The GWS Giants Complete Update




 Talking Points

After seven games, the diamonds in the rough are slowly starting to shine and the lumps of coal are getting pushed aside. The rotation policy is in full affect and game plans are becoming clearer. In this article I’ll run through some key talking points, look at some stats, and then talk about each player individually. This way, you can make up your own minds as to who the best downgrades are and who to cash out.

So let’s get into it and address some things straight up; as there are many people out their giving bad advice when it comes to the Giants.


Giant Scores?

There seems to be a misguided perception out there that the Giants leak points like a rusty sieve. This leads a few coaches to make their Captaincy choice based solely on if one of their midfield premiums is playing the Giants in any given week. Then there are coaches who play one ruckman over another because Giles and Brogan are “not very good” and “over the hill”. Finally, there is an assumption that whoever plays the Giants will come across a treasure trove of points, and upgrade trades should focus on how many times teams play GWS. Well I’m here to not only contradict that perception, but blow it out of the water.

The three highest scores against the giants are 150, 138 and 127 (x2). All of these (except one of the 127 point games) came from the three matches that James McDonald missed. Opposition premiums* have struggled to really get going against Western Sydney and on average, actually underperform. In fact, of the seven most significant premiums (one from each club [that people would have been willing to start in their teams from round one]) that have played the Giants so far this year, there is almost a 20 point decrease in the actual average of the players results than scores one would expect them to have! See below for the scores.

What of the theory around premium rucks dominating Giles and Brogan? Well ruckmen that have gone up against either Giles and/or Brogan have gone alright, but the results are by no means outstanding, with only two ruckmen passing 100 points. Speaking of points; GWS concede an average of only four 100+ scores per round.

* Premium status is based on expectation and form leading into games against the Giants, not hindsight.



Highest Scorers vs. GWS: S.Selwood 150, R.Bastinac 138, C.Bird & D.Prestia 127

Opposition Premiums vs. GWS: J.Kennedy 94, A.Swallow 94, D.Cox 72, S.Thompson 109, M.Boyd 115, M.Murphy 94, G.Ablett 106. Anticipated Average = 120. Average = 97.7

Opposition Ruckmen vs. GWS: S.Mumford 91, H.McIntosh 106, D.Cox 72, S.Jacobs 66, W.Minson 101, M.Kreuzer 89, Z.Smith 57. Anticipated Average = 105. Average = 83.1.

100+ Scores vs. GWS: 28 in Total. Of those, North Melbourne had 7. Average of 4 per game.


Vests & Rotations

Vests most commonly occur in between half time and three quarter time. In fact, the only Red Vest which has not occurred during this time was in Round 6, due to Brogan’s 1st quarter injury. The average Green Vested player has scored just under 24 points. Sadly, GWS have no Friday night games, so there’s no chance to bench a player who’s named in green. So how can we minimise the damage?

Interestingly, the GWS have not had a single debutant wearing the green vest; excluding Dom Tyson in round one. Given it is now round seven, and there have been a lot of rotations already, it could (note the emphasis on could) be assumed that therefore, players named for their first game are not likely the start their career in the Green Vest. Could! As for who will get the vest, players who have played ‘a few games’ but not cemented themselves in the best 22 are the most likely candidates. Or Smith, just to screw everyone over.

As for rotations, there are sadly no true patterns as to who misses games and who gets the vest. It has been suggested that ANY teenagers in the Giants line-up will not play more than fourteen games this year. If that’s a hard line in the sand then it’s (a) the dumbest thing I’ve heard in a long time, and (b) directly contrasts Kevin Sheedy’s response to a question I asked him during preseason. When asked about rotations, he said it would be a balance between managing player’s fitness, and a horses-for-courses approach. Yes he wants to blood youngsters and not have them burn out, but he also wants to play those who deserve to play.

Knowing this, McDonald missing against the Suns was somewhat expected due to his slower speed against the likes of Bennell, Ablett, Swallow and Rischitelli in the midfield. I had actually called earlier in the week via Twitter that I expected him to be moved out of the middle to the backline due to his lack of pace. Unfortunately he was moved out of the team all together, but that’s better than a vest.

Rotations are based around longevity of players on the GWS list who will be around for ten seasons, or what I like to call ‘future players’; guys who aren’t up to scratch to play every game yet, but will one day be in a premiership side. The management of ‘future players’ can be seen in Treloar being rested due to foot soreness and Cameron for calf soreness. Both injuries were not major issues, but why run risks in a season with nothing on the line? So when trading in (or out) any Giants players, be aware of their injury history, limitations, and if they stubbed their toe the week before.


Fringe Players
I’ll make this short  as there is plenty of information below about each and every player. Miles, Darley, Buntine and Wilson have all had positive showings in the NEAFL UWS Giants team. Clifton and Patton both played their first games of the season last week in reserves, and without being outstanding, they showed good signs that they will get call ups at some stage. Miles and Darley are obviously the two most of interest, and to be honest, the only reason these guys are missing out is because of the depth of talent GWS have recruited. If these boys were recruited for any other team (except Melboune) it’s likely they would have at least worn a vest by now.

