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Yes, he’s back, THE Sam Reid is back playing in the GWS Giants first grade side!! He has finally made it back after 1,000+ days out with injuries that have plagued his whole career to date. I first interviewed Sam back in June 2012 in the GWS Giants first year in the national AFL competition, see my post about it here. Since then he has been sidelined by injury which took him to early retirement, an assistant development coaching role, back to playing in the NEAFL, and now, finally, selected to play in the second Battle of the Bridge game this year against the Sydney Swans on 12th June 2016. The GWS Giants won the game in an upset, 15.15-105 to 9.9-63, in front of a near capacity home crowd at Spotless Stadium. Sam made a good contribution to the game playing in the forward line and kicked one of the 15 goals which was classified as one of the top 10 AFL goals for the round.
None of the four shoulder reconstructions, two hip operations, a groin reconstruction nor contracting type 1 diabetes has dampened his desire to play AFL at the highest level. He is also now studying for his level 3 AFL coaching accreditation through the AFL coaching system and does a lot of work with both Diabetes NSW and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. All of this while training and playing in the elite AFL competition.
The photo included is of Sam straight after the game. Note the dartboard tattoo referred to in the earlier interview. Note also the remains of strapping which hopefully protects Sam from any further injury. A happy, spent, warrior celebrating his return to the big time.
I did this interview with Sam on 14th June 2016, 2 days after their landmark win, for my AFL segment on the Sunday Sports Roundup at the community radio station Alive 90.5FM. I only had a fifteen-minute slot in the program so while we were able to talk about one of the other loves in his life, Elissa, unfortunately, our conversation about yet another of his loves, his Staffordshire dog Rocky, had to be left on the cutting room floor. Sorry Rocky.
Sam is in my eyes still THE Sam Reid, not just a mere football player but an inspirational man on a number of levels. Keep an eye on number 50 for the Giants, not your ordinary footballer.