Season 2018 - Greater Western Sydney


Coach – Leon Cameron

Points For – 6th
Points Against – 5th

Top 5 Best and Fairest

  1. Josh Kelly
  2. Callan Ward
  3. Phil Davis
  4. Dylan Shiel
  5. Tom Scully

2017 Rising Star Noms

Tim Taranto (Rnd 8)

Ins – Lachlan Keefe, Aiden Bonar, Brett Daniels, Sam Taylor, Zac Giles Langdon, Nick Shipley, Dylan Buckley, Jack Buckley

Outs – Tendai Mzungu, Shane Mumford, Steve Johnson, Tom Downie, Joel Patful, Devon Smith, Matthew Kennedy, Nathan Wilson

My Prediction

I think last year I may have picked GWS to basically go the season undefeated as the kicked off their dynasty. What eventuated was a team who were massive front runners and when talent alone couldn’t win the game, they lacked the heart to fight it out.

The backline was just ok. They look to attack a lot from back there. At times when the midfield is being beaten, the team defense falls away. It isn’t uncommon for teams to get a run on against GWS. They have talent back there. Davis, Corr and Tomlinson give them a good base. I wonder if Heath Shaw is still a best 22 player. He looked like he was struggling in the second half of last year.

The midfield is chock full of talent. They cant lack grunt at times and there looks to be too many down hill skiers in the team but it isnt a lack of talent that is the issue. Josh Kelly announced himself last year as elite and was one player who could turn a game. When you throw in Coniglio, Sheil, Ward and Scully then you have a formidable unit.

The forward line looked to have sorted out the structure towards the end of the year. Once Lobb moved into the ruck, I thought the whole thing looked much better. It created space for Patton and Cameron, who looked much more dangerous. It also gave the smalls space to work. They placed too much faith in the aging legs or Johnson last year and the injured legs of Deledio. If Deledio is fit this year he will be fantastic, if not he shouldnt play. Greene is a superstar but he needs small forward support.

Lobb looks a much better option in the ruck for the Giants but I was still surprised to see them let Mumford go. If Lobb gets injured then they look very thin for ruck stocks. I am not sure Dawson Simpson is the answer.

From a coaching perspective I think the jury is well and truly out on Cameron, he looked short of answers last year, with the talent at his disposal they need to challenge this year. They need a relatively serious adjustment of game plan to be a genuine threat so will be interesting to see what they look like early in the season. They are a top four team, should be a challenger.

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They’ve lost Z Williams for the season most likely which is a major setback as Williams’ contributions accross half back last year were elite. They traded N Wilson (I think) who also provided a similar precision delivery service from half back although not as well as Z Williams. Puts a lot of pressure on H Shaw to improve on his 2017 output but it’s hard to see him getting better at this stage of his career. GWS will likely have a suitable replacement for Williams secreted away in its NEAFL side but he will be a big loss. They can’t afford too many more hits to key personnel either as they need as many experienced players on the park at the same time as possible to maximise their chance of success this year.


Flag favourite

Will finish 1st at the end of the home and away season

Last year #2 in hitouts and #1 in clearances, the loss of Mumford, may take the shine off that a bit, but they should be top 4 in this area.
But GWS are relatively poor in contested marking power. (#14) Blank out any 2 of Patton, Greene and Cameron, and they will rely on mids to kick a winning score.
I am thinking about 4th

I don’t think they will be as strong as last year.


On paper I agree. But they still have shitloads of talent so if the coaches sort their ■■■■ out, they could still make the jump to a GF

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Totally agree with you there WOB. I think that their best chance for a flag slipped past them in 2016 and were shown up as being soft once Sheil went down in the Prelim last year against the Tiges when he and Josh Kelly had them well and truly in the game.

And Diggers is correct when he says the loss of those two half backs are going to hurt them immensely. Both Williams and Wilson have been outstanding attacking defenders with more than serviceable disposal between them. Most clubs would be happy to have at least one guy, let alone two, that could produce what these two were producing for the Giants in the last few years.

