Callan Ward

Callan Ward (born 10 April 1990) is a professional Australian rules footballer playing for the Greater Western Sydney Giants in the Australian Football League (AFL). He previously played for the Western Bulldogs from 2008 to 2011. Ward received a nomination for the 2009 AFL Rising Star award in round 18 of the 2009 season. He was on of three inaugural Giants co-captains, leading the club for eight seasons.

Callan Ward
Ward playing for Greater Western Sydney in 2017
Personal information
Full name Callan Ward
Date of birth (1990-04-10) 10 April 1990
Original team(s) Western Jets (TAC Cup)
Draft No. 19, 2007 national draft
Debut Round 11, 2008, Western Bulldogs
vs. St Kilda, at Telstra Dome
Height 187 cm (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 84 kg (185 lb)
Position(s) Midfielder
Club information
Current club Greater Western Sydney
Number 8
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
2008–2011 Western Bulldogs 060 0(33)
2012– Greater Western Sydney 157 0(74)
Total 217 (107)
International team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
2011 Australia 2 (0)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of the 2019 season.
2 State and international statistics correct as of 2011.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables,

Early life

Ward is the grandson of former South Melbourne captain Bill Gunn, who played 104 games for the club between 1952 and 1959. Leading into the 2007 AFL draft, five player managers vied to represent him, and a week out from the draft he decided on Paul Connors, who also represented Chris Judd. Ward was selected by the Bulldogs with their second selection (number 19 overall) after being a mere 20 days old enough to nominate for the draft.[1]

AFL career

Western Bulldogs (2008–2011)

Ward made his debut against St Kilda in round 11 of the 2008 season, collecting 12 disposals and finishing with one goal. In his debut year, he played six games while juggling full-time football and his last year of high school. Having earned a regular spot in the team in 2009, Ward went on to have a breakout season, playing 22 games and earning an AFL Rising Star nomination for his performance against Fremantle in round 18. Ward missed the first half of the 2010 season through injury, but returned to play the rest of the season and finals series. Ward had his best season for the Bulldogs in 2011, playing in all 22 games and averaging 21 disposals, including a 29-disposal, best-on-ground performance against Adelaide in round 13.

Greater Western Sydney (2012–present)

On 5 September 2011, Ward announced that he had signed with the Greater Western Sydney Giants; he was the second player to publicly announce his commitment to the new franchise club. Ward was also announced as one of three inaugural co-captains for the club, alongside Phil Davis and Luke Power. On 24 March 2012, in the Giants' debut AFL match against Sydney, he kicked the Giants' first ever goal. [2] Ward went on to win the Giants' inaugural best-and-fairest award, named the Kevin Sheedy Medal after their coach, Kevin Sheedy.[3]

Ward enjoyed a solid season in 2013, despite the club winning only one game for the year; Ward was named best-on-ground for his 31 disposals and four goals in that game, against Melbourne. Ward followed up with another consistent season in 2014, in which he polled fifteen Brownlow Medal votes. This included four best-on-ground performances, two of which were narrow seven-point losses to St Kilda and Hawthorn.[4]

Ward had a career-best season in 2015, playing all 22 games and averaging 25 disposals, and polling a club-record nineteen Brownlow votes. Ward had another consistent season in 2016, during which the Giants made finals for the first time, securing their first finals win against Sydney, and fell six points short of making the Grand Final after losing to Ward's former club, the Western Bulldogs, at home. Ward played all 25 games the following season, averaging 27 disposals.

In 2018, Ward played his 200th game in round 8 against West Coast,[5] and played his 150th game for the Giants (becoming the first player to do so) in round 19 against St Kilda.[6] Ward sustained a knee injury during the 2019 pre-season, meaning that he would miss the first few rounds of the season and his consecutive games streak would end at 95 games.[7] He returned against Geelong in round 4; however, five minutes into the game, he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury, ruling him out for the rest of the season.[8] He later began assisting Giants coach Leon Cameron on the interchange bench during matches while recovering from his injury.[9] In December 2019, Stephen Coniglio took over the captaincy of the Giants from Ward and Davis.[10]


Statistics are correct to the end of the 2019 season.[11]
 G  Goals  B  Behinds  K  Kicks  H  Handballs  D  Disposals  M  Marks  T  Tackles
Season Team No. Games G B K H D M T G B K H D M T Votes
Totals Averages (per game)
2008 Western Bulldogs 1462028326018100.
2009 Western Bulldogs 1422181317818436270860.
2010 Western Bulldogs 141014769717336340.
2011 Western Bulldogs 1422121120425345774960.50.59.311.520.83.44.46
2012 Greater Western Sydney 820811278210488861000.40.613.910.524.44.35.05
2013 Greater Western Sydney 82111624724248995940.50.311.811.523.34.54.54
2014 Greater Western Sydney 820710240258498751150.40.512.012.924.93.85.815
2015 Greater Western Sydney 8221072533035561031150.50.311.513.825.34.75.219
2016 Greater Western Sydney 8241612272287559821090.70.511.312.
2017 Greater Western Sydney 825141035332467790980.60.414.
2018 Greater Western Sydney 82481531832464292950.30.613.313.526.83.84.013
2019 Greater Western Sydney 8100101000.
Career 217 107 100 2448 2514 4962 821 952 0.5 0.5 11.3 11.6 22.9 3.8 4.4 85

Honours and achievements



  1. Jennifer Witham (24 November 2007). "Bulldogs' 'mixed bag' of talent". Archived from the original on 6 July 2011.
  2. dailytelegraph (24 March 2012). "GWS v Swans: As it happened".
  3. foxsports (6 September 2012). "Greater Western Sydney co-captain Callan Ward claims Kevin Sheedy medal for club's best and fairest".
  4. Ward GIANTS' Brownlow Best, GWS Giants official website, 23 September 2014
  5. Curley, Adam (12 May 2018). "Match report: Seventh heaven for Eagles". Retrieved 28 July 2018.
  6. Curley, Adam (28 July 2018). "Match report: Top-four Giants continue rise". Retrieved 28 July 2018.
  7. Caffrey, Oliver; AAP (7 March 2019). "UPDATE: Gun Giants mid sidelined for up to six weeks". Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  8. Guthrie, Ben (14 April 2019). "Season over for Giants skipper after ACL fears confirmed". Retrieved 14 April 2019.
  9. Curley, Adam (23 May 2019). "Wounded Giant gun flies onto the bench for crucial MCG match". Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  10. "Giants scrap co-captain model, announce first standalone skipper". 3 December 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  11. "Callan Ward". AFL Tables. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
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