The third part of the six-part series comprises the five players that the Geelong Cats, Gold Coast Suns and Greater Western Sydney Giants could least afford to lose in season 2021 plus an honourable mention.
GWS coach Leon Cameron admits his team’s system broke down in their loss to Sydney and says the club is in danger of being left behind in the finals race.
Cameron said his club lost some respect in Thursday’s shock 41-point defeat.
The Giants equalled their lowest-ever score in the 10.6 (66) to 3.7 (25) defeat at Optus Stadium on Thursday night and Cameron warned his players will be left behind in the premiership race if they continue to serve up “tripe” performances.
All three of their goals came from free-kicks – two of which were dubious.
The result left the Giants (6-5) clinging to the eighth spot ahead of next week’s clash with flag favourites West Coast.
Although GWS won the inside-50m count 52-32 against the Swans, their delivery into attack was so bad that their forwards barely had a sniff.
Cameron said he wouldn’t be sugar-coating anything in a review that will be full of home truths.
“Clearly you guys are not silly and either am I. We are off the mark,” Cameron said.
“We hover around that seven to 10 spot for a reason.
“If we serve up that tripe, then there’s going to be inconsistent performances like we’ve had for the majority of the year.
“With performances like that, if you don’t improve you’re just going to get left behind.
“We need to go back and have a good look at that tape because our system broke down. We’ve got a lot of work to do over the next six weeks if we’re even considering playing finals footy.”
The youthful Swans were meant to be easy beats, but it ended up being GWS who barely fired a shot during the match.
“We lost a bit of respect as a footy club tonight,” Cameron said.
“We let our supporters down, and we’re the only ones that can turn it around.
“We don’t look back on this game fondly, but we’re not going to shove it under the carpet, we’re going to look at it head-on in the next 48 hours.”
As for what he needs to fix ahead of their clash with West Coast?
“Where do you start,” Cameron said.
“Clearly front end is not great, entries are not great, the starts of the game are not great, connection and synergy is not there. You could go on.”
The Giants were on a three-match winning streak heading into the derby against Sydney.
But if Thursday’s display is any guide, last year’s grand finalists are a long way off being considered a premiership contender.
“We were ambushed early and we didn’t respond,” Cameron said.
“That’s on me clearly as the coach and the 22 that played.”