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Greene sees benefit in strong AFL finish

3 minute read

GWS won't make the AFL finals but co-captain Toby Greene believes there is still plenty left to be gained this season as the Giants host Hawthorn.

TOBY GREENE.
TOBY GREENE. Picture: Matt King/Getty Images

Frustrated by his AFL club's current predicament, GWS co-captain Toby Greene already has half an eye on challenging for next year's premiership.

The top eight is off the table for the Giants this season and a new full-time coach is yet to be decided after Leon Cameron stood down in May.

But the hard work for 2023 has already begun under interim boss Mark McVeigh, and continues in Sunday's encounter with Hawthorn at Giants Stadium.

"We've got a lot of young boys coming through that are going to put their hand up for the next eight weeks and I'm sure they'll get the chance," Greene said.

"We're still playing decent footy, we want to get back to playing good footy and start the pre-season in the right way.

"We want to build and we feel like we should be higher on the ladder than what we are.

"We want to have a crack at winning it next year, so it starts now."

GWS have won two of five games with Cameron's long-time assistant McVeigh now in charge, showing signs of improvement with a new focus on attacking ball movement.

But they have also been opened up the other way and will be wary of a Hawthorn side that can score quickly.

Jack Gunston is back from injury to bolster a dangerous Hawks attack that also features fellow veteran Luke Breust, Dylan Moore and tall duo Mitch Lewis and Jacob Koschitzke.

Sam Taylor and versatile big man Harry Himmelberg shape as the men for the jobs on in-form spearhead Lewis and Koschitzke.

Himmelberg was the Giants' leading goal-kicker until being swung into defence after McVeigh took over.

"Himmelberg's been unbelievable as he's gone down back," Greene said.

"That's probably something we'll see a fair bit more of."

Himmelberg's move back has seen All-Australian defender Nick Haynes used in the forward line, where he trained again this week.

The Giants have regained Matt Flynn from a quad injury to take over ruck duties against Hawthorn's 211cm Ned Reeves.

McVeigh opted to leave out underdone ruckman Braydon Preuss, who will play in the VFL after serving a one-match suspension and overcoming an ankle injury.

As well as Gunston, the Hawks have recalled Will Day, with Liam Shiels and Daniel Howe dropped.

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