Sam Reid of the Giants during the round three match against the Kangaroos.
Sam Reid of the Giants during the round three match against the Kangaroos. JULIAN SMITH

Injury-plagued Giant at last cracks milestone

IT'S already been a momentous year for Sam Reid.

Almost a decade after being drafted into the AFL, the Sunshine Coast-bred footballer has notched 10 games in a season for the first time.

The 27-year-old has been plagued by injury ever since he first joined the Western Bulldogs in 2007.

There have been shoulder reconstructions, hip surgeries, a groin reconstruction - not to mention battling diabetes after being diagnosed in 2009.

The constant setbacks restricted him to 10 senior appearances in four years at the kennel (2008-11), and then just 14 in two seasons after arriving at new franchise GWS (2012-13).

He was ultimately cut by the Giants at the end of 2013 and spent 2014 and 2015 as a playing development coach with their NEAFL side.

But a run of being injury-free - coupled with good form - prompted the Giants to re-list Reid for the 2016 season and he hasn't looked back.

He added a further six AFL games in 2016 - the first coming 1072 days since his last - and now the magical 10 in 2017, for a grand total of 40.

"I had a pretty good pre-season," he told News Regional. "Got through most of the training ... about 95%.

"I'm running out games and pulling up well.

"The body's feeling good."

In fact, probably the best it's ever been in the AFL system.

"I came in in round two and played every game since," he said. "That's probably the earliest I've been in the team.

"My attitude changed a fair bit when I went into the coaching role ... a different perspective and I'm trying to keep that.


SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 22: (L-R) Steve Johnson, Sam Reid and Jonathon Patton of the Giants celebrate during the 2017 AFL round 05 match between the Sydney Swans and the GWS Giants at the Sydney Cricket Ground on April 22, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)
Steve Johnson, Sam Reid and Jonathon Patton of the Giants. Michael Willson/AFL Media

"Not to put too much pressure on myself but really enjoy it.

"I'm just loving being out there."

Reid also has his diabetes under control and is trying to "inspire the young kids who might be struggling with it".

"I get out and help out wherever I can," he said.

"It was tough the first couple of years to get a routine."

It's onwards and upwards now for Reid, with the Giants sitting second on the ladder and right in the hunt to win their first flag.

Reid is filling the all-important role of defensive half-forward, playing alongside a star-studded attack including All-Australians Jeremy Cameron and Toby Greene.

They are both capable of doing freakish things on the field, which Reid admits "you kind of expect now".

"Being out there with them, it's good to watch sometimes," he said.


PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MAY 28: Toby Greene and Sam Reid of the Giants share a moment while walking from the field after winning the round 10 AFL match between the West Coast Eagles and the Greater Western Giants at Domain Stadium on May 28, 2017 in Perth, Australia.  (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
Toby Greene and Sam Reid of the Giants share a moment. Paul Kane

"Greene, he's up with the best one-on-one players in the competition. You see how hard he works at training, not only on his weaknesses but also his strengths."

"I play a bit of golf with Jezza (Cameron) ... I get amazed by what he does on the golf course."

Reid returns to Queensland today, with the Giants visiting an improving Brisbane at the Gabba.

It's a match that will feature another Caloundra product in exciting Lions tall forward Eric Hipwood.

"I watched him a bit last week. He's got a good turn of speed," Reid said. "No doubt he'll be a handful for our backs.

"But we'll back our defenders in to get the job done.

"They (Brisbane) are going all right. You can't take any game lightly. Anyone can win on any given day, that's how tight the competition is."

Reid will again go into battle with the man he was drafted with all those years ago to the Bulldogs, Giants co-captain Callan Ward.

While only debuting a few weeks earlier than Reid in the red white and blue, Ward has gone on to play 179 games.

"It's been an amazing journey," Reid said.