17/04/2024

The GWS Giants continued to have trouble in season six, with injuries to key players and lack of forward depth a constant issue. Losing their last six games to miss out on finals didn’t help matters, and they will be looking to get season seven off to a hot start.

Last season:

Ninth (Four wins, six losses)

The Giants struggled throughout the season with injuries to key personnel including new recruit Chloe Dalton, Alyce Parker and Rebecca Beeson. This exposed their lack of experience and leadership, which meant they needed direction across the field and lacked composure overall.

Accompanying this was the lack of forward presence with Cora Staunton, the main and nearly onlu source of the Giants’ scoring.

The club leading goalkicker, she kicked 18 goals, which was 40 per cent of their total output for the year. They have looked to address this with recruiting and positional changes this upcoming season.

What to look forward to:

With the Giants, the thing to watch will be the growth from the youth within the team. After a breakout season, the hope will be that Jessica Doyle can be the next key piece of the Giants’ forward outfit.

Alongside her, Georgie Fowler is another young player to watch. She boasts a high football IQ and a lot of confidence in her game. A skilful player that plays well one-on-one, she will be a force to be reckoned with in the forward half.

Arguably one of the best midfielders in the draft, Zarlie Goldsworthy will be rising star material. She is a powerful midfield and forward option that racks up possessions and is incredibly composed during play.

Biggest unanswered question:

The biggest unanswered question is whether the forward line will be strong enough to compete with some of the better defensive line-ups in the league this season.

Versatile utility Haneen Zreika will be playing as a forward on a permanent basis due to her hard running and ability to carry the ball. She will be joined by Georgia Garnett, who moves from defence to replace Rebecca Privitelli who departed from the Giants.

Another exciting player in the forward half for the Giants will be Meghan Gaffney, who is a natural ball hunter with speed.

It will be interesting to see how this new look attacking group bond, and how quickly they can get themselves together as a unit.

It’s a big year for:

With Ally Morphett and Erin McKinnon leaving the Giants, it will be a big year for their talls, including Fleur Davies.

Drafted out of the Queensland system, Davies was one of the most promising key position players in the state. She can play as a tall marking option around the ground as a ruck or down forward.

It is expected that she will be the primary ruck for the Giants, who will look to nurture and mould her as a young talent.

More AFLW Season Previews

AFLW Season Seven Preview: Richmond

AFLW Season Seven Preview: Geelong Cats

AFLW Season Seven Preview: St Kilda Saints

Fixture Highlights:

When considering the Giants’ fixture for the upcoming season, there are no obvious runs at home or away with a steady home and away pattern across their fixture.

A highlight of their season will be the opener against the Bulldogs at IKON Park, where they will see if they measure up to what is expected to be a stronger list and one that might have premiership pedigree.

One of the more winnable games could be the Round 3 game against Sydney, the first time they will encounter an expansion side for the year and the competition’s first NSW Derby.

As well as this, games against the Eagles at home in Round 4 and Round 8 against Hawthorn could prove to be litmus tests.

Full Fixture:

R1: vs. Western Bulldogs, August 28 (IKON Park)

R2: vs. Brisbane, September 4 (Manuka Oval)

R3: vs. Sydney, September 10 (SCG)

R4: vs. West Coast, September 17 (GIANTS Stadium)

R5: vs. Adelaide, September 25 (Wigan Oval)

R6: vs. Carlton, October 1 (Henson Park)

R7: vs. Collingwood, October 9 (Victoria Park)

R8: vs. Hawthorn, October 16 (Henson Park)

R9: vs. Richmond, October 23 (Mildura Sporting Precinct)

R10: vs. Gold Coast, TBC (Henson Park)

Ins/Outs:

Ins: Isabel Huntington (Western Bulldogs), Zarlie Goldsworthy (Murray Bushrangers/GIANTS Academy), Fleur Davies (Gold Coast), Meghan Gaffney (Tasmanian Devils/Ulverstone), Madison Brazendale (Tasmania Devils/Launceston Football Club), Jodie Hicks (Macquarie University), Cambridge McCormick (Eastlake Demons), Tess Cattle (GIANTS Academy), Zara Hamilton (GIANTS Academy)

Outs: Ally Morphett (Sydney), Rebecca Privitelli (Sydney), Erin Lorenzini (Retired), Erin McKinnon (St Kilda), Katie Loynes (Retired), Libby Graham (Richmond), Lisa Steane (Sydney), Louise Stephenson (Hawthorn)

Inactive: Jessica Allan (work commitments), Emily Goodsir (maternity leave), Isabel Huntington (knee), Isadora McLeay (knee)

Predicted Round 1 line-up:

Ladder range:

14th-18th

The Giants are still an exciting team to watch on paper, with a few stars and a lot of youth that will take some time to grow and gel at the level together.

They have lost a lot of talent in the off-season, while new recruit Huntington won’t play due to her knee injury. This means more focus on Staunton and young forwards.

The Giants are at the stage where they will look to surprise some unprepared teams and win some scrappy games, however, they should be out of the finals contention this season.

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