Giant hoping for happy homecoming

ALYCE Parker knows she'll be the centre of attention this weekend, but she's prepared to cope with it all, on and off the field, to help keep Greater Western Sydney's finals hopes alive.

The Giants head to Wagga Wagga in the Riverina region of New South Wales to clash with Richmond on Saturday in a must-win fixture with just four games left in the AFLW season, with the men's side to take on the Tigers the following day.

It'll be a massive homecoming for Parker, the star GWS midfielder who grew up less than an hour away on a farm in Cookardinia.

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Parker told womens.afl she vividly remembers the time she found out the Giants had been scheduled to play their round five clash with the Tigers at Robertson Oval, where she played several times as a junior.

"I was on the farm feeding some sheep from the ute and when I got the notification on my phone, I couldn't believe it," she said.

"It brought a huge wave of excitement.

"To have an opportunity to play in front of pretty much all of my support network is pretty special."

A dual All Australian at under-age level, Parker laughed when asked how many friends and family she'll have on the hill when she runs out on Saturday, but you get the feeling the 19-year-old will have plenty of support.

"I couldn't put a number on it, but I told Mum to tell anybody she knew that was coming to sit in the same spot, so I can get to them all after the game," she said.

"Win or lose, it's important to me to thank my friends and family for being part of my journey."

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The tough onballer is one of the Giants' lynchpins despite being in just her second season in the competition, and Parker's importance was highlighted when she copped some heavy attention in last week's 28-point loss to Brisbane.

Parker was tagged throughout the match, and Lions forward Jessica Wuetschner was charged with rough conduct and handed a reprimand for an off-the-ball hit on the young Giant.

I told Mum to tell anybody she knew that was coming to sit in the same spot, so I can get to them all after the game

Alyce Parker

"It was tough against Brisbane, but I think it's a compliment and part of my future," Parker said.

"As you can see around the League a lot of the young guns like (Carlton's) Maddy Prespakis are having to deal with it this year.

"I'm not sure what Richmond will do, but I can't let it affect my game and have to do my best to combat that."

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The Tigers are winless after four rounds despite their heavily-hyped recruiting drive over the off-season that saw names like Katie Brennan, Monique Conti and Sabrina Frederick arrive at the new club.

However, Parker said the Giants are focused on rebounding from last week and continuing their finals push rather than focusing on their opposition.

"We've got this hunger and belief in us that we can play the brand of football that we know we're capable of," she said.

"We won't be underestimating the Tigers, their team is pretty scary to look at on paper."

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