and came from a part of the country where AFL wasn't overly popular or welcomed.

This win was one that was worth far more than four premiership points and a win that was not just for the 22 players on-field, but for every GWS person who had been there from day one.

It was vindication for those who had put their lives into creating the Giants and who had gone chips in on the AFL's newest expansion team. For players looking to extend their careers by a year or two, and for those who saw the Giants as their forever home.

The Giants were led by three co-captains in their inaugural season with former Western Bulldog Callan Ward joined by ex-Crow Phil Davis and three-time premiership Lion, Luke Power.

But the leadership off the field in the club's formative years was as important as any on-field direction and guidance.

Speaking to Zero Hanger about the day and its meaning, Ward said that at such a young age he maybe didn't understand the importance the win held for those who had put in the work behind the scenes.

“Even as a young co-captain- I was only 21 at the time - you’re still naive to it it all," Ward said.

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"You don’t realise the amount of work people put in around the football club. Obviously, building a football club there’s probably more you have to do. I probably didn’t appreciate it enough back then. I definitely did appreciate everyone and everything, you could really tell the joy in the staff, coaches and the board, you could see the joy in their eyes."

Ward is as well-placed as anyone in GWS history to explain where the very first home and away win ranks among some of the club's best-ever wins. The hard-nosed former skipper said that this win will always be right up there but for its own reasons.

“Internally as a football club, it’s right up there," Ward said.

Current Giant Adam Kennedy is another who has seen all there is to see at the Giants and he echoed Ward's thoughts saying that it was a win well celebrated.

“It’s definitely in the top handful without a doubt," Kennedy told Zero Hanger.

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"We probably celebrated a bit too hard but it was a young team excited to get a win in the comp."

Talking about his experience as a 21-year-old captain, Ward said that the reward for a massive effort over pre-season from the playing group was a relief to see so early in the season.

“I guess whether or not I was captain or just a player at the club it was just a special moment because we had put so much work in that it was reward for that effort," Ward went on to say.

"As a co-captain, I was really proud of how far we’d come but also the work we’d put in to get there.”

Former Giant Chad Cornes made the move to GWS after departing Port Adelaide in tumultuous circumstances and paid tribute to his time at the Giants. Cornes was at the club for just one season but you could hear the love for the club he had when speaking about them.

He said that the looks of joy on those off-field made the inaugural win even more special.

"I initially didn’t understand some of the work people had put in to get the club to that first game," Cornes admitted to Zero Hanger.

"For guys like Alan McConnell, Kevin Sheedy, Mark Williams and people behind the scenes- to see the looks on their faces was great. The people in admin who don’t get the credit as much as those in the footy department but work as hard as anyone, to see the emotion when the boys went up to all those people was pure elation."

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Such a special day for Cornes was almost a non-event after the veteran suffered a calf injury at training in the weeks prior. Having earmarked the game against the Suns as a possible breakthrough win, Cornes was determined to make it back.

“I hurt my calf at training a couple of weeks prior," Cornes said.

"I’d sort of penciled that Gold Coast game in looking at the draw at the start of the year after a lot of people said we wouldn’t win a game. I thought that would be a good opportunity to get the first win.

"The calf was meant to be a three-week injury which would have ruled that game out but I managed to get up."

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Cornes' recollection of the dying moments of the game are quite clear. He detailed how on the final siren, the irony wasn't lost on him that the first person he embraced was a former rival.

"In the last five minutes when you realise you’re going to get up after I think Jeremy Cameron kicked a goal I started to enjoy it," Cornes recalled.

"When the siren went I was closest to Luke Power and we’d had a few battles in the previous years when he was at the Lions so to share a big hug and embrace with him was a little ironic."

Ward remembers the final siren slightly differently than Cornes, however, Cornes' version of events was fully supported by Power.

“It’s funny, I remember in our first ever game and I kicked a goal I think Chad was the first person I hugged then and then again after our first win I’m pretty sure Chad was the first guy I hugged again," Ward said.

Power though was certain that he and Chad had indeed embraced on the final siren.

“I remember that," Power said when speaking with Zero Hanger.

"I think at the time and if you look back he was ecstatic and I was just relieved. Chad was someone I always knew was a special footballer but what I learned about him was how hard a worker he was."

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"When the siren goes, I’m sure it’s myself and Luke," Cornes said doubling down on his memory.

"Luke was running the team meeting early the next week and he sort of touched on how funny it was that we embraced considering what we had been through."

Power made the move south from Brisbane with three premierships to his name but acknowledged just how big a milestone this was even given he had made the switch with a young family to care for.

“It was big," Power stated.

