Mumford and Cameron out for the season

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    Greater Western Sydney’s hopes of a maiden AFL premiership have taken an almighty blow, with key forward Jeremy Cameron and imposing ruckman Shane Mumford to play no further part in their finals campaign.

    Cameron suffered a hamstring injury in Thursday night’s qualifying final loss to Adelaide, while Mumford fractured his foot in the same game.

    The pair will be sorely missed in Saturday’s semi-final against West Coast at Spotless Stadium but also the preliminary final and grand final, should GWS progress that far.

    Mumford is regularly referred to as the Giants’ barometer by teammates because of his attack on the ball. Cameron is arguably their most talented forward, who starred in the only finals win of the expansion club’s short existence.

    Dawson Simpson, essentially signed by the club in 2015 as a Mumford insurance policy, will almost certainly play his first final of a career that has spanned two clubs, 30 games and 10 seasons.

    “Dawson came in and played a couple of games for us this year and played a really good role for us, so I’ve got full confidence in Dawson,” GWS co-captain Callan Ward said on Monday.

    Simpson was named first ruck in the NEAFL team of the year, while standing at 210cm and 109kgs he boasts a similar frame to Mumford.

    There is no like-for-like replacement for Cameron but Steve Johnson, Devon Smith, Tim Taranto, Ryan Griffen and Will Setterfield headline the list of Giants in the mix for a recall.

    “I’ve got full confidence in whoever comes in,” Ward told reporters.

    “Even in the second half (against Adelaide), I thought we played some really good footy and Jez wasn’t there.”

    Injuries have threatened to derail the Giants’ season throughout 2017.

    Griffen, Taranto, Smith, Johnson, Brett Deledio, Stephen Coniglio, Jacob Hopper and Nick Haynes are among the many players to suffer serious setbacks.

    Ward suggested there was no point dwelling on the Giants’ poor run, likewise this week’s enforced omission of two of their most influential players.

    “You can’t blame injuries. It’s part of the game. We’ve probably been a bit unlucky this year,” he said.

    “But other clubs have as well. We just have to deal with it.”

    Ward praised the attitude of Cameron, who was an upbeat onlooker at Monday’s training session, following his third hamstring setback in the space of two months.

    “He’s been up and about, I think he knows the importance of him being positive around the group,” Ward said.

    “The last thing the boys want to see is a guy walking around with his head between his legs.

    “It’s a tough situation for him.”

    © AAP 2017

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