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Giants finalise 17-year-old signings

Michael Rogers  December 14, 2010 1:20 PM

GiantsSquad_246a.jpg

The Giants' squad continues to grow

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GREATER Western Sydney has filled its quota of priority 17-year-olds with the signing of South Australian duo Josh Growden and Jarrod Harding.

Both youngsters have already made the move from SANFL club Woodville-West Torrens to Sydney, where they will live with the rest of the Giants' playing group at Breakfast Point.

Growden, a versatile midfielder, is a member of the 2011 AIS-AFL Academy squad with fellow GWS recruits Jeremy Cameron, Jacob Townsend, Shaun Edwards and Nathan Wilson.

"I know it's going to be a huge change and a pretty big adjustment but having a good mate like Jarrod coming here with me makes the whole transition a lot easier," he said.

"The main thing now is about getting settled and focusing on my training. In just two months we'll be taking on the Swans and the Gold Coast, which is huge in itself."

Harding, a medium forward who topped the SANFL under-18 goalkicking with 65 goals in 2010, said he felt privileged to have earned his place on the Giants' list.

"There were a number of 17-year-olds available for priority selection with the Giants, so for me to have been given this chance to develop under the likes of Kevin Sheedy and Mark Williams is just huge," he said.

"I'm relieved I don't have to worry about going into a draft with the chance of going to 18 different clubs; I can now just concentrate on my training."

Giants high performance manager Alan McConnell said Growden's leadership potential and Harding's speed and skill rounded out the club's priority signings nicely.

"We’re delighted with the calibre of the boys as players and as individuals," he said.

"They’re pioneers for our footy club and will set the foundations for what lies ahead over the next five to 10 years."

The Giants have now signed 27 players for their 2011 North East Australian Football League campaign, having added six more players in the NAB AFL Rookie Draft in early December.