THE GWS are many experts’ tip to win this year’s AFL flag.
However, the Giants have had to endure some tough days to be where they are today and their star player Sam Reid certainly knows about toughness.
Reid had to overcome illness and a serious injury which forced him into early retirement in 2013 before his amazing comeback last year.
“I honestly still can’t believe it. I thought I’d never play again in the AFL,” the Greater Western Sydney star midfielder said.
Reid might have thought his playing days were over but he refused to give up on footy and took on a coaching role after retirement, helping develop a lot of the club’s best young players.
His advice to the rookies was simple: “Get in and do all the training you can and fuel your body so you can train harder for longer.”
“Food is a massive advantage if you can get on top of that early,” he said.
The importance of diet is something Reid understands only too well, having been diagnosed with type-1 diabetes in 2010.
“There were no other players with diabetes back then. I was thrown straight into it and it took me a while to learn the ropes,” he said.
“Before that I ate whatever I wanted and didn’t put on too much weight but after I got diagnosed I found it hard to keep weight off.”
Instead of allowing the setback to derail his career permanently, Reid used the two years he spent off the field to overhaul his diet and climb back to the peak of AFL football.
“I changed my diet a lot, cutting out things like red meat and gluten, which works for me, and now I feel great and my sugar levels are good all the time.”
Unlike in years gone by, when athletes would rip into an oversized bowl of pasta the night before a game, Reid now tears into a big bowl of vegetables.
“If I have too much carbohydrate, I go in feeling a bit heavy, so I’ll have a small amount of carbs, but load up on heaps of vegies and protein,” he said.
“I eat a lot of vegies, and fruit. Everyone should, but not many people do eat enough of them.”
“You’ve got to branch out and try different vegetables and the different ways to cook them — get adventurous with it.”
Sam Reid’s day on a plate
Spelt bread with a couple of eggs, spinach and mushrooms.
Thai-style bowl with rice noodles, protein and vegies.
Fish or chicken and plenty of vegetables or salad.