[close]

Cameron insists premiership window open

Some pundits believe the AFL premiership window may have already closed for GWS Giants but coach Leon Cameron thinks otherwise.

Cameron insists premiership window open

Some pundits believe the AFL premiership window may have already closed for GWS Giants but coach Leon Cameron thinks otherwise.

Giants coach LEON CAMERON looks on during a Greater Western Sydney Giants AFL training session at Sydney Olympic Park in Sydney, Australia.
Giants coach LEON CAMERON looks on during a Greater Western Sydney Giants AFL training session at Sydney Olympic Park in Sydney, Australia. Picture:Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images

GWS coach Leon Cameron is adamant the premiership window hasn't closed for the youngest AFL club despite gloomy commentary on their prospects of winning a first flag.

Greater Western Sydney bowed out at the preliminary stage in 2016 and '17 and were eliminated in the semi-finals last year.


Some pundits suggest their premiership window may have closed, as they haven't fully capitalised on their initial lot of high draft picks and suffered some key losses in the last trade period.

Salary cap pressures contributed to the club farewelling Dylan Shiel, Tom Scully, Rory Lobb and Will Setterfield

"I understand the analytics of the premiership window, 100 games for a certain amount of players, age of the list; there's metrics to support it," Cameron told AAP.

"But I also then turn back as an example and say, 'Okay, well, Collingwood wasn't in their premiership window according to everyone last year, they came from 13th. Richmond wasn't (in 2017) but came from 13th and then they won it'.

"So sport has got a funny way of spitting out the results. It could be things that we just don't even think of.

"All I know is I think I've got a group that can compete with the very best."

Cameron still has plenty of A-grade talent at his disposal.

Despite the losses, the Giants possess a deep midfield headed by Stephen Coniglio, Josh Kelly, Lachie Whitfield and Callan Ward though the latter will miss the first few rounds.

Throw in emerging stars Tim Taranto and Jacob Hopper and three first-round raft picks, with Jye Caldwell and Jackson Hately already looking the goods and GWS should have enough on-ball depth to compete with anyone.

Whitfield can shuttle between the wing and half-back where he earned All-Australian honours and Cameron could use him in tandem with fellow speedster Zac Williams, who missed most of last season.

There's a nice mix of experience and youth in a backline marshalled by stalwarts Phil Davis, Heath Shaw and Nick Haynes.

Up forward Jeremy Cameron and Harry Himmelberg will give opposing key backs plenty of headaches, as will the crafty Toby Greene, provided he doesn't have injury issues like he did last season.

Key forward and part-time ruckman Jon Patton will be back from a knee reconstruction between May and July.

The decision to lure club favourite Shane Mumford out of retirement to boost the ruck stocks following the departure of Rory Lobb to Fremantle could also prove shrewd.

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY

Coach: Leon Cameron

Captains: Phil Davis and Callan Ward

Last five years: 16-11-4-4-6

Premierships: Nil

Key five: Stephen Coniglio, Phil Davis, Callan Ward, Josh Kelly, Toby Greene.

One to watch: Toby Greene. The combative matchwinner missed 15 games through injury in 2018. He showed his class with 27 possessions and three goals in the elimination final win over Sydney and the Giants will be desperate to get him on the park more often.

Ins: Kieren Biggs (NSW-ACT Rams), Callum Brown (Category B rookie), Jye Caldwell (Bendigo Pioneers), Jackson Hately (Central District), Ian Hill (Perth), Connor Idun (Geelong Falcons), Xavier O'Halloran (Western Jets), Shane Mumford (Pre-season supplementary selection), Tommy Sheridan (Fremantle).

Outs: Ryan Griffen (retired), Rory Lobb (Fremantle), Tim Mohr (Hawthorn), Tom Scully (Hawthorn), Will Setterfield (Carlton), Dylan Shiel (Essendon), Lachie Tiziani (delisted).

Best line-up:

B: Sam Taylor, Phil Davis, Aidan Corr

HB: Heath Shaw, Nick Haynes, Zac Williams

C: Lachie Whitfield, Stephen Coniglio, Josh Kelly

HF: Toby Greene, Jeremy Cameron, Brett Deledio

F: Zac Langdon, Jonathon Patton, Harry Himmelberg

R: Shame Mumford, Callan Ward, Tim Taranto

I: Adam Tomlinson, Jacob Hopper, Matt de Boer, Jye Caldwell

Predicted finish: 5th

AAP


AAP




Latest Stories