After four straight years of AFL finals appearances, GWS coach Leon Cameron knows it will be bitterly disappointing if his club misses out in 2020.
Near enough is not good enough for Greater Western Sydney with their AFL finals hopes hanging by a thread after Saturday’s five-point loss to Melbourne at the Gabba.
The Giants have slipped out of the top eight with just one home-and-away game remaining against St Kilda next Friday.
Even a win over the Saints may not be enough for GWS to sneak into the top eight, with their destiny now out of their hands.
While Melbourne, the Western Bulldogs and the Giants are all on 32 points, the Demons have a superior percentage and the Bulldogs can move clear of both teams when they play Hawthorn on Sunday in their penultimate fixture.
Having made finals the past four seasons and after their stirring run to last year’s grand final, Cameron conceded a year outside the top eight would be a hard pill to swallow.
“Absolutely. It’ll be really disappointing. You can’t sugarcoat that. It’s out of our hands,” Cameron said.
“We’ve got to play a really good brand of footy next Friday against St Kilda.
“But absolutely, you know we’ve been here for four years in a row and you can’t dispute that.”
Stung by a loss to lowly Adelaide, the Giants made the bold step of axing captain Stephen Coniglio heading into the Demons match.
Cameron wasn’t willing to say if Coniglio would be brought straight back into the side for Friday’s must-win clash against the Saints, adding other senior players were also on notice.
“I understand that was a huge decision for our footy club but myself and Stephen and our match committee understand that he’s been out of form,” Cameron said.
“If there has to be more tough calls next week there will be, because our season’s been like that. We haven’t turned up all the time.”