Lobb is a very good talent but from what I’ve seen of him his best work is done in the forward line and is not as dominant in the ruck as Mumford had been for them.

They have lost some serious talent which will hurt their push for a flag for the next few years I believe.
They’ll still be a threat for a top 4 spot but I can see them falling back to about 5-8th.

The worry about them raking in flag after flag has somewhat dissipated IMO. They’re still going to be a very good side in the next few years or so but not sure that they will snaffle a flag anymore in that period.

Half backs are really important. Sorry, half backs with good disposal are really important. That’s a big hit to GWS’ chances. You can see why Essendon went after Saad with vigour.

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They have structural problems on their forward line that would be fixed offensively if they had Fantasia (but bad luck he’s ours), but the way teams pinballed out of their forward line I’m not sure the defensive problems can be fixed without 2 or 3 new forwards, which they might have stashed away somewhere,
Their midfield is just so full of brilliant 2 way elite runners - Scully, Ward, Shiel (love how he plays), Kelly, Coniglio, Whitfield + 3 more of the best young mids going around - nothing downhill about their mids.
If they can get the team balance right they are still the team to beat.

The majority of good teams in the AFL last season, relied heavily on overlap run and spread from the contest.

Having attacking and fast rebounding defenders is far more important to teams than players that will defend first and attack second.

To break most teams zones, you need to break them with leg speed and speed of ball movement, plain and simple.

This is an area where I think GWS are going to fall horribly short in 2018.

They drafted in a heap of small forward pressuring options. But what they may have fixed there they lost out on with HBF line and have Shaw on his last legs. Could see that Carton reject they picked up late in draft, Dylan Buckley, getting moved to a HBF perhaps.

I find it amazing (and a little ironic) that they’ve picked up a Carlton reject.
But the good news (for those of us wanting to avoid a GWS dynasty at some point) is the number of recycled spuds like this they’ve decided to pick up over the last couple of seasons.
The depth of talent they had a couple of years ago has been thinned out a lot already. Obviously there is still a lot of quality at the top though.

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Anyone got any idea if Griffen will be fit for the start of the year at least? I wonder if a player like him, if fit of course, could go back & play HBF to cover for the loss of Williams & Wilson. The other one is maybe Deledio who played that role at Richmond again if fit.

GWS are such a hard side to pick because they lose so much talent every year but have had such a glut of it you have no idea who the next top 10 draft picks in line will be. Losing Mumford, Johnson, Smith, Wilson & Kennedy would equal disaster for any other club but not GWS -they still have 3 1st round draft picks from 2016 who are yet to really have a crack - maybe Setterfield can come out this year & have a an impact.

On gun mids alone they have to be a contender but can they transition some of those guns into the role players needed to be a great side - thats going to be their challenge.


Quietly hoping they plummet as we have their second rounder in this years draft.


It’s all about injuries for GWS - And unfortunately Williams has already suffered a season ending injury - They are not far away after losing the last two two preliminary finals to the premiers - Have a an excellent top 27 and then their depth falls away - Keep a settled side and they are true contenders.

What they need is a player like Devon Smith to compliment Greene and replace Stevie J.

I’m with Aboods - most important this year is how they adjust their game plan. They have the talent.
They are like the brilliant 16 year old who always excelled at exams on sheer brain power, and is now getting ‘found out’ when hard work and study is required.



Ahh Dylan Buckley and some unproven draftees, how could I forget.

Can someone find the point celebration he did. One of the best

Clearly I was being tongue in cheek earlier…

This is true but clubs who have drafted/traded top quality mids have not automatically had success.
Richmond. Midfield pretty average in 2017 , enjoyed the ultimate success.
Collingwood. Assessed as having the best midfield in 2017, but a journeyman spine.
Geelong. Dangerwood fell short, perceived to have a lack of midfield depth.
Adelaide. Great midfield. See Richmond above, but were minor premiers. Extremely good across all lines .

The jury will consider the elite GWS (great depth) and Geelong ( “The Triumvirate” ) midfields will be under the microscope in the context of where they finish.

Buckleys theory that all you need is the very best midfield is a fail.