Adam Kingsley and the Giants players look on during the official team photo day at the VAILO Community Centre on February 13, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Ins and outs


Joseph Fonti (No.44 draft pick), Phoenix Gothard (No.12 draft pick), James Leake (No.17 draft pick), Harvey Thomas (No.59 draft pick, Academy), Nathan Wardius (Category B rookie, Academy)


Phil Davis (retired), Cameron Fleeton (delisted), Matt Flynn (free agent, West Coast), Jason Gillbee (delisted), Daniel Lloyd (retired)

Medical room

The Giants were flying fitness-wise but issues have hit as the season nears. Finn Callaghan suffered a shoulder injury at training, sidelining him for the practice matches and casting doubt over his Opening Round availability. Harry Perryman and Isaac Cumming will miss the season opener with a hamstring and quad issue respectively. ACL victim and inaugural Giant Adam Kennedy is the only long-term sidelined player at this stage and he's slated for an April return at the earliest. Braydon Preuss has been on a modified program at times as he manages his back issues while 2021 first round pick Leek Aleer has had some minor disruptions.

Three burning questions

Is it Green Machine time?
This is still very much Toby Greene's team but 2024 looms as the season for Tom Green's enormous impact on all at GWS to be noticed further. The midfield beast led the League last season in disposals and contested possessions per game and was 10th for score involvements. They are already elite numbers but as he moves into his fourth season, this may just be the campaign that elevates the Canberra native into rarefied AFL air. If he stays fit, he's a serious Brownlow chance.

Tom Green during Greater Western Sydney's training session on February 9, 2024. Picture: Phil Hillyard

Can they handle expectations?
The Giants' surge in 2023 caught many from the outside by surprise and by the time the opposition realised just how good this team was, GWS had too much momentum to be stopped. The Giants won 11 of their last 14 games of the season including two away finals. This year, they'll have a target on the back from Opening Round and the expectations and pressure on this group in just their second season under Adam Kingsley will be a challenge to overcome.

Can Aaron Cadman elevate?
It's handy when you miss out on a Grand Final by a point and have a No.1 draft pick who couldn't make the team. If Aaron Cadman can accelerate his progression this season, the Giants' dynamic attack looks even more potent. He kicked just six goals in 12 games last year but had some big VFL outings. The pre-season vibes on him are strong. If he can deliver in 2024, he'll complement Jesse Hogan and Jake Riccardi in the key forward posts.

Track watch

Speedy forward Darcy Jones is the first name mentioned by most when it comes to pre-season impressers. The 2022 first-round draft pick was sidelined by an ACL last year but looks to be on track for an Opening Round debut. Toby Bedford labelled Tom Green 'untackleable' during pre-season and others have marvelled at his constant progression. Aaron Cadman has added some size while Jack Buckley and Connor Idun are also impressing off the back of breakout 2023 campaigns. Ryan Angwin and Jacob Wehr are driving each other on as they jostle for a wing spot with Cumming out early and Callaghan in doubt..

Fantasy lock

In a career-best season, Tom Green (MID, $998,000) averaged 110.6 and improved his average by nearly 26 points. Green finished as a top eight midfielder, finishing above some big-name players like Rory Laird and Darcy Parish. Green developed a ceiling and scored a career-high 170 in round eight against the Western Bulldogs with 38 disposals and three goals.

Instant hit

The GWS side is one of the toughest to break into so it's hard to see any of the draftees being in the AFL mix early in the year. Category B Rookie forward Nathan Wardius is one to watch though, he's made plenty at the Giants stand up across the pre-season while Joe Fonti's speed and smarts down back have impressed as well. First-round draft picks Phoenix Gothard and James Leake are slated for the VFL early in the season.

It's a big year for…

Finn Callaghan has all the makings of a blue-chip AFL footballer. The Giants used him on-ball a lot more last season and as he steps into his third year, he looks ready to start taking charge of games. With his big body on the inside, run on the outside and penetrating kick he can be the X-factor in the Giants' midfield. His minor pre-season injury isn't ideal but he's still expected to elevate in 2024 and if so, the Giants will become an even more powerful force.

Finn Callaghan during Greater Western Sydney's training session on February 9, 2024. Picture: Phil Hillyard

Pass mark

Another Prelim. From there, who knows. They're unashamedly after the ultimate glory now. There's a lot of top end youth at the Giants but they'll want to strike as a club while the experienced core of Greene, Coniglio, Kelly, Whitfield, Ward, Hogan and Haynes are still at an elite level. They have the perfect list mix to win a flag in the next couple of seasons. 2024 may just be the breakthrough premiership year.

Best 23 for 2024

B: Connor Idun, Sam Taylor, Harry Himmelberg
HB: Lachie Whitfield, Jack Buckley, Lachie Ash
C: Isaac Cumming, Josh Kelly, Finn Callaghan 
HF: Toby Greene, Jake Riccardi, Brent Daniels
F: Toby Bedford, Jesse Hogan, Callum Brown 
Foll: Kieren Briggs, Tom Green, Stephen Coniglio
I/C: Callan Ward, Harry Perryman, Aaron Cadman, Xavier O'Halloran, Darcy Jones
Emerg: Nick Haynes, Lachie Keeffe, Ryan Angwin