The good news is that when a player makes a debut, Sheedy and Choco give them every chance to get runs on the board, and from there they can force their way into the side more often. Thankfully, with resting of players, Miles, Darley, Clifton, Patton, Buntine and Willson all look likely to play a string of games later in the season.

But enough about that; what about individual players themselves?

The GWS GIANTS 2012 List:

Below I have listed all senior listed players for the GWS. I have their current prices, number of games played, average, lowest to highest scores, and if they have been subbed (Green Vested or Red Vested) with those scores specifically listed. I have also given my opinions on each player (except Tom Downie – waste of time). Feel free to counter my opinions; this is the very heart of an AFL Dreamteam community, just try to keep contradictions relevant.

Notes: The only player I have left off (by choice) is Phillips, as I don’t want to draw any attention to him. Not because I want him all to myself (which I certainly do not), but some people need saving from themselves. Don’t pick him, it’s a waste of a trade and he won’t hang around too long. Also, you’ll notice that I have not listed break-evens or positions. Positions you can look up yourself, don’t be lazy! Break evens can be accessed through the assistant coach, and although you have to pay a fee, I highly recommend it. Right, here we go!

Taylor Adams ($186,000)
Games: 3
Average: 78.0 (71-91)
Vested: None

Adams has played well in the three games since his debut in round 5. His position in the side is slowing improving, however as a player he needs to continue to work on his movement to avoid being struck with The General. On five separate occasions on the weekend against the Suns he put his hand up for a handball receive when he was stationary and each time he either brought pressure upon himself, or the team. Many took the chance and traded him into the team for some fast money, however my gut feeling is you won’t be able to rely on him to be on the park later in the year.


Kurt Aylett ($104,200)
Games: 0
Average: 0 (0)
Vested: None

Crippled by a knee injury for the earliest part of the season, and still forecast to be out until the bye rounds, Aylett will likely play late games due to the rotation policy, but otherwise will not be Dreamteam relevant.


Dean Brogan ($330,000)
Games: 3
Average: 54.0 (13-82)
Vested: 1 Red Vest (Rnd 6, 1st Qtr, 13 pts, Injury)

Brogan is at the Giants to take some of the heavy lifting away from Giles in his debut year. He was always going to be in and out of the squad, and his three games thus far is of no surprise. Thankfully, his addition to the best 22 does not affect Giles scoring output significantly. Although Giles has had two of his lowest three scoring games in the same games as Brogan, in one of these Brogan was off for more than three quarters (vs Carlton), and the other Giles and Brogan were against Dean Cox and Nic Natinui, all four of whom held each other out of significant points.



Josh Bruce ($104,200)
Games: 1
Average: 36.0 (36)
Vested: None

A developing key defender, Josh debuted in his only game this year in Canberra against the Bulldogs after Cornes was a late withdrawal. The biggest downside to this speedy Canberran local is his decision making. Given time in the seconds this will improve, and Bruce will continue to get games sporadically.


Tomas Bugg ($298,500)
Games: 7
Average: 76.4 (57-97)
Vested: None

One of the Giants debutants who have been a Dreamteam highlight this year, Bugg (who did not play more than four games last year at NEAFL level whilst he completed high school) is a sharp decision maker, can find the ball, and links in well in the Giants backline. Unfortunately his scoring has dropped off lately and is due for a rest soon. With no Giants teenager being forecast to play more than fourteen games this year, Bugg may not be the D7 lock many teams are hoping for. I hope however he is the exception to the rule.


Matthew Buntine ($161,700)
Games: 0
Average: 0 (0)
Vested: None

Having given a solid showing in the reserves this past week against Gold Coast, Buntine looks set for a senior berth over the next few weeks; possibly as a replacement for Hombsch or Bugg. After an interrupted preseason, he could be a defender who gets a string late games in the season.


Jeremy Cameron ($190,900)
Games: 5
Average: 55 (19-92)
Vested: 1 Rest Vest (Rnd 3, 3rd Qtr, 19 pts, Injury)

In the words of ‘Derm’, “The boy can play!”. Obviously he has some fitness issues to work through, but having missed two of the Giants games through injury (calf) and rest, and once being subbed out, Cameron leads the GWS goal kicking list with 10 goals. A rising star nominee, Cameron will be in and out of the team much of the year, especially with Patton slowly coming back. A bit like Lynch from the Suns last year, as a key position player output will be variable. Too expensive to jump on now, too early to jump off, if you own Cameron, ride the train until you reach the station and then cash that Dartmor boy out!


Stephen Clifton ($121,800)

Games: 0
Average: 0 (0)
Vested: None

A champ at VFL level, Clifton had a massive preseason, a mature body, and was ready to physically hold down the fort for some of his younger team mates. Unfortunately, a wrist injury halted his momentum, and he has been doing rehab for most of the year. He had a run in the two’s last week, and I expect to see him slowly forcing his way into the side. Treloar, Tomlinson and Adams are the ones most at threat asClifton builds fitness and momentum back into the best 22.



