13/04/2024

Giants coach Leon Cameron confident his side can compete in this year's final series (Photo: AFL)

Greater Western Sydney Giants coach Leon Cameron believes there’s more on the line than just bragging rights when they face the Sydney Swans in the first elimination final on Saturday.

Greater Western Sydney Giants coach Leon Cameron believes there’s more on the line than just bragging rights when they face the Sydney Swans in the first elimination final on Saturday.

Cameron believes while the Swans make for tough opponents, he believes his side is more than capable of being victorious in tomorrow’s Sydney Derby clash.

“I think it goes further than just bragging rights, it means you progress to the next week,” Cameron told media on Friday.

“If we’re good enough we’ll progress and I think we are, we’re good enough to take right up to them [Sydney Swans].

“We understand we’ll have to do an enormous amount right in this game, you put one step wrong against the Swans and they’ll really punish you, so we’re going to have to play 120 minutes of our best footy for the entire year.

“But that’s why you have 22 weeks to practice this and I’m confident we can take it right up to them.”

The Giants coach said he expects a lively battle between the two sides, saying that players from both sides have players that will want to play on the edge during the finals.

“I think finals will always be that way, there’s always players from both sides that they’re energised,” he said.

“They want to get on the ground they want cross the white line and both sides will have a number of those [players].

“They want to impose themselves on the contest as quickly as they possibly can and lead the way for their teammates.

“We know that tomorrow afternoon’s game is going to go right down to the wire and we need to bring what we need to bring because we know the Swans will bring their best as well.”

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Cameron went on to note a number of players in the elimination final clash that liked playing on the big stage, highlighting Giants vice-captain Toby Greene in particular.

Cameron commended Greene’s leadership in the absence of Stephen Coniglio, praising him for his performances which earned him an All Australian selection last night.

“He’s been a wonderful player for us for the majority of the year considering he’s missed a few weeks as well, whether it was COVID and equally when he hurt his shoulder as well,” he said.

“He likes playing in big games but I think if you look across the competition and the final eight that roll out starting tonight there’s players like that at every footy club.

“Whether it be Greene, Hopper, Franklin, Parker, Rampe, Heeney, you can sort of reel off a lot of players that love playing in these big games because the spotlight is just on them for 120 minutes.

“Toby loves that, our players like getting in behind him, especially our front six knowing that he’s giving everything he’s got because he’s got a winning mentality and he just wants to win at all costs.”

Giants will be without experienced defender Phil Davis, having not been selected for tomorrow’s clash.

Young defenders Connor Idun, Jake Stein, and Sam Taylor are all in good form, Cameron says he’s reluctant to change up the backline that has been performing over the past month.

“I understand that people will be looking at it closely because he’s an ex-captain, he played well last week at the lower level where Cogs [Coniglio] played,” he said.

“So he’s ready to go, he’s just in that unlucky territory because we’ve got a back seven that’s gelling really well at the moment and in form at the right time.”

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