2019 in a Nutshell
The 2019 season was a momentous one for the GWS Giants, with the club qualifying for their first Grand Final after eight seasons in the AFL. While the last three hours of the season couldn’t have gone any worse, to focus entirely on this one match would be a disservice to a tremendous year of overcoming adversity by the men for the west of Sydney. This refusal to accept their fate was on full show in their first three finals with the Giants overcoming the red hot Bulldogs at Homebush before prevailing in two one kick thrillers away from home.
2020 Playing List
|1 Phil Davis||17 Zac Langdon||33 Xavier O’Halloran|
|2 Jacob Hopper||18 Jeremy Cameron||34 Nick Shipley|
|3 Stephen Coniglio (c)||19 Nick Haynes||35 Aidan Corr|
|4 Toby Greene||20 Tom Hutchesson||36 Harry Perryman|
|5 Jye Caldwell||21 Matthew Buntine||37 Bobby Hill|
|6 Lachie Whitfield||22 Josh Kelly||38 Daniel Lloyd|
|7 Lachlan Ash||23 Heath Shaw||39 Connor Idun|
|8 Callan Ward||24 Matt de Boer||40 Adam Kennedy|
|9 Jackson Hately||25 Lachlan Keeffe||41 Shane Mumford|
|10 Sam Jacobs||26 Jake Riccardi||42 Jake Stein|
|11 Tommy Sheridan||27 Harry Himmelberg||43 Dylan Buckley|
|12 Tom Green||28 Zach Sproule||44 Jack Buckley|
|13 Isaac Cumming||29 Zac Williams||46 Callum Brown|
|14 Tim Taranto||30 Matthew Flynn||50 Sam Reid|
|15 Sam Taylor||31 Jeremy Finlayson|
|16 Brent Daniels||32 Kieren Briggs|
|INS:||Sam Jacobs (Adelaide), Lachlan Ash (Murray Bushrangers), Tom Green (Canberra Demons), Jake Riccardi (Werribee), Thomas Hutchesson (Adelaide SANFL)|
|OUTS:||Aiden Bonar, Dylan Buckley, Brett Deledio, Jonathon Patton, Dawson Simpson, Adam Tomlinson.|
GWS open the season with the first ever AFL/AFLW double-header against Geelong at Giants Stadium. They won’t be back in the west of Sydney again until Round Eight, with three trips to Melbourne, two home games in Canberra and a Battle of the Bridge in between.
After their charge to the Grand Final in 2019, they continue their transition to the mainstream with nine games broadcast nationally on Channel Seven and three games at the MCG. With the Swans the only non finalist in their five double up games, they will need to be at their best if they want to go one step further in 2020.
Five Fearless Predictions
Cameron Criticism to Continue.
Despite playing deep into September for the last four years, Leon Cameron has had to endure near constant media criticism about his team’s performances. Unlike coaches like Brad Scott who were near Teflon like in the media’s eyes, any kind of stumble from the Giants prompts much pontificating about whether he is the right man for the job. If we know anything about the AFL, it is that every team will have a low point at some point and it is at this moment that the media will come at Cameron once more.
Giants Midfield to prove their best.
While media speculation pre-season has centred around the strengths of the midfields representing West Coast and Collingwood in 2020, the GWS group has been largely ignored. With the likes of Callan Ward, Stephen Coniglio, Tim Taranto, Lachie Whitfield, Jacob Hopper, Josh Kelly, Matt de Boer and Zac Williams to all spend time in the middle of the ground for the Giants, it won’t take long for this to be rectified. Expect to see this core show the competition which team truly has the best midfield.
Davis and Haynes to receive recognition.
Phil Davis and Nick Haynes, are one of the best defensive double acts in the competition and were vital cogs in the GWS surge the 2019 Grand Final. While Davis was a member of the Pinch Hitters All Australian Team in 2018, he and Haynes are yet to receive the same recognition from the AFL. Expect that to change in 2020, we are predicting that both will receive their first All Australian Blazer this season. We did say we were making fearless predictions here.
Sam Jacobs to prove his wait in gold.
With most eyes on the more high profile movements of Tim Kelly and St Kilda’s wheeling and dealing it might have gone under the radar but the Giants acquisition of Sam Jacobs could prove the most important exchange during the trade period. Having watched the brave old legs of Shane Mumford tire in the back half of the 2019 season, the need for another ruckman to lighten the load was painfully apparent. In Jacobs they have gone one better with the former Crow likely to push Mummy to second ruck status which might be the perfect place for their old warhorse. Already elite in clearances, this improvement in the ruck may well make them even more deadly.
Captain Coniglio to Shine.
For the first time since the club’s formation, neither Phil Davis or Callum Ward will have the little c next to their name in 2020. This annotation will now be next to Stephen Coniglio’s name and we are predicting big things in response from this foundation Giant. Committed to the club for the next seven seasons, we expect the first of this period to be crowned with his first Kevin Sheedy Medal as Giants Best & Fairest.
It wont take long to get a read on the team in 2020 with the Giants coming up against six of 2019’s Top Eight teams in the first eight rounds. If they can survive and thrive through this difficult opening to the season, the world could be their oyster with the run home containing five games against non-finalists in the last six rounds. GWS to finish Top Four.