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Giants debutant an Irishman to the Corr

James Dampney  May 2, 2013 3:03 PM

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Defender Aidan Corr will replace the injured Phil Davis for the Giants this weekend

IRISH-born debutant Aidan Corr will replace Greater Western Sydney co-captain Phil Davis in the backline for this week's clash with Essendon at Etihad Stadium.

The 22-year-old Davis is the only Giant to appear in all 27 GWS matches so far, but a back injury will sideline him for the next six weeks.

That has paved the way for Corr, pick 14 in last year's draft, to make his AFL debut on Saturday afternoon.

"I had a good run and it's obviously disappointing for it to finish now," Davis said on Thursday.

"But it's a minor setback in the bigger picture and one of the positives is you get to see Aidan debut now.

"I think he's our 40th debutant for the Giants.

"Another opportunity presents itself to a young player and Aidan's a very, very good player and he'll take his opportunity no doubt."

A GWS side minus Davis will have a strange look at Etihad Stadium.

Corr himself will be missing the calming presence of the GWS skipper, although Stephen Gilham should slot back into defence after the former Hawk was dropped last week.

"I'm pretty nervous, especially having Phil out," Corr said.

"He's good on the field, through the NAB Cup he always helped me with positioning and talking to me.

"I'll have to listen to Stephen Gilham, take advice from the boys and go as hard as I can I guess."

GWS is the only team still to taste victory heading into round six, but Davis feels the club has made undoubted progress, particularly offensively.

Through five games last season the Giants were averaging just 54.4 points per game and ended the year topping 100 points just once, in its round 19 win over Port Adelaide.

That figure has already been passed twice this year and the club is averaging a vastly improved 85.8 points through five games.

"Last year we beat the Suns and everyone starts to compare that," Davis said.

"I think we've won five quarters this year already, last year we only won 13, so if you use that as a measure we're far and away ahead of where we were.

"All our offensive side of the game is vastly improved.

"Defence is so important and that's one area we just continually work on."

There was another new addition at GWS training today, Denmark's Aksel Bang, who is the club's international rookie and is currently on leave from national service in Afghanistan.

Bang will watch the side take on the Bombers before playing for the reserves the following week.

"It's been ok, I haven't really been able to play some footy down there (in Afghanistan) because there's a bit of a situation down there," Bang told reporters after being presented with his GWS jumper.

"We've had one kick, there's not really any good players there, there's one other guy in the army who used to play so we had a little kick.

"It's a bit hard to keep up with these boys."

James Dampney is a reporter for AFL.com.au. Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_JD