Greene to lead young Giants in MCG return

AAP logo AAP 9/04/2021 04:35:56 Murray Wenzel
a close up of a man holding a ball: Toby Greene will captain the Giants against Collingwood in the absence of Stephen Coniglio. © Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOSToby Greene will captain the Giants against Collingwood in the absence of Stephen Coniglio.

Leon Cameron views a return to the MCG for the first time since their 2019 grand-final loss as a "great moment, great opportunity" for his struggling GWS side.

The coach insists they won't let bulk injuries to key players destroy their season.

The Giants play Collingwood on Saturday night, the side they valiantly upset to make that decider before Richmond upstaged them on their home track a week later.

Much has changed since, with the Giants 0-3 and without captain Stephen Coniglio (ankle) and fellow leaders Matt de Boer (hamstring) and Phil Davis (calf).

"Expectation are always going to be there ...  (but) we know the situation we're in and we've probably got nine or 10 of our best 22 out and a lot of those are mature players," Cameron said.

"So we're being really honest with ourselves where we're at.

"It's next man up (approach) and we've got that situation this weekend; we're treating this is as a really great moment, great opportunity for our footy club.

"They can't wait to get on the plane, take another step forward, play a good strong brand and take it right up to Collingwood."

Drafted at pick 15 last year, Conor Stone will be the Giants' third debutant of the season and is set to wear the departed Jeremy Cameron's No.18 jersey and provide punch on the wing.

"He comes with great speed, power and agility and a great kick as well that will add to our outside game," Cameron said of the 18-year-old.

Toby Greene will captain the side in Coniglio's absence and has been encouraged to "just be Toby".

"Right now I see a really good balance of having the side underneath him, playing good footy, leading from the front and passing on some of the experiences of his early years when he was a young fella at the Giants," Cameron said.

"I don't want him to overstretch and look for things that are not there; he needs to be himself."

Collingwood watched as Brisbane's Zac Bailey kicked a goal after the siren to beat them last week, with Beau McCreery likely to play after spectating as the unused injury substitute in what was officially his debut.

Meanwhile former Fremantle and Melbourne key forward Jesse Hogan (quad) will play a practice match for the Giants on Friday and is eyeing an AFL return within the next few weeks.

"He's in a good headspace, done his rehab well and he's fit but he'll need that footy fitness starting from today," Cameron said.

"Whether that takes a couple of weeks we don't know, but we're looking forward to seeing what he does."

9. huhtikuuta 2021 7:35:56 Categories: AAP

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