Healthier Giants looking for more consistent season

ONE thing that was not the friend of the GWS Giants last year was injuries, with many key stars missing large chunks of Season 7.

But thankfully for GWS fans, Giants’ assistant coach Lloyd Perris confirmed that the likes of Rebecca Beeson, Pepa Randall, Chloe Dalton and Fleur Davies are all ready to go for the start of this season.

“We obviously had a fair share of injuries last year, but Bec, Pepa, Chloe and Fleur are all right to go,” Perris said.

“They’ve done the majority of preseason, played in that last practise match and played really well, so having that sort of experience coming back as well as Fleur who obviously plays a pivotal role in the ruck for us.

“But they’re all good to go and so we’ll absolutely benefit from having their experience and talent back in the team, and Izzy Huntington is another one that will return early in the season. Again we’ve obviously been excited from day one getting her up here, but adding her into our forward line mix will give us another avenue to goal so we’re really excited about having her in.”

Unlike last season the Giants’ injury list is nice and short at the moment, with Annise Bradfield the only major injury concern at the moment and Perris says she tracking well.

Reflecting on last season, Perris said that last season was a frustrating one for those in orange thanks to injuries and inconsistencies.

“It was frustrating,” he said.

“The consistency is something we’re working on, we’ve talked about it and we’re not shying away from the fact that it is an issue we need to deal with, but absolutely it was frustrating because one week we’d perform really strongly and then the next week we’d just didn’t turn up with the same energy and so it was pretty frustrating.

“Obviously it comes off the back a little bit of our injury list as well and not being able to have our best players out on the park, that can impact the consistency out on the park. It was a frustrating season but it was also a really positive one in that we implemented a new game style and we showed it can work if we executed it so there were plenty of positives to take out of the season as well.”

Looking ahead to this season, Perris said that this preseason was a very positive one for his charges.

“Preseason’s obviously second season with Cam Bernasconi in charge so I guess we implemented a new game style last year,” he said.

“This preseason is all about adding layers and a bit more detail and accountability to that gameplan. So we had a few injury niggles throughout the preseason which meant at times we didn’t have everyone on the track, but we’re still really confident and proud of the way we attacked the preseason and the work we were able to put into implementing that game plan.”

There have been plenty of faces that have impressed on the track so far this preseason, with Zarlie Goldsworthy, Tarni Evans, Ally Dallaway and Nicola Barr all drawing praise from Perris.

Heading into 2023 there is one massive challenge the Giants have to take on, trying to fill the hole that the retirement of Cora Staunton leaves in their forward line.

However, Perris confirmed that there is certainly something in the works to counter that problem

Obviously she was a fantastic player,” Perris said. “I think all teams that score a lot of goals it’s built on system and it’s built on forwards that can work together, and we’re really excited about the way that our forwards have been doing that through the preseason.

“Obviously Izzy Huntington and Georgia Garnett forming a combination early in the season really excites us. We know Izzy can score goals and Georgia Garnett has been working hard to kick more goals, and obviously with Zarlie Goldsworthy and Alyce Parker both spending time through that forward line is really exciting and gives us a really great target up forward.

“We’ve also brought in Caitlin Miller who is a goal kicking small forward from the Gold Coast, so look there’s a number of avenues to goal for us. We like the idea that we’re going to have multiple threats up there and hopefully it’s a system that can work really well together and anybody can pop up and kick goals.”

The Giants are set to get their 2023 campaign underway on Sunday with a Sydney Derby against crosstown rivals the Swans.

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