2023 AFL Draft Preview: Greater Western Sydney

WITH season proper and trade period done and dusted, AFL fans and staff alike now turn their attention towards the draft (November 20-21). The chaos has momentarily settled on player and pick swaps, and budding prospects have completed their combines, leaving a nervous wait until they learn their fate.

In the next of our club-by-club draft previews, we take a look at Greater Western Sydney’s (GWS) hand and offer insight into how the Giants may utilise the picks at their possession. On the back of a storming finals run and stable trade period, two first round picks are in the offing for Adam Kingsley‘s side.

LADDER FINISH: 7th (13-10, 107.1%) | Eliminated: Preliminary Final
2023 PICKS: 7, 16, 43, 59, 77, 79, 95
CLUB-TIED PLAYERS: Harvey Thomas, Charlie McCormack (both academy)


The Giants would have been stoked to see Richmond fall down the ladder in 2023, as they now reap the benefit of the Tigers’ first rounder. It currently sits at pick seven, a range which offers great variety and the ability to tick off a few recruiting tendencies in high upside, natural and athletic talents.

Arguably the best New South Wales prospect this year is Connor O’Sullivan, who is likely to be available. The All Australian key defender and Allies MVP may not fill a pressing list need, but would be difficult to overlook as a versatile and mobile tall who can play any position on the ground.

Despite Jake Riccardi and Jesse Hogan firing towards the end of the season, and 2022 number one pick Aaron Cadman sure to be a star, Nate Caddy could add further firepower to the forward line. A powerful 193cm marking target, he would add depth and help GWS’ other talls get off the leash.

Tasmanian James Leake is right up the Giants’ alley in terms of his footballing profile and has jumped up draft boards of late. His versatility and athleticism are both high level, with scope to utilise his aerial nous and competitiveness at either end of the ground or in midfield.

If not the best available talent, perhaps outside run and class is an area the Giants will target. Flying Eastern Ranges wingman Caleb Windsor fits that bill perfectly, as does hybrid midfielder Darcy Wilson. Both are phenomenal and well-rounded athletes who play in an incisive manner.

Harvey Thomas is tied to the Giants Academy | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central


The Giants are unlikely to part with pick seven, but remain open to trading pick 16 at the right price. Ultimately, the plan is to make three overall selections, with two at the top end and one which will round out the intake later on. The third could well be a matched academy bid.

Should pick 16 remain in GWS’ hands, the likes of Harry De Mattia and Koltyn Tholstrup are right in the club’s hitting zone. Both explosive types with high work rate and an appetite for the contest, they too can play in a variety of roles, but will likely settle as forwards who can roll through midfield.

The selection will likely be pushed down the order after academy bidding, so electric West Australian forward Lance Collard may be out of the question. Tall Sandringham Dragons midfielder Charlie Edwards should still be there though, and don’t count out developing ruck Taylor Goad as a surprise bolter.

Of course, GWS will also have to consider a couple of academy graduates. The Giants have a good lot of late picks to match a bid in the National Draft and seem to be of the view that small utility Harvey Thomas is most likely to attract interest from opposition clubs.

The Giants are yet to commit to Thomas or raw tall forward Charlie McCormack, but will assess where any potential bids come in and weigh up their options. Should one or both slide through to the rookie draft, GWS has one Category B spot open. The delisted Adam Kennedy will also be redrafted.


– What kind of player will GWS target with pick seven?
– Will GWS be open to trading its second first round pick?
– Can GWS land both of its academy talents, and will one end up elsewhere?

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