show me:

McVeigh puts his stamp on AFL's Giants

3 minute read

Greater Western Sydney surprised West Coast with several positional changes in Mark McVeigh's first match as caretaker coach on their way to a 52-point win.

Giants head coach LEON CAMERON.
Giants head coach LEON CAMERON. Picture: Matt King/Getty Images

Mark McVeigh put his stamp on Greater Western Sydney in his first match as caretaker coach with several positional changes that helped secure their 52-point victory over West Coast.

The interim coach was leading the Giants for the first time on Sunday after long-serving head coach Leon Cameron resigned ahead of their loss to Carlton last week.

It took little time for McVeigh and a coaching group that now includes his former Essendon teammates James Hird and Dean Solomon to make their mark.

The most noticeable change was to shift Harry Himmelberg to defence despite the key forward kicking 17 goals in nine previous matches this season.

"Harry was actually a defender early doors in his career so I knew he could do it, I coached him there for a long period of time," McVeigh said.

"That's not to say that's where he's going to sit, we just wanted to have a look at it.

"Obviously there is some ball movement that we want to work on and he uses the ball really well, so we thought with some injury and illness that struck the club this week it was an opportunity to see if we could speed it up a little bit.

"He had some really good moments and defended quite well, we were quite happy with how it looked."

Co-captain Stephen Coniglio was one of the standouts for the Giants with a game-high 36 disposals that came at 92 per cent efficiency as he continues to rediscover his best form.

Coniglio returned to an onball role to help address concerns with how the Giants had been competing around stoppages and went on to finish with a team-high seven clearances.

"Coniglio really went inside and had a great game for the footy club and we were really impressed with that," McVeigh said.

"He hasn't had that opportunity a lot and just seeing him being able to make that transition as a forward and coming up into the middle of the ground was exciting."

McVeigh was joined in the coaches box by Hird and Solomon for the first time after they agreed to take on assistant coaching roles for the remainder of the season.

Hird was head coach at the Bombers for the 2011-2013 and 2015 seasons while Solomon was previously an assistant coach with Fremantle and Gold Coast.

"It's a very part-time role for these guys, they've both got a lot of stuff on outside of footy and we might not even see them this week," McVeigh said.

"Their role really was to support our coaches who are there, who have done a great job for many, many years. It just gives us a bit of strength around our group.

"I think our players, obviously with a bit of change coming through, we wanted to make sure that they understand some different ideas.

"It's great having two coaches with great experience come into the club, that just have an eye out for things that you might miss."

today's racing

Error occured