Brown believes he has turned a corner

Former Derry man believes he can propel Greater Western Sydney to glory

Callum Brown played a central role GWS Giants' AFL Finals win over Port Adelaide on Saturday
Limavady man Callum Brown is back contributing to his GWS side

After overcoming what he admits was the toughest period of his AFL career to date, former Derry underage footballer Callum Brown believes he has turned a corner that could lead to premiership glory in September.

Playing for the Greater Western Sydney Giants in the Sydney derby last month, Brown was suspended for three matches for an ugly clash with Sydney Swans defender Tom McCartin.

Midway through the second quarter, Brown forcibly bumped McCartin in the head with his right shoulder. The Limavady man had a previously clean record but that wasn’t enough to save him from a lengthy suspension.

Despite his unconditional apology and genuine remorse, some AFL pundits were of the opinion that Brown was lucky not to be slammed with an even longer suspension. When he returned to the GWS starting line-up in their narrow defeat to Hawthorn in Tasmania a fortnight ago, Brown was subbed out with only two disposals to his name.

Despite missing out on a place in the Grand Final, Limavady man Callum Brown has established himself as a mainstay of the GWS Giants this season in the AFL
Callum Brown of Greater Wester Sydney

To make matters worse, the Giants who started the season with seven consecutive wins were in the midst of a four-match losing run with many questioning their finals credentials.

“Off the back of last week, missing a month of footy and then not having an impact and being subbed out, it hurts mentally,” Brown explained.

“It’s weeks of getting smacked in training. It’s a bit of a second pre-season for the four weeks I was out.

“But at the same time, I knew coming back that everyone had the confidence in me just to play my role again and come in and get the job done.

“It’s also going to help at the back end of the year when finals footy is.”

Brown proved his class by texting McCartin as a priority following the incident when GWS teammates and coaches insisted they have never witnessed a more apologetic player.

“I sent him a message just to see how he was, and he said he was fine,” Brown said.

“He knew I had no intent, it’s not the player I am. It’s the first bad incident I’ve had since coming across here. I’ll never intentionally try to bump someone.

“But when you’re going at that speed, it’s very hard to stop so the only thing you can do is brace, it’s just unfortunate I copped it.”

Brown bounced back in style at the weekend when he booted the opening two goals for GWS in their crucial Round 14 home victory over Port Adelaide which lifted the ‘Orange Tsunami’ up to fifth on the season ladder, just two points outside the top four.

“I know if the ball comes my way, I’m either going to bring it to ground or take the mark,” Brown said.

“The team love kicking me the ball because they have the confidence in me to do that for the team.

“It’s good being another player who can impact in that way.

“It’s great signs that we’re getting more inside 50s.

“From the back end to the mids, everyone’s doing their job.”