Stephen Coniglio ($284,200)
Games: 6
Average: 72.8
Vested: 1 Red Vest (Rnd 5, 3rd Qtr, Injury)

Easily the rookie to get most excited about in looking at the long term future of the Giants, Cogs has slowly been building momentum and earned himself a rising star nomination for his 31 possession game against the suns. At times, Cogs was matched one on one with Ablett, and quite frankly, ran him ragged. Yes he is young, yes he will be rested, but if you still own him, hold him until the best option presents itself in the midfield as either a downgrade or upgrade target. He should go close to an 80 average from here until the end of the season (vests permitting).

Chad Cornes ($347,000)
Games: 5
Average: 88.8 (26-117)
Vested: None

The Chad. Apart from completely spudding it against Adelaide, Cornes has been one of the Giants best contributors (when fit!). At Port, when surrounded by youngsters, he looked old, tired, and uninspired. Phil Davis commented to me recently that since joining the club, the old brigade of Cornes, Power, McDonald and Brogan feel younger and more excited than they have in a long time, and its showing. Cornes is crashing packs, controlling rebounding zones and simply, dominating in a young defence. I still don’t trust him in my team, as I want players who won’t miss weeks, Cornes is a legitimate and dangerous (to opposition) point of difference for your F7 spot.


Sam Darley ($104,200)
Games: 0
Average: 0 (0)
Vested: None

Apart from Thursday and Friday before Round 3 in which Toby Greene was about to take his first price jump, there has not been a more asked about player from the Giants than Darley. Where is he? Breakfast Point, Sydney, NSW. Is he fit? He sure is. Why isn’t he playing? I honestly have no idea. My assumption would be that the form of Hombsch and Bugg have been impressive enough to keep Darley out of the side.

Darley has featured a few times already in the best 22 in the reserves with a strong showing rebounding the ball off half back and he tweeted me that he hopes to make a debut in the seniors soon, knowing he is coming off a good game last week. The good news is that if the forecasted fourteen game limit does exist, mathematically Darley must feature strongly in the latter half of the season. Can you smell a downgrade?


Phil Davis ($277,000)
Games: 7
Average: 63.3 (53-70)
Vested: None

At the start of the season I was told that my analysis of Davis was wrong. I was told he will score highly, rebound often, and be the next Suckling. Davis is a lockdown key defender. His scoring potential is limited to the amount of contests he attends, and he has not got a proven history of AFL Dream Team high scores. If you picked him, congratulations, you’ve picked Darren Glass Mark II. If you didn’t, don’t; he’s Darren Glass Mark II.  This is both a compliment and a negative for Phil. The positive: he leads by example, is brave, and defends very well. The negative: He scores like Darren Glass.



Tom Downie ($98,700)
Games: 0
Average: 0 (0)
Vested: None

I’ve wasted too much time even putting him on this list. Just don’t, okay!?


Shaun Edwards ($104,200)
Games: 2
Average: 35.5 (24-47)
Vested: None

An NT boy with pace to burn, Edwards will be a very good player one day. Until that happens, just avoid picking him in your Dreamteam. At an average of just under 36 from two full games (not sub affected), Edwards will be a slow developer. A pre-season injury didn’t help his cause, and although he will play a few games this year, his focus should be on improving his strength and winning the football.


Israel Folau ($140,100)
Games: 6
Average: 32.3 (4-58)
Vested: None

Izzy will make it. He is a key forward, playing his first season of AFL at senior level (second overall after playing reserves last year) and if the evolution of Karmichael Hunt means anything, then Folau will be a name you better get used to hearing. Big Iz is currently being mentored by Dermott Brereton to speed up his development, and is playing better than a few players on other clubs getting one tenth of the attention from the media that he is. Granted they may also be getting one tenth of the pay cheque, but give everyone a break. He’s an excitement machine, could tackle a tree out of the ground, and is still young. Yes, there are other players on the list who deserve a shot ahead of him, but that won’t happen whilst he brings in the fans. It’s not Collingwood he’s playing for; it’s a club that’s played seven games!

Jonathan Giles ($328,800)
Games: 7
Average: 86.0 (59-107)
Vested: None

“He’ll average 60-70 at most” and “will hardly get a touch when Brogan plays” were comments I heard all preseason. Well I hope an average of near 90 and a score of 101 in the wet against the Crows alongside Brogan will make those know-it-alls sit down and watch the big man evolve. What a debut by a ruckman. Going at an average of slightly more than I had expected (80-85), I stand by my preseason analysis: “Giles is one of the few players yet to debut in the AFL on the GWS who could play all twenty-two games this year, and fatten up as either a nice cash cow, or a safe third ruck option”. In fact, if he keeps going this well, he may just stay my second ruck all year!

Tim Golds ($104,200)

Games: 0
Average: 0 (0)
Vested: None

May get games, may not. Not remotely relevant to anyone in the world of Dreamteam. I spent my time looking at ‘Vested Players’ instead of Tim. You’re welcome. (Sorry Tim).

