Before the start of the 2012 season, this writer tipped that Greater Western Sydney would go winless. A bunch of near-retired players, a few younger uncontracted players, and then kids? Nearly no rucks to speak of? It spelt for a long year for the AFL’s newest side.
But I was wrong. Despite the challenges they faced, the Giants showed, grit, resolve and a willingness to overcome. There were still embarrassing losses, yes, but they were interspersed with tough performances and even a couple of wins.
The Giants have a midfield which will be dominating the competition in five to ten years. Toby Greene and Steven Coniglio are both superb in their disposal and skill. The likes of Tomas Bugg, Adam Treloar and Dom Tyson have had their games.
And then there’s the twin towers. Jeremy Cameron and Jonathon Patton are on track to dominate the competition in years to come. Cameron is already running rings around defenders, and as he bulks and delivery to him improves he’s just going to get better. Patton will have better seasons too after missing the preseason due to injury.
There have also been surprises. Jonathon Giles has been a revelation in 2012, and his ruckwork shocked as he managed to beat far more established ruckmen. James McDonald was retired by Melbouurne in 2010, yet returned brilliantly to offer protection to the young Giants midfield.
That said, there have been players who have struggled in 2012. Most notable of these are Israel Folau and Tom Scully. Folau is excused by many due to his rugby heritage and thus needing time to find his niche in the AFL. Scully, however, surely doesn’t have many excuses with the $6million tag after the 2011 saga.
Ladder position: 18th
Free Agents available: None
Draft Picks: 1, 22, 24, 43, 62, 80 – GWS also have the two mini-draft picks which they have to trade to another club.
Needs to pick up: Despite the fantastic performances of Jonathon Giles this year, the Giants still need more rucks, as their prospects there aren’t fantastic. As such, it seems that Brodie Grundy is the best choice for them at pick 1. On top of this, key defenders is also a struggling area, and this will be targeted by the Giants.
Expectations for 2013:
The Giants won’t improve overly in 2013. The Suns showed the way here, with small improvements, but they did not improve on their wins from their first season. A similar result will be expected, with a couple of wins. It does depend on what sort of protection remains for the Giants’ young guns, as if they struggle it will be most likely be due to this lack of protection. But they’ll be closer in a few more games and still shock a team or two giving them a fair run for their money.