“They were really good to me, they let me play out my childhood dream. But it’s pretty hard to break into that team. I definitely felt valued at Melbourne, but to come here and know that they really, really value me here … the coaches and the boys got around me from day one.”
There was no better demonstration of this than the last fortnight, as the Giants pulled out all the stops to overturn Bedford’s one-match suspension for rough conduct on Zac Fisher in their round 24 clash with Carlton.
“It was a rollercoaster, it definitely was,” he said.
“For a lot of the week I didn’t think I was playing. We went through tribunal thinking we had a pretty good case, and then they knocked us back – and then the board and everyone decided to take it to appeal, which I’m pretty thankful for. It’s a pretty hard thing to go and win, and it’s a big financial risk for the club.
“To get the result was just the best feeling ever.”
What followed was arguably Bedford’s best game for the Giants: two goals, seven score involvements, four tackles and three clearances, which repaid the faith the club put in him.
Neither he nor Daniels were in the team the last time GWS faced Port Adelaide a month ago, when they lost by 51 points.
“They might actually be our most valuable players, in terms of when they’re out, how different are side looks, and what they provide to our team,” said star midfielder Tom Green.
“We did miss them sorely when we Port Adelaide last time, and I think that it’ll be fantastic having them. And I think on the weekend sort of justified why we fought so hard to get Toby Bedford off – he was just phenomenal on the weekend in such a big and important game.
“They are both super pivotal to us. And it’s really exciting that we’re going to be going over this time with them both.”
This time, they reckon, will be different.
“Speaking to everyone this week, since we won, they all wanted Port. Everyone wanted the rematch, everyone wants this for redemption, to really prove to them that they didn’t play us when we were at full strength – we were nowhere near our best,” Bedford said.
“We’ll be going in there for a full war.”