2nds Season 2022 GWS Giants VFL

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Jan 14, 2022
AFL Club

2022 Pre-Season Update - GWS Giants​

The GWS Giants have yet to confirm much news around their VFL program so far but a few exits have been confirmed while a new head coach has also been announced after a strong 2021 VFL season as the Giants finished in the top eight and with a positive win/loss record as they won seven games and lost just four. They will look to continue to build on that form as they continue as just one of two New South Wales based sides.

Competition Updates​

The Victorian Football League will return for the 2022 season on March the 26th and will continue to align closely with the Australian Football League Men's season for a 22 round season with each team taking 4 byes each. The Aspley Hornets are the only team to confirm their exit from the eastern coast competition with the remaining 21 clubs beginning to strengthen their sides for another run.
The salary cap has been increased by $20,000 for standalone teams to $220,000 while AFL and AFL-aligned clubs have received just a $10,000 boost to $110,000. The caps also introduce the ability to pay $10,000 of a playing coach's salary outside the cap while indigenous coaches implement a $5,000 concession.
The list size rules also remain pretty much identical to the 2021 rules with AFL affiliate clubs having a maximum of 30 players (15 development players, 15 primary listed players) while stand-alone clubs can have a total of 40 players on their lists (28 primary listed players, 12 development players).

Coaching Updates​

The man that led the GWS Giants VFL program in 2021 has departed the western Sydney-based side. Luke Kelly held multiple roles across the Giants that included a development assistant coach role, defensive coordinator role, and performance analyst role but has departed to join Port Adelaide as a senior assistant coach leading midfield development.
Damian Truslove has been confirmed to replace Kelly as the leader of the Greater Western Sydney Giants VFL squad. Truslove joins with experience from the AFLW program and experience as an assistant coach of the club's NEAFL team from 2017-2019 and is expected to oversee a young and developing side.
The Truslove assisted NEAFL squad failed to have a real impact in the competition as they finished in finals qualification just once in 2019 and included a wooden spoon in his first season. The club and himself will hope to have a much better run in 2022.

Outgoing Players​

The GWS Giants have announced very little on how the 2022 VFL side will line up but with Alex Smout signing for Wodonga, he’ll be among the list of departing players for the side alongside Jack Driscoll, who has found a new home at Werribee.
Alex Smout joined the Giants reserves team after playing for the Canberra Demons when they participated in the NEAFL and had a strong 2021 season in the VFL competition. Smout managed seven games across the season where he averaged 22 disposals that included a 33 disposal game in the opening round and a two-goal haul in a third-round matchup that handed the Southport Sharks their only loss for the season. He will be a considerable loss for the side as the Giants lose both talent and experience with Smout's exit.
Academy product, Jack Driscoll, has also departed the club to move south as he managed just one VFL game while managing his academy requirements. The singular game that Driscoll played at the reserves level came in round 5 as he showed promise in a big loss against Richmond and collected 16 disposals.
Matthew Buntine and Nick Shipley were delisted over the off-season from the AFL squad and will not wear the orange again after making an impact in the reserves in 2021.
Buntine played seven matches across the season, averaged 17.6 disposals and 7 marks. His stand-out match came against Werribee in round 10 with 26 disposals.
Shipley was also a mainstay for the VFL side where he played every available game while averaging 22.8 disposals over ten games alongside 6.6 tackles with just one game where he found less than 20 disposals.
Matthew Buntine is expected to join the Casey Demons whereas Nick Shipley has yet to confirm his 2022 commitments

Re-Signed Players​

The GWS Giants listed 24 players for their 2021 reserves squad and are yet to formally announce any returnees as of yet.
Harry Grintell was confirmed through sources from outside of the club to have re-signed with the Western Sydney team for 2022, while Mackinley Miller has been listed as part of their academy squad but it has not been confirmed how much the academy squad will be connected to the VFL squad.
Grintell kicked two goals across four games at the reserves level but lacked statistically disposal-wise, averaging just 7.8 disposals whereas Miller focussed on his academy requirements and did not play at the level.
Josh Fahey did enough to be awarded AFL selection for the Giants but will still be available when not required by the senior team. Fahey was selected at pick 42 in the 2021 NAB AFL Draft after three games across the VFL season where he averaged 13.3 disposals and had a standout game against Richmond in round five where he collected 24 disposals.


*=Expected but not yet confirmed.
IN: None
OUT: Alex Smout (Wodonga), Josh Fahey (AFL), Jack Driscoll (Werribee)
RE-SIGNED: Harry Grintell*, Mackinley Miller*
TO BE CONFIRMED: Kel Evans, Matt McGrory, Cameron Edwards, Xavier Barry-Murphy, William Clark, Rhys Pollock, Joshua Boag, Matthew Ackland, Timothy Garvey, Nathan Smith, Leyton Chisholm, Zachary Youlten, Lucas Lam, Joshua Lee, Kyle Veerhuis, Fraser Kelly, Sam Frost, Maximus Monaghan, Josh Green

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