Toby Greene ($337,500)
Games: 6
Average: 94.7 (54-122)
Vested: None

I am happy to admit that Greene has proven me wrong on some of my earlier criticisms. For those of you who aren’t aware, I publically questioned Greene’s disposal efficiency and physicality early in the season when I was asked if I were jumping on the Greene bandwagon. It should be noted that at no point did I question his ability to find the ball. He is clearly working hard on his disposal, although often tries to play on in situations he shouldn’t, sometimes still turning over the ball. However my second concern, his physical presence and ability to last through the season still exists. Thankfully, we only need him until round 12 at the longest. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very glad to see him holding his place in the side and giving us a solid M7 option until we are all ready to upgrade, but at the game last weekend, my wife asked me who the sixteen year old playing for GWS was. She was talking about Toby. Hopefully Sheedy will do the right thing by us and not vest Toby, not rest him, and let us carry him through to the bye round unscathed. I worry he won’t.


Joshua Growden ($104,200)
Games: 0
Average: 0 (0)
Vested: None

If you have a 2013 AFL Dreamteam watch list written anywhere, like I do, put Growden down on it. He likely won’t be playing until much later this year, if at all, and is a very talented footballer who will likely take a while to recover from his leg injury that has put him out ‘indefinitely’. If you can pick him up at a rookie price next season, depending on who GWS recruit, he’s worth a look. This year however; look elsewhere.


Curtly Hampton ($169,300)
Games: 6
Average: 45.8 (26-77)
Vested: 1 Green Vest (Rnd 3, 3rd Qtr, 26 pts)

Fine, we get it; you want to be a slow developer. Hampton could be a massive star one day with a bag of tricks that could make Dustin Martin blush. It appears however that he still needs to find out how to physically impose himself on contests, and simply can not run free like he did in the juniors. A versatile player, he lends himself to being rested or vested as the case arises, and sadly he likely won’t come into contention for Dreamteam coaches until 2014 – third year breakout?


Nick Haynes ($152,700)
Games: 0
Average: 0 (0)
Vested: None

The number seven draft pick Haynes is yet to break into the team. For coaches, that’s a good thing. He’s a rebounding defender behind Bugg, Hombsch, Darley and Buntine. If he is getting games before those boys (with any consistency), the rotation policy will be one thousand times worse then we’re expecting.


 Jack Hombsch ($218,500)
Games: 6
Average: 57.5 (37-71)
Vested: None

Jumping Jack has been quite solid for the Giants in defence. His rebounding game has been decent and he clearly follows directions well (talk about kicking down the line when under pressure – this guys got it covered). This all holds him in good stead at the selection table each week. I personally attribute the team play and form of Hombsch (and Bugg) to the absence of Darley in the team. Although not a player you would hold in your team due to his lower possession game play, the form of Hombsch is relevant for these reasons.

William Hoskin-Elliot ($166,200)
Games: 2
Average: 50.5 (31-70)
Vested: None

Another future star who just can’t break into the line up. Will is quick, attacks the football, and isn’t afraid to take on risks when he has the football. Unfortunately his reasonably skinny frame and slightly poorer disposal use (compared to the likes of Adams and Tyson) is holding him out of the side. I’d expect him to finish the year with closer to nine games under his belt, but if you still have him in your team, surely a downgrade target is starting to show itself. Stop holding and side-trade.


Adam Kennedy ($204,300)
Games: 6
Average: 64.5 (40-116)
Vested: None

An ability to devastate opponents when running free, Sheedy has discovered that Kennedy is also a magnificent run-with player. Not a tagger so much, but more a ‘first in 1 percenter’ kind of player. Of course, the evolution of this role has seen his scoring output slide in recent weeks, and if you haven’t traded him, start looking at options for when you do. It won’t be long now, and there is no point holding out for consistent tonnes; it just won’t happen.


James McDonald ($241,700)
Games: 4
Average: 91 (84-98)
Vested: None

I was getting married the night Fossil decided to rub himself out for two weeks for breaking Luke Parker‘s jaw. Good thing too, or I would have had to have bought a new TV as the remote flew through the screen. I stand by the call that JMac is not past his prime, and the decision to rest him against Gold Coast was based on speed, and speed alone. His potential to score well whilst controlling other players is amazing, and when he plays, the team plays better. In fact, the top three highest individual scores against the Giants have been scored in the three games he has missed, with Selwood, Bastinac and Prestia all benefitting from his absence. He is consistent and well worth holding onto for your final mid bench spot until he tops out.

Anthony Miles ($104,200)
Games: 1
Average: 89 (89)
Vested: None

A ball magnet, Miles can sometimes be criticised for getting the easy ball only. His efforts against the crows in the wet where he continually put his head over the ball to win possession countered this claim, but not enough to get him a recall. With any luck Miles won’t play again until round fifteen, when we can look at a final downgrade in the midfield whilst he runs out the season covering the likes of Coniglio, Greene and Shiel as they get late season rotations. He is in form, and has racked up quite a few 30+ possession games already in the reserves. Just understand that there is a perception of him as a top-up player, and as such, won’t be reliable come Thursday nights.


Tim Mohr ($204,100)
Games: 6
Average: 55.2 (42-74)
Vested: None

Although at times Mohr can get caught up in play and be out positioned by his opponents, he is proving a valuable player in defence for the Giants. Although mostly Dreamteam irrelevant as an individual, Mohr’s position in the side helps to free up the likes of Cornes and Giles to play a looser defensive role. Expect Tim to play the majority of the year, especially as younger bodies get tired.

