AFL 2021: GWS Giants have to turn to youth after another heavy list of injuries
GWS will look at blooding two 18-year-old debutants next Saturday night against Collingwood as it looks to combat an injury crisis.
Coach Leon Cameron said injuries to Phil Davis (calf), Stephen Coniglio (ankle) and Matt de Boer (hamstring) in Sunday’s loss to Melbourne would open the door for young players.
While Cameron was reluctant to put a timeline on the three injuries, with scans to determine their severity, the quick turnaround before facing the Pies guarantees all three will miss the clash.
“The guys who didn’t play over the weekend trained really hard yesterday,” Cameron said.
“(Jake) Riccardi is probably just about ready to resume again back from an ankle, Conor Stone is really pressing his case, and Ryan Angwin, and that’s just to name a few.
“There are a lot of young fellas there that want to play footy and with those three injuries, you’d think they’d be out next week, there are three players that have to come in.
“Guess what, they get a great opportunity at the MCG next Saturday night.”
The three injured Giants – Stephen Coniglio, Matt de Boer and Phil Davis. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/AFL Photos/via Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Jesse Hogan got through training for the Giants, but Cameron stopped short of saying the former number one draft pick would be an inclusion, while Jeremy Finlayson is in a similar position after being left out of the first three games to find form.
Coniglio will be dreading the next time he sees the Dees on the fixture list after famously being dropped last season for the game and suffering the ankle injury on Sunday night.
Cameron said the Giants’ skipper was emotional in the rooms and he felt he was getting back to his best.
“It’s a tough game and he started really well and then that happened,” Cameron said.
“Cogs was emotional, it’s an emotional game because you don’t like to see your captain down, let alone Phil and Dutchy as well.
“You want your leaders out there leading your young group through some challenges.
“I feel for him because he’s had a tough 12 months and was on his way back, but in true Coniglio fashion, he’ll bounce back.”
The GWS coach said he was impressed with the way his young backline handled the absence of Davis after he suffered the calf injury in the second quarter.
“There was probably about 120 games between the seven of them after Phil went down,” he said.
“I thought Connor Idun took a step and Jack Buckley had to leave his post and play centre half-back.
“They’re all learning their craft and at times we got it right and at times Melbourne’s defence foiled us and forced us down the line, which meant Gawn can mark, but it’s all part of learning.”
Source: Read Full Article