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The biggest question marks hanging over GWS Giants

Lucas Blatchford Roar Rookie

By Lucas Blatchford, Lucas Blatchford is a Roar Rookie

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42 Have your say

    With injuries and departures looming large in pre-season, do GWS have the required depth to compete for the flag?

    Defender Zac Williams ruptured his Achilles tendon in training last week, dealing the Giants a long-term blow for the 2018 season. Factoring in the players GWS have already lost through retirement and the trade period – such as Nathan Wilson’s return to Fremantle – their squad depth is being seriously tested.

    With no Wilson or Williams, their run from defence will now hinge on Ryan Griffen and Brett Deledio – the two most injury-prone players at the club – who are both on modified training programs at this stage.

    Their best 22 is no doubt one of the strongest in the league. However, while they’re well covered for key defensive stocks, Dylan Buckley, Aidan Bonar, Lachlan Tiziani, Harry Perryman, Daniel Lloyd, Sam Reid and Adam Kennedy seem to be their only options for depth.

    It’s imperative that the squad is fit and ready for Round One in March. A clean bill of health for the year will be the top priority. If they can keep it that way, they’ll certainly be in contention. If a couple go down, however, the side suddenly looks very thin.

    Matt De Boer, Tim Taranto, Will Setterfield, Jacob Hopper and Harrison Himmelberg are included in the best 22 already. If a couple of big names go down, it’s hard to see them really competing.

    Phil Davis GWS Giants AFL 2017

    (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

    There’s certainly been some upheaval in the off-season. Wilson sought his move back to Perth. Devon Smith, likewise, forced a move to Essendon, while Matthew Kennedy left for Carlton. Shane Mumford and Steve Johnson retired, the latter taking up an assistant coaching role at the Swans.

    Now with a serious injury to Williams, the question is how far might they fall?

    All big losses to the side, unfortunately. After consecutive fourth-place finishes in the past two seasons, it could definitely cause a knock-on effect, seeing them drop down the ladder. The side suddenly looks a lot younger. It might be a case of having to take a step back this season in order to reload for 2019.

    That said, the group could band together in adversity and new players might arise. Or we could see greater responsibilities for aging stars Brett Deledio and Ryan Griffen.

    It’s make or break for…
    Heath Shaw. This is his most important season to date. If he gets back to his best, GWS look like a quality outfit again. However, he could just as easily drop off, leaving their defensive line more depleted than it already is. GWS’ 2018 fortunes are in his hands essentially.

    What does the future look like?
    While the Giants are no longer one of the youngest sides in the competition, they’re still stocked with young talent such as Will Setterfield, Tim Taranto, Harry Perryman, Jacob Hopper and Aidan Bonar. GWS’ future looks well placed and their current premiership window should last several years as their main stars aren’t ageing any time soon.

    The next in line to retire seem to be Deledio and Griffen, and neither have been focal points as of yet.

    So Roarers, where do you see the Giants finishing in 2018?

    Have Your Say

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    The Crowd Says (42)

    • Roar Pro

      February 13th 2018 @ 2:43am
      anon said | February 13th 2018 @ 2:43am | ! Report

      I don’t think they’re in trouble but they are in no man’s land where they will make finals but not challenge for flag. Much like Geelong under Chris Scott — who has basically failed to fire a shot in September since seagulling that 2011 flag with a side that coached itself.

      They’ve become too big and immobile down back and up forward.

      Re-signing Leon Cameron was a mistake. Poor coach. Tactically bad, tactically very predictable, no plan B, I don’t think the squad respects him, hasn’t brought anything innovative to the game.

      But above all else I think they are front-runners not prepared to do whatever it takes to win a premiership. They have a soft underbelly. They are the epitome of millennial culture.

      I was all in on GWS early in 2016 when no-one was really giving them a chance of making an impact in the finals.

      Then all the “experts” (who are good at telling you what you’ve just watched with your own eyes) went all in on GWS in last year’s offseason after a somewhat impressive finals series.

      But round 1 last season against Adelaide disturbed me. I immediately got off the GWS bandwagon. I could see that they hadn’t spent the summer licking their wounds, vowing to become better. I could see that Leon Cameron was still getting out coached. I could see that there was a cultural problem at GWS.

      Turned out I was correct again.

      As good as that QF win against the Swans was, they were dominated by the Bulldogs in that PF. Bulldogs had 50% more inside 50’s. They should have thumped GWS.

      I thought maybe it was an anomaly, but the Crows beatdown in round 1 proved otherwise. We were seeing the continuation of a trend.

      • February 13th 2018 @ 9:45am
        I ate pies said | February 13th 2018 @ 9:45am | ! Report

        Well put, yet again, anon. The key problems are the coach, the backline and the forward line. When they’re putting Ryan Griffen forward as a back flanker, even though he’s spent his whole career in the midfield, then they’re in trouble. Deledio will surely play in the back line, but he won’t get through season. They will seriously lack run off the back line this year.
        Then there’s the forward line – too tall, can’t lock the ball in.
        Then there’s no Mumford – he and Ward were the heart and soul. The midfield will suffer significantly without him. He’s by far their biggest loss in the off season.
        Anywho, suck eggs. I hope they finish last. They won’t, but they have too many holes to challenge for the flag.

      • Roar Guru

        February 13th 2018 @ 4:47pm
        Paul D said | February 13th 2018 @ 4:47pm | ! Report

        Funny, I had a look at the article after that game, and you’re nowhere to be seen.

