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GIANTS TO STAND TALL Featured
30 September 2019 Posted by 

GIANTS TO STAND TALL

OPINION by PAUL HAIGH, Sports Editor
WHILE the club, which just eight years old, are hurting from the pain of losing their first grand final, the future is bright.

Stacked with many talented young players and a good smattering of experience, the base is there for the Giants to stay a regular finalist in the years to come.
 
Four straight finals series in a row shows their playing roster has much upside.
 
Injuries to key players, like all professional clubs endure in a season, has hurt the Giants, who finished sixth after the 23 AFL round competition.
 
Toby Greene, Stephen Cognilio, Jeremy Cameron, Josh Kelly, to name a few, have plenty of good footy in front of them.
 
With western Sydney's population expanding, the Giants have done plenty of development work in schools and with junior clubs bolstering playing numbers.
 
They have spent the cash to reap the harvest and AFL participation numbers according to the AFL NSW website has grown over eight per cent in recent times.
 
Rugby league numbers have stagnated or fallen.
 
Concord Giants and Penrith Giants players wear the Giants' club colours and are often noticed at home games at Giants Stadium.
 
In the AFL grand finalists have not got a good record in recent years backing up the next season to win the big one.
 
Sydney Swans loss
 
Sydney Swans lost to Hawthorn in 2014 and couldn't get back to the big day at the MCG in 2015.
 
The Swans last won the title in 2012 and made grand finals in 2014 and 2016.
 
This season the Swans with a host of young players, and some aging players, missed the finals, they are rebuilding.
 
In 2015 West Coast lost to Hawthorn but didn’t return to the grand final until they beat Collingwood in 2018.
 
The last team to lose a grand final Geelong in (2008) and to win the next year, (2009), were the Cats.
 
Perhaps too much scrutiny can be made about losing grand finals. Every year is different, playing venues, team rosters, good luck, bad luck, the law of averages.
 
But the Giants can and will learn from the loss, meeting a ruthless Richmond team, with loads of talented players, who has the benefit of winning the grand final against Adelaide Crows in 2017.
 
Over analysising is a dangerous thing in sport and the Giants' greatest hurdle will not be talent or good coaching in coming years, but their mental mindset.
 
Yes, feel the hurt from a grand final loss , but do not let it burn you like a candle can if you put your hand too close to the flame.
 
Over obsessing can create unnecessary stress and tension for a sports person.
 
Clever draft picks
 
The Giants boast a squad with clever trade draft picks, and footballers with many of their best years ahead of them.
 
Now the Giants have been a consistent performer, made the finals the past four seasons, this will be a magnet, for future stars.
 
One of the key pieces of strategy in the Giants camp is to eventually recruit Sydney-born players to rise through their academy and playing AFL.
 
The Brisbane Lions, this season, finished second, after being out of the finals for more than a decade.
 
Ironically, the Giants beat them by three points in the knockout final at Brisbane's Gabba two weeks ago.
 
Brisbane punted on a group of young players three or four seasons ago to develop them for the future and this season the Lions roared - surging into the finals after many seasons in the wilderness.
 
Perhaps this face will not be lost on the Giants' hierarchy.
 
For season 2020, when you cast your eye over the AFL club rosters, premiers Richmond, the Giants and Brisbane Lions, are the three to beat next year.


editor

Publisher and editor, Michael Walls.
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