Setanta O’Hailpin ($327,200)
Games: 1
Average: 34 (34)
Vested: 1 Red Vest (Rnd 6, 3rd Qtr, 34 pts, Injury)

Poor bugger. For those of you who aren’t across the whole situation; Setanta was dropped from Carlton in what could basically be called a coin-flip decision (that he lost) against Bower. He was snapped up by GWS and offered a one year contract. He fought through injury to get onto the park against his old team in round six, where after offering a decent forward target, ruptured his ACL putting him out of action for the rest of the year. Big Irish then decided against LARS, opting for traditional surgery, in the hopes to be training at full strength by the end of the year to once again fight his way onto the list at GWS. If that happens, he’ll certainly worth a look next year with presumably a massive discount. If it doesn’t, it’s a tragic end for a player who clearly loves the game of AFL.


Rhys Palmer ($306,800)
Games: 6
Average: 72 (41-98)
Vested: None

Rhys is doing a decent job linking up in the Giants midfield. Unfortunately, he is his own worst enemy with his historically questionable kicking (especially at goal) still plaguing him. Showing signs that he can still bust out big scores, he just isn’t backing it up each and every week. It’s hard not to feel that unless he can get that under control, the development of his team mates, and future recruiting could really hurt Rhys in years to come. he problems with smokies, is you can never tell how bright their fires will burn!

Jonathon Patton ($179,700)
Games: 0
Average: 0 (0)
Vested: None

A smokie of a downgrade, Patton will be big. Still a teenager, Jon looks like he has just left the farm in which every meal was corned beef, potatoes and cabbage, and washed down with one of mamma’s chocolate ice cream, egg and banana milkshakes. Put simply, he’s huge! Having had no preseason whatsoever, Patton will take a while to get match fitness, and personally, I really hope they take their time with him. He played his first game against the Gold Coast reserves on the weekend, suffering from cramp, and not making as big an impact as one would hope. A key position prospect, he will take time, and should not be your ‘planned’ downgrade target. If he smashes it for the first two weeks, look at the tapes and see why, and then consider, but otherwise, hold fire. Personally I don’t think we will see him until after the bye rounds.

Luke Power ($407,800)
Games: 6
Average: 82.5 (51-120)
Vested: None

Don’t be fooled by two big scores, Power is not a viable FWD/MID option. He missed round one with a hamstring complaint and has played every game since. When watching a GWS game live, it’s very clear to see the ‘coach’ role in Power playing out on the field. He directs the game around him and can at times show his disappointment in his team mates when they don’t follow the team rules. If there was market on Luke becoming a senior coach in the next ten years, I’d be putting money on it. As for this year, he’ll play when they can play him, and his output will fluctuate, but he won’t be the high scoring Dreamteamer we’d love in our teams each and every week.


Sam Reid ($124,900)
Games: 2
Average: 43.5 (27-60)
Vested: 1 Green Vest (Rnd 6, 3rd Qtr, 27)

Sam is a mature bodied player who after struggling to make an impact at the Bulldogs, was drafted to the Giants (along with Ward) in the interest of physically protecting their younger players, as well as giving Reid the chance to (re)ignite his career. Sam was never going to play every week, and will likely come into contention later in the year for games.

Sam Schulz ($104,200)
Games: 0
Average: 0 (0)
Vested: None

I suspect Schulz will play at some point this year, but we he does, and how often is up in the air. A promising young player, Sam still has a long way to go before securing a regular role in the senior side. At 76 kilograms he has some work to do in bulking up his frame, and not being in the senior side at this stage can only help his longevity.


Tom Scully ($348,700)
Games: 6
Average: 77.7 (44-107)
Vested: None

Scully’s Dreamteam output has not matched the importance as his on-field performance. Tom has been a very important rebound player for the giants, navigating through defensive zones when others appear to be stuck, but he still has a long way to go. Notching up only one tonne this year, it’s safe to say that Scully hasn’t gotten as much of the pill as one would have expected leading into the season. Keep your eye on him, as later in the year he may grow into his leadership role and demand more of the ball.


 Dylan Shiel ($280,000)
Games: 7
Average: 65.7 (36-81)
Vested: 1 Red Vest (Rnd 1, 3rd Qtr, 36 pts, Fitness)

Dylan is slowly starting to live up to the hype that surrounded him leading up to round one. After having no real preseason due to his appendix being sucked out via a tube inserted through his foot (the only explanation for that mystery moon boot which makes logical sense), he celebrated the start of his career by wearing a nice Red Vest. With two scores in the 80’s Dylan is starting to show his potential, but sadly, he is also showing how much he loves to handball (almost four handballs for every three kicks). Hopefully he will learn to kick more over the next few rounds and make some money, as I fear he will be rested later in the season to avoid burning out.


