Star Greater Western Sydney midfielder Stephen Coniglio has ruled himself out of this Saturday’s AFL grand final after failing to overcome a knee injury that’s kept him sidelined since Round 17.
The 25-year-old needed knee surgery after exiting the Giants’ Round 17 loss to Richmond early and was always a 50-50 shot of returning to the field this season. Those odds got longer as the finals campaign wore on, with the midfielder today declaring he wouldn’t be fit in time for the decider.
“Ahead of this year we lost players, we lost staff, but we never lost belief. That’s why we’ll win it,” he told Giants social media.
GWS general manager Wayne Campbell lauded Coniglio for his selflessness, claiming the decision to not play was his.
“This is a selfless decision by Stephen and typical of the man he is.
“He left it all on the training track today and ultimately he decided he doesn’t think he is capable of playing out the whole game and therefore didn’t want to let his teammates down.
“His decision has the full support of everyone and we know he’ll continue to support the team to the best of his ability as he has over the past 10 weeks.”
Coniglio averaged 27 disposals, five clearances and four tackles per game in 2019 before succumbing to injury. He recently signed a seven-year contract extension with the club, ending months of intense speculation surrounding his playing future.
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