"It was a big decision going to GWS and it’s a decision that affects your whole family because I had a really young family. To go there without any family support, you want to see results and see milestones and I guess that was the first one. For the club it was really important. After you have your first win it gives a lot of good people justification for what they were doing."

When speaking to Cornes, Ward, Power and Kennedy about the events on the field that afternoon, one name was consistent in the memories of all four men.

They all paid tribute to the performance of ruckman Jonathan Giles who dominated the game amassing three goals and 21 disposals.

“The standout for me was big 'Joffa' Giles," Kennedy said.

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"He stepped up in the ruck and he went forward and hit the scoreboard a couple of times from memory. He was the biggest impact late in the game."

"The game itself, I remember Jonathan Giles dominating," Cornes added.

"I think he kicked three and took some really strong marks."

Ward said Giles' performance was a clear memory among many for him from the day.

“I think 'Joffa' Giles did a few really good things in that last quarter in particular," Ward said.

"He was one of the guys who stood up in that last quarter. 'Johnny' Patton kicking a goal in the goal square with a big celebration really stands out and Jeremy Cameron as well kicking a snap goal on the run. But definitely, Joffa standing up when it mattered."

The Giants celebrated their first win in grand style, which was something Sheedy had tried to encourage during his time at the helm. The legendary coach knew these kinds of moments may be few and far between during his time at the club and he wanted to make sure that they were enjoyed.

It was important for these wins not to be taken for granted, by both young and older players.

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Cornes recalled that the younger Giants knew how to celebrate despite having not won a game at the level before this day.

"We had a really big night out, that's one thing at the Giants we knew how to do, we knew how to celebrate. It was brilliant," Cornes said.

"Things were going off in the rooms. As soon as we got back to the hotel the beers were flowing. A few beers at the hotel and I can’t remember the name of the pub in Canberra but the place was pumping. The boys had a great night."

Ward, who according to a few had enjoyed the night as much as anyone had a foggier recollection of the night but remembered the feeling in the rooms post-game.

“We had beers in the rooms and then went to a local pub and eventually back to the hotel, It was a great night," Ward said.

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“The rooms were so full. All the players' families and friends and everybody employed by the football club- the support staff, the board, trainers and coaches - were all there together as one. It felt amazing to see everyone smiling and having a good time.

"To have beers after to celebrate is one thing I think we’ve always done is celebrate our wins together as a club.”

The crowded house was a standout as well for Power. The former Lion had seen many wins in his time and while this was again special to him, he said he had a different enjoyment seeing all the proud families.

“I just remember the families being in the rooms after the game with their sons and just how proud and happy they were," Power said.

"The looks on the Mums and Dads faces, I think a fair bit of it was relief that they could now say the boys had achieved something at AFL level."

While Power's recollection of the game was wide and reaching, one memory stands head and shoulders above the rest for the Carlton development coach when he casts his mind back.

“The one memory I have, I had to play on Gary Ablett Jnr when he was resting forward," Power said.

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"That’s a challenge at the best of times but a little bit of that involved him taking me back to the cage which definitely wasn’t my forte during my career so when we started to go alright I was relieved that Gary probably couldn’t do his thing and lift them to victory.

"The supply from the midfield probably wasn’t as good as what Gary had probably had at stages through his career but I also think he might have had a little bit of an injury because he was resting a lot and his knee was pretty heavily bandaged."

The game itself wasn't a classic for the ages for the neutral. The Giants got off to a hot start kicking four goals to one to take a 17-point lead. The Suns managed to claw their way back into the game before half time, winning the second quarter by five goals.

An even third term saw the Suns take a four-point lead into the final break, but that's where their run would stop.

The Giants ran rampant in the last quarter like a shark smelling blood in the water. Holding Gold Coast goalless for the final term and banging on five of their own to skip away to a 27-point win.

It was the first win for 16 Giants. Dylan Shiel put the Giants in front with nine minutes played in the final term before four goals in just over five minutes maybe flattered the Giants a touch and didn't tell the real story of the game.

Giles' superb performance saw him poll the three Brownlow votes ahead of veteran Cornes, while Gold Coast midfielder Sam Iles polled the one vote for the game.

Speaking on the feeling after the win, Ward said it was a balance of joy and relief to have gotten the monkey off the back.

“It was definitely relief," Ward said.

"I feel like if it had’ve got to Round 15-16 and we hadn’t got a win yet it would’ve been more relief. But because it was only Round 7 we still had games up our sleeves.

"The balance was more toward the joy than relief at that time but there was definitely relief in it because winning a game for the first time in the history of our club was huge."