IF you stood Zac Williams alongside the game's premier midfielders, you wouldn't peg him to be one of the League's best clearance players.

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Listed at 185cm and 84kg, Williams is dwarfed by superstars like Marcus Bontempelli, Patrick Cripps, Dustin Martin and Patrick Dangerfield.

However, the Greater Western Sydney defender has been a stoppage specialist when thrown onball late this season, and depending on his role in Saturday's Grand Final against Richmond, he looms as a dangerous weapon for the Giants.

Zac Williams has become a midfield bull for Leon Cameron's side. Picture: AFL Photos

Coach Leon Cameron turned to the 25-year-old – and star forward Toby Greene – to fill the void with Josh Kelly, Stephen Coniglio, Callan Ward and Matt de Boer unavailable, and he averaged a staggering 7.6 clearances in the five games he played predominantly in the midfield.

That included 10 in last week's thrilling preliminary final win over Collingwood.

Williams laughed when AFL.com.au asked him how he's become so effective in clearance situations this year, and revealed he's been studying the very best to hone his craft since he was in his teens.

"I watched a lot of videos of Shaun Burgoyne when he was playing at Port Adelaide," he said.

"They used to call him 'the clearance king', so I watched his highlights to see what he did in congestion and at stoppages.

"I don't know what it is, I just love putting my head over the footy and trying to get my hands on it."

Williams played an outstanding role against the Pies with best mate Lachie Whitfield (appendix) and Greene (suspension) missing, amassing 25 possessions, 16 of those contested, and adding a crucial goal in the Giants' victory.

I just love putting my head over the footy and trying to get my hands on it - Zac Williams

"There's not many players that could fill Lachie's shoes in the position he plays because he's got a massive motor and he's a power runner, which I'm not," he said with a laugh.

"The fact that I got to play in the midfield on the biggest stage in Australia, I absolutely loved it.

"It was pure excitement, I just wanted to go out there and play."

One of the Giants' most popular players, Williams was the first GWS academy player to debut for the club, and when he lined up against Brisbane in this year's semi-final at the Gabba, he was the first to play 100 games.

Unlucky to be left out of this year's Virgin Australia AFL All Australian squad, the boy from Narrandera in country NSW has been one of the competition's best rookie-list success stories.

It might not have happened had inaugural GWS coach Kevin Sheedy not pushed for the Giants to select the powerful, yet by his own admission, "slightly chubby" speedster.

"I didn't expect too much when I was a kid playing in Narrandera," he said.

"Obviously I wanted to get drafted but when that didn't happen, I started thinking about getting a trade or going to uni or something like that.

"It was 'Sheeds' who gave me my opportunity, and I messaged him before the Brisbane game last week to thank him.

"I'm so grateful to be playing in an AFL Grand Final.

"Seven years ago, I was finishing school and living in Narrandera, now I'm playing in one of the biggest games in the world.

"The pubs back home will be packed.

"I've got so much support back there, and I got a text message from just about everyone who lives there after last week's win.

"It's incredible."