Phil Davis was the first Giant to be signed from another AFL club (Photo: Phil Hillyard)

For the first few years of Phil Davis’ stint at the GWS Giants, the club experienced some difficult times, trying to form themselves into a contender of the competition. 11 years later, the league’s newest franchise is one win away from securing a spot in their sixth finals series. 

The 32-year-old says that the transformation over his career at the Giants was the most rewarding aspect.

“The most satisfaction I’ve had in my whole career is what we as a footy club have been able to achieve. It gets lost sometimes just how difficult it is to start. When I made the decision to come here it was somewhat courageous but also somewhat naïve in how difficult the challenge was going to be,” he said.

“But I’ve really loved that and loved to see what we’ve got now. Membership records, grand finals to many winning seasons and another one this year.”

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Announcing his retirement this afternoon after 192 games, inaugural co-captain believes that the club is now in perfect position to claim their maiden premiership.  

“We’ve got a great age demographic, we’ve got great character, and a team that will do whatever it takes us to win,” he said.

“I’m very excited to hopefully being invited to a Grand Final whenever it comes and looking forward to hopefully watching this group be the first to win a premiership for the Giants.” 

Selected with pick 10 in the 2008 National Draft, the key defender spent his first three years at the Adelaide Crows, before joining the newest franchise in their maiden season. However, a horror run with injury put a dent into the longevity of his career. Davis says that despite this, he hopes that he is remember for the lasting impact he had on the game. 

“Unfortunately, injury was a consistent theme in my career,” he said.

“I hope that people remember that I was positive and a good influence throughout my career.”

As for his next step, the Grand Final captain has a multitude of avenues to go down. 

“I was climbing a mountain in a football sense. Now it’s looking for what’s next and what the next mountain is,” he said.

“I’ve got an incredible passion for sport in general, but also a passion for people and learning and business too so we’ll see how that all marries up.”

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