Twelve years and nine months, four delistings, two clubs and one retirement later, the GWS Giants’ Sam Reid will run out to play game 100 on Sunday against North Melbourne. Teammate and fellow inaugural Giant Nick Haynes penned a column on his friendship with Reid, the defender’s determination, resilience and the grit he’s displayed to raise the bat for his ton.
Words by Nick Haynes
When Sam Reid first walked into the GWS Giants he came in with a rugged beard, long hair and tattoos. I was a scrawny, blonde 18-year-old kid so it’s safe to say it was a bit intimidating at the start.
Once you get to know him, you come to quickly realise that he’s an incredibly caring, genuine guy.
One thing that stood out about Sam was that he’s a larrikin and the life of the party, particularly in his younger days.
He’s the type of person you can rely on to have a beer and a laugh with.
Our friendship developed over the years, stemming from our interests away from the football club.
We have fairly similar personalities – we’re both a bit ‘gypsy-like’ and left-field thinkers.
We’ll talk about anything from different cultures, lifestyles and everything in between.
In those first two years at the Giants we only won one game so it was a bit of a blur.
For Sam, he had the added challenges of injury and not being able to find the continuity to take to the field each week.
When he subsequently retired at the end of 2013 and took on the development coach role with the Giants, I think he relished it.
It was an unfortunate and early retirement, but he brought so much to the football club at that point in time.
He’s incredibly knowledgeable and reads the game well.
We were a developing and young club at that point in time and he embraced the role to help support the boys who were playing in the reserves.
That development was so important in the younger years and Sam helped to set us up for success in later seasons.
His return to senior football was a unique moment.
When he came back, Sam worked hard to look after his body in all aspects.
It’s a credit to him and his mindset that he was able to return after an extended time on the sidelines and play at the elite level.
He became an integral part of our side and an important player as we pushed towards finals.
To get to 100 games after being delisted four times and retiring for a period of time is an incredible effort. It’s the epitome of resilience and perseverance.
One of the things that has always stood out about Sam to the playing group is that he’s a reliable player. Each week we know what we’re going to get from him.
As a fellow defender, it gives you great confidence knowing you’re running out alongside someone like that who is always going to play their role.
Sam’s one of the inaugural Giants and with only eight of us left at the club, we have a special bond.
When we played our first season in 2012, we worked to set a culture and standards that were going to drive us towards success. Sam was a huge part of that.
From his first stint with the club to moving into a coaching role and then coming back and sharing his knowledge of the game with us – he’s been critical to our growth.
His ruthless edge and high standards in which he holds himself are always on display. He’s the type of guy we love playing with.
Good luck in game 100, it’s been a long journey!