GWS Giants

Inside Sport - - Team Previews -

If the footy pun­dits are to be heeded, the team from Greater West­ern Syd­ney had the flag won at sev­eral points last sea­son. All ex­cept come fi­nals time, when a gimpy out­fit look­ing less than gi­ant lost to both grand fi­nal­ists by six-goal mar­gins. That blue­print for vic­tory sit­ting in a drawer in Home­bush re­mained un­ful­filled.

The fore­casts will still be down­right ruddy, be­cause on pa­per, it still looks good for GWS. The classes of 2011-13, or the nine first-rounders who form the core of the side, close in or cross through the 100-game mark in 2018, reach­ing that Venn over­lap of phys­i­cal ca­pa­bil­ity and ex­pe­ri­ence that should rep­re­sent the des­ig­nated peak for the AFL’s lit­tlest brother. Josh Kelly (right) made the leap to elite last sea­son, and there’s more young tal­ent to fol­low in his steps.

But the Giants also be­came ac­quainted last sea­son with the os­cil­la­tions of their growth curve: the in­jury toll was re­morse­less, out­ing the likes of Jeremy Cameron come Septem­ber; mean­while, Toby Greene’s livewire play par­al­leled his emer­gence as the league’s res­i­dent heel, and it hard­ened anti-GWS am­biva­lence into full-on dis­taste. The Giants can be at­trac­tive to watch when they get a-run­ning, but their wins are hardly pop­u­lar. What’s a pun­dit to think?

Im­prob­a­ble sce­nario: Josh Kelly makes other plans for Brown­low night.

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