Devon Smith ($271,500)
Games: 7
Average: 71.3 (39-97)
Vested: 1 Green Vest (Rnd 5, 3rd Qtr, 39 pts)

Smith‘s green vest in round five hurt, but if you rage traded him out before his 97 in round six, that would have hurt even more. A handy DPP,Devon(or Fritz for those South Australians amongst us), is shaping up as a handy backup on our bench until a true downgrade target presents. Zorko is the obvious replacement (should he play next week), but personally I will try to hold Smith as long as I can. Highly rated by Sheedy, a full preseason under his belt, and an ability to play forward or through the middle, the short statured Smith has been one of the rookie pickups of the season so far.


Liam Sumner ($139,200)
Games: 2
Average: 43.5 (23-64)
Vested: 1 Red Vest (Rnd 7, 3rd Qtr, 23 pts, Strategic)

Another youngster who will be rotated all year long, Sumner has moments of brilliance followed by long absences of hiding in the shadows. Touted as ‘the next Dale Thomas’ by some of the media at the end of last season (mostly due to his hair), Liam will take a while to live up to that hype. A perfect example of a ‘future player’, the Giants are being very careful with their younger players to ensure they have long and healthy careers. Sumner’s year won’t be this year, but it will come.


Adam Tomlinson ($179,900)
Games: 4
Average: 49.3 (23-70)
Vested: 1 Red Vest (Rnd 4, 3rd Qtr, 23 pts, Strategic)

Tomlinson has been good but not great in his four games so far. Removing his Red Vested score, his average has been closer of 60 this season, but that’s still no comfort if you picked him as a smokie in your starting squad as you’d want closer to 70. Another ‘future player’, Tomlinson is being heavily managed, playing him when they want some extra run, and giving him a rest before he get’s too tired. With a plethora of midsized, young midfielders to choose from, Tomlinson will need some more strings in his bow before he gets a solid run of games on the board.


Jacob Townsend ($164,700)
Games: 6
Average: 44.3 (32-59)
Vested: 1 Green Vest (Rnd 4, 3rd Qtr, 32 pts)

Wow does this kid love to tackle! Slightly over 30% of Jacob’s entire Dreamteam points come from tackles. In six games he’s had 21 tackles and only 50 possessions. All of this means nothing of course unless I throw around the word ‘tag’. Townsend is aggressive, fit, and shuts players down. This is why Sheedy is more than happy to have him in the team on a near weekly basis. Personally I expect a mid-season rest only to come back later in the year, but hey, that’s irrelevant to Dreamteam coaches. After all, if you (still) have Townsend, you probably also own Kerr and Dawson. I’m not saying delete your team, but, actually I am. Delete your team.


Adam Treloar ($217,400)

Games: 4
Average: 77.3 (63-95)
Vested: None

Another hard at it, young midfielder, Treloar was talked up in the preseason and then vanished from radar thanks to a foot injury. He has already been rested since his round three debut, and although his scoring output is great, and he is willing to win his own ball, the question remains how many games he will play this year. The Giants have explicitly said on a number of occasions that players will not be risked, and youngsters are in it for the long haul. Based on that, a foot injury is a glaring red flag. As was his interrupted of preseason. He will be rested, the question is, how often?


Dom Tyson ($183,700)
Games: 4
Average: 46.3 (17-91)
Vested: 2 Green Vests (Rnd 1, 3rd Qtr, 25 pts & Rnd 2, 4th Qtr, 17 pts)

Twice starting games (round 1 & 2) wearing green, followed by being dropped (for three rounds), Tyson, must have been left scratching his head as to where his AFL journey would take him. Another who was heavily talked up by team mates in the preseason, Dom was recalled in round six and is starting to stake his claim for more regular appearances. Against the Suns, Tyson scored a hearty 91 points from his 21 possession game and should be around a few more weeks. As for those asking if he is worth getting in; I’ve heard dumber trades mentioned, but unless you wanted to keep him all year, it’s just not feasible in my eyes. Also, why couldn’t he just be named Tom Dyson as I have spelt just about every time I write his name? I know I’m not the only one who struggles with it!


Gerard Ugle ($104,200)
Games: 0
Average: 0 (0)
Vested: None

Ugle will break into the team eventually, but the drafting of Luke Power meant that he won’t be seen often this year; not early anyway. A pocket rocket defender, Ugle is just too far back in the list at this stage to have any real impact this season.

Callan Ward ($422,700)
Games: 7
Average: 99.0 (54-136)
Vested: None

Ward is easily the best of the Giants this year, both on the field (in real life), and (on the field) in Dreamteam Land. Thanks to two average games (83 in Round 5 & 54 in Round 6) Ward is currently only $20k up on his starting price. This puts him in a prime upgrading position if you have the courage to get a real point of difference in your midfield. Apart from those two games, Ward has score 100 points or more on every occasion with a high score of 136 and an average across those five games of 111.2. As with fellow co-captain Davis, Ward has played every game this season, and should play the rest of the year.

Mark Whiley ($104,200)
Games: 0
Average: 0 (0)
Vested: None

Give him a few seasons. At the moment he is probably at the cinema hanging up with Tom Downie and Tim Golds checking out the latest release. I hear Prometheus will kick ass.