        SmithHatesMaxwell was all over that article though. I guess it’s nice you can actually admit you post as different people

    • February 13th 2018 @ 7:58am
      Harsh Truth Harry said | February 13th 2018 @ 7:58am | ! Report

      The simple thing is with their list I wouldve coached them to 2 flags already. Cameron can’t coach folks.

      • February 13th 2018 @ 2:48pm
        Jimmy said | February 13th 2018 @ 2:48pm | ! Report

        But how would you have overcome the biased one-sided umpiring in last years final against Richmond to get in the GF?

        • February 14th 2018 @ 7:49am
          Harsh Truth Harry said | February 14th 2018 @ 7:49am | ! Report

          Don’t agree with this pro Richmond umpiring conspiracy. The Tigers belted all and deserved their flag but this year they come up against Big harry’s super quick Bombers! I will concede the Doggies got the rub of the green against the Swans though in 2016!

    • February 13th 2018 @ 8:22am
      truetigerfan said | February 13th 2018 @ 8:22am | ! Report

      Yeah, fair call Lucas. FWIW I, too, think their lack of depth will hurt them this year. Would love a Premiership for Lids but lower reaches of the 8 at best for mine.

      • Roar Guru

        February 13th 2018 @ 8:40am
        AdelaideDocker said | February 13th 2018 @ 8:40am | ! Report

        Yeah, largely agree with that, ttf. I think mid-top eight sounds about right, but I’m concerned about their lack of depth.

        A premiership for Deledio would be quite nice, wouldn’t it?

        • February 13th 2018 @ 9:56am
          truetigerfan said | February 13th 2018 @ 9:56am | ! Report

          Absolutely. I’d be stoked for him.

          • February 13th 2018 @ 3:14pm
            Harsh Truth Harry said | February 13th 2018 @ 3:14pm | ! Report

            He is quite small Deledio. I chatted to him at an EFL final a year or two back and he is quite a small fella up close. Big H had him well and truly covered!

      • February 13th 2018 @ 9:47am
        I ate pies said | February 13th 2018 @ 9:47am | ! Report

        Why do people type whole sentences, except for one small phrase for which they use an initialism? Deadset, it takes about 4 seconds to type for what it’s worth.
        But more to the point, suck eggs to Deledio. He chose to jump ship rather than be loyal. He doesn’t deserve a premiership.

        • February 13th 2018 @ 4:27pm
          AD said | February 13th 2018 @ 4:27pm | ! Report

          The same way Prestia, Hampson and Nankervis didn’t deserve a premiership after jumping ship rather than being loyal to their old clubs?

          As Clint Eastwood said, “Deserve’s got nothing to do with it”.

          • February 14th 2018 @ 8:30am
            I ate pies said | February 14th 2018 @ 8:30am | ! Report

            They weren’t long term servants who left for the sole purpose of chasing a premiership. Big difference. Deledio is a traitor.

            • Roar Guru

              February 14th 2018 @ 10:36am
              Paul D said | February 14th 2018 @ 10:36am | ! Report

              Oh come on, Lids is a great servant for Richmond.

              He sped them up by leaving and he slowed GWS down by arriving

    • February 13th 2018 @ 9:44am
      me too said | February 13th 2018 @ 9:44am | ! Report

      Can’t disagree with the above points. Need a bit of mongrel in them – that willingness to go beyond the threshold and dig deeper and harder. You can’t do that by simply adding a player like stevie j – almost all of them need it. Callan Ward has it and to me is still their most important player. Kelly has developed it. Toby Greene stands out as one of the few individuals in the team – bless his mongrel heart. Too many other don’t step beyond when the pressure is on. Cameron too vanilla, and has developed a team able to play their roles, but not caring to improvise and impart their own personalities into their game.

      • Roar Guru

        February 13th 2018 @ 4:58pm
        Dalgety Carrington said | February 13th 2018 @ 4:58pm | ! Report

        Wasn’t “mongrel” the pod (just for you ihp) with the Suns?

    • February 13th 2018 @ 9:49am
      Pope Paul VII said | February 13th 2018 @ 9:49am | ! Report

      Their exclamation marks are pretty formidable.


      They should romp into top 4.

      • February 13th 2018 @ 10:35am
        I ate pies said | February 13th 2018 @ 10:35am | ! Report

        Davis is the worst captain in the league. A captain needs to be strong and assertive and lead from the front, not be a hipster who’s more concerned about his man-bun than being a leader.

    • Roar Guru

      February 13th 2018 @ 9:55am
      mds1970 said | February 13th 2018 @ 9:55am | ! Report

      Even with a worse injury toll than most, the Giants still made the top 4 last year. Should they have a run of injuries closer to the AFL average in 2018, the Giants have a list that’s capable of going all the way to the Grand Final. Write them off at your peril.

      • February 13th 2018 @ 10:35am
        I ate pies said | February 13th 2018 @ 10:35am | ! Report

        Their injury toll was overstated. They had most of their players available by mid year.

        • February 13th 2018 @ 2:38pm
          Christo the Daddyo said | February 13th 2018 @ 2:38pm | ! Report

          Just because someone becomes available halfway through the season doesn’t mean they will be performing anywhere near their full potential. Even missing a pre-season, but technically on the park for Round 1 often means a compromised output for many players.

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