Toby Greene after Greater Western Sydney's loss to Adelaide at Adelaide Oval in round 16, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

GREATER Western Sydney is refusing to wane on its belief that they can figure in premiership calculations, but captain Toby Greene admits that the frustrations of their recent form slump are starting to come to the surface.

Saturday night's 16-point defeat to Adelaide was the Giants' sixth loss in eight games, and after pumping their chest about their premiership aspirations from the start of pre-season, they now sit in 10th place with eight games left before finals.

Their performance against the Crows once again lacked the fanatical pressure that the Giants had for such a large part of last season, with Adelaide kicking seven goals to one in the second term to take the game away from them.

"The seasons getting pretty crucial now, we're well aware of that. It's happened two weeks in a row now having consecutive goals kicked against us, it's really disappointing, especially as a captain," Greene told

"Everyone wants to win and be part of something special as much as ever. We're just down on form, down on confidence and sometimes it's hard to get yourself out of that but I wouldn't say our desire or determination has wavered."


Greater Western Sydney's dramatic drop off - not only from its preliminary final run last year but also the early part of the season where it won its first five games - is alarming and has raised questions as to whether mental fatigue is starting to show in their performances.

"The mental drain of the season is real and it might be down for a week or two here or there but it can't be down for as long as we've been," Greene said.

Giants vice-captain Josh Kelly said it was "unrealistic" to expect the side to always have the same momentum.

"We're going through that patch where things aren't easy, it's a defining part of our season, we've just got to roll with that, understand that's part of it, hold each other accountable to a high standard and hopefully come out the other side," Kelly said.

With three goals and 16 disposals against Adelaide, Greene had one of his best games for the season.


But in a year where he's become a father for the first time and his side's form has waned dramatically, Greene, along with coach Adam Kingsley, are learning a lot about leadership in their second years in the role.

"Georgia (Greene's partner) cops the sleep issues (with a newborn) more than me, I've been fine," Greene said.

"I feel really good, my body feels good, I'm just trying to ensure we get going.

"It's probably something I haven't experienced in my time (as captain), dealing with expectations, dealing with players who are stressed. That's different, but we're well aware of what we need to do.

"He's (Kingsley) probably frustrated with us and frustrated with how we're going but it doesn't show come Monday. We speak openly about what's happened and acknowledge how we need to get better."


Fading confidence is not ideal for the Giants ahead of a Saturday night test at Engie Stadium with second-placed Carlton, who has won its last five games.

Young forward Aaron Cadman looks set for a recall in attack, likely for Max Gruzewski, while speedster Darcy Jones may also win a spot after a strong VFL performance.

Xavier O'Halloran and James Peatling are others who will come into the mix.


Forward Callum Brown, who has only kicked two goals in four games since returning from suspension, may be in danger of losing his spot as he looks to recapture his early-season form.

"It's as big as it gets (playing Carlton). They're flying," Kelly said.

"They bring a lot of pressure around the footy, they've got the two big key forwards, they're strong down back, so they're a pretty complete team.

"If we want to have that belief in ourselves (that they can still challenge for the flag), these games are the ones that really matter."


Greene agreed, saying it was a "huge" game for the club in the context of their season.

"We know the enormity of it," he said.

"I wouldn’t say it's be-all and end-all here, but it's an extremely important game."