Nathan Wilson ($104,200)
Games: 2
Average: 32.5 (29-36)
Vested: 1 Red Vest (Rnd 2, 4th Qtr, 29 pts)

Wilson is a player around the edges of selection every week and just can’t break back after his poor showings in the first two rounds. Expect him to get a call up soon however after kicking four goals running through the midfield in the NEAFL against Gold Coast reserves on the weekend. UnfortunatelyWilsonwill likely be in an out as much as anyone else on the fringes of selection all year, and is just not a worthwhile option at this stage.


Put simply, there will be no certain downgrade targets at the Giants this season for coaches. At least, not with how much rotation these boys will be managed through. The later in the season a player can debut the better, as it means they’ll more than likely get a late string of games, rather than hit and miss games throughout the season.

But for those who don’t accept that as an answer, here are the players I would consider – depending on circumstances – AFTER the GWS Bye (Round 11). In order:

1. Clifton
2. Darley
3. Buntine
4. Miles
5. Patton


So there you go. Take from this article what you will. Hopefully it will help you understand the way GWS are approaching this year, let you get to know the players better, and help your trade choices for the rest of the year. I’m sure I haven’t answered every question out there, so if you have any comments, counter arguments or suggestions: Post below!


  • first of all.. you chopped yourself out of the picture!

  • The most complete article on the site this year.

    Phenomenal write up Griff, will be saving this one for future reference.

    • This is the most professional, entertaining and interesting article I’ve read on this site. Thoroughly enjoyed it!

  • Ellis ===> Spurr…. Good Trade???? ;-)

    Just kidding mate. Whoa, that is some detailed stuff right there big boy!

    Agree on Bugg. Is due a rest (or worse a vest). I’ll be looking at an upgrade with him soon.

    Great job mate!!!

  • This is the best thing I have ever seen!!!

    I’m definitely feeling some movement downstairs!

  • “Ward is easily the best of the Giants this year, both old the field”


    • On the field. Sorry. As you could understand, proof reading this monster was never going to be 100% accurate.

      • Mate it is a monster! Such a good analysis of one of the most relevant DT team going round. How many words was this?

        I did have to have a bit of a chuckle at the line:
        ‘Interestingly, the GWS have not had a single debutant wearing the green vest; excluding Dom Tyson in round one.’

        Keep up the good work mate.

  • Buntine selected for Sundays game, could be extended bench though.

    • Buntine is confirmed as debuting by the club themselves. He may be listed on extended bench tonight, but he will play. I also expect Bugg to get the week off after bouncing around Ablett and Swallow last week.

  • Great article. Helps to see who has been good and who has been average.

  • Thanks heaps mate for this awesome work, *clap *clap

  • Absolutely AWESOME!

    This is such a detailed and informative article Griff – you have outdone yourself!

    Thanks for the time and effort required to help feed our addiction.

  • Great read but Phillips started with the Green Vest last week.

    • Good point. I guess he’s an exception to the rule as he was rookie elevated specifically to come in, and I see senior listed players separately.

  • Love it! So good to see an article that is imformative, entertaining and relevant. Definitely need to save this article somewhere from prying eyes….

  • you dont know anything about football

  • You Legend!
    I’ll be looking closer at Clifton, Darley, Miles etc now…i might hold off trading shiel for another few weeks.

  • I’m excited about Darley I;ve had him from the start and I am ranked really well. So he will be handy.

  • just because you watch youtube vids, and go on sportingpulse every weekend doesnt mean you know jack.

    “clearly follows directions well (talk about kicking down the line when under pressure”

    no one has any idea what your talking about COACH

    • If you know so much, care to write a similar article?

      • ay dont get me wrong, he should definitely get kudos for this freaking huge essay on the gws youngsters, but seriously. ‘Obviously listens to instructions’
        A) How in the world would this dude know how well jack hombsh follows instructions??
        B) How is this relevant to dream team??

        a betchya he felt so good looking at that word count at the end of that scroller-derby

        • It takes anyone with half a brain to work out the giants are trying to emulate collingwood style of playing along the line football. If you watch a game you’d see who follows the game plan, and who doesn’t. to be honest I thought the article was too long as clearly some people are still working on their literacy skills and don’t like words. Next time I’ll just draw a picture for you bradley, bright colours, no letters, you know, things you could understand. If you have a counter argument, state it. If you have a criticism, post it on your hate blog.

        • Mate you just got your azz handed to you on a verbal platter… bow down to writers greater than you!

    • And your contribution Bradley…is ????? STOOGE!

    • Jack plays disciplined football and sticks to the giants game plan better than most of the defenders in the team. In a team of teenagers who still play a lot on instinct, this holds him above others as the giants are still learning to play. I didn’t go on youtube once for this article and sporting pulse annoys the shit out of me. Let’s hear your analysis of the list and then work out who browses youtube and who knows his stuff. Thanks for your completely pointless comment that offered nothing to the discussion about the players. Go Ricky Nixon yourself!

      • haha the claws come out! dont get offended dude! i just said youtube because i thought the only humanly possible way you would know about these guys that havnt even played yet was either you saw there names on sportingpulse or you just watched their youtube vids. so with those ruled out i assume you saw the nab cup games or your from GWS. NO HATE man

        • by the way ricky nixon myself, haha thanks. have you google imaged his fiance??

        • You sure know how to backpeddle Bradley…….squeezer.

          • haha ay i was just trying to stir a healthy discussion! am i now a pussy???

        • The neafl website is a good source, but not as good as going to the reserve matches. Not to mention following the games last year as these boys have been around for a while. There’s more to football than reading stats. A thirty minute conversation with phil davis also helped me discover who “follows instructions”. But thanks for clarifying your position.

          • yeah man i just assumed like an a’hole that you were just plucking this info from mid air. i reckon it would be interesting to hear from you why you dislike tom downie so much as a player, the average dt’er hasnt even heard of this bloke and maybe next time im sure you could find some rooks from other teams that could be nice downgrades later in the year (guys like docherty, laird etc.) ay man and by the way i was being a hero cause i thought you’d respond and guess what! i just rekon it would be interesting to hear about other guys you like from other teams, or you could expand more on your 2013 team, aish, viney, mcdonald (if hes not a bottom ager)

          • From reading your article it sounded like you had a bit more information that just watching youtube videos and reading a few articles.

            Nice work on a epic article! Valuable information here.

    • Bradley mate, lick my huge metallic balls.

    • You need a bullet….
      make of this what you will…

  • By God. What an effort. Fantastic.

  • Key this year is picking and managing GWS guns – they can be cash cows, trade bait, and/or keepers. Great article.

  • I was thinking of trading Tomlinson to spurr this week but after reading this I’m not so sure… Think Tomlinson will get some more game time soon?

  • What a fantastic article!!

    I’ve watched every GWS game as it’s so exciting watching the players I had taken a chance on for my dreamteam. Obviously an upgrade in a couple of weeks but Tim Mohr has been sitting as my 7th defender. Not a great dream teamer but I love watching him when he does actually get the ball. Either he sends the GWS boys running forward with a perfectly placed handball or he sends out a thumper of a kick! He never leaves the person he is on either. Sad to see him go from the team but I give him major credit as a full back defender.

  • Great informative article! Awesome article, will refer back to this constantly throughout the season!
    Cant wait until Darley finally debuts and is on the bubble..

    Lol, also IIRC isnt our great Irish Pirate mate Calvin a proud owner of young Townsend? Was that a cheeky little ribbing in there for him? :P

  • Sweet Jesus mate. Fair effort, good work very very helpful and informative.

  • great effort Griff!
    Bugg to Buntine in a fortnight could be a possible downgrade now…

  • Awesome stuff Griff! This one definetly has to be saved for future reference. I’m still laughing reading the conversation btw Bradley and yourself. Very funny stuff!!! Thanks Champ!!

  • Amazing article, am hoping that some of those downgrade targets play soon and score well

    Porps/smith to beams?

  • Ummm……, WOW!!! MASSIVE EFFORT!!!…….aaaaand bookmarked!!! Cheers RL!!!

  • When are people trading McDonald?

    I can see myself in a few rounds time trading Old Mac when he’s about 350K

    Or is anyone keeping him as their #6 Mid ?

    • I’ll probly trade him out when he is at least 300k and there is a good downgrade/upgrade option available for me

  • Anybody know when teams are out

    Cheers in advance

    Also cheers for the great read Grif

  • Cheers Griff, one of the best write ups of the year, very impressive. :)

    I have a question about J-Mac. I’m thinking of keeping him all season as m-7, is that a risky plan due to his age, something that might effect his rotation later in the year, should I instead be looking to trade him out at some stage?

    • I’m trading him out pretty soon, purely because of GWS rotations.


  • That is a ripper read RL!!

    Couldn’t care less how long it was. The most informative thing I have read on the Giants all year.

    Great work mate!

  • I have made a 2013 DT watch-list now, after reading about Joshua Growden
    Solid work RL !



  • Well im f**ked, no d smith or Kennedy. And hall has decided to f**k off.

    So my fwd line is in the shits!

  • so why isn’t mcdonald playing this week RL??? grrrrr….


      bugg d.smith and shiel all rested + kennedy, gonna hurt some teams bad!

      Still no couch…lol (the coach hates him)…add arron hall to that list.

      EVERY potential upgrade target named THIS WEEK by GWS….ffs!

  • Devon smith to steve johnson ? or chappy

  • Holy mother of pearl! Amazing man, epic stuff right there. You should have done my english essays when I was at school

  • Fantastic article Griff!
    I, like many, will be filing this great work away for future reference!

  • Went to delete my team as I still have townsend but then I checked my ranking, salary cap and number of trades I have left and realised I am a damn good show of finishing top 1k this year which was my goal preseason…..
    Nice llittle opinion piece mate, great job, you do know your gws players for sure…Not so sure you will have enough trades left to push for the Cruiser come seasons end but you could always write a follow up article to fill the time, maybe offend some young gws players some more, I dunno will leave it up to your intellect to decide

    • Congratulations on your ranking and remaining trades. My condolences for your lack of humour, believing this is a professionally commissioned article for a legitimate news website and poorly executed attempt at wit. Let me know how the FJ handles yeah?