GREATER Western Sydney will have its third debutant of the year when the club's third pick at last year's NAB AFL Draft, and No.14 overall, Harry Perryman lines up against Richmond on Saturday.
Perryman is a product of the GWS academy and comes from the tiny town of Collingullie in southern NSW, the same town that produced teammate Matthew Kennedy, who was also the Giants' second pick (13th overall) in 2015.
The pair played together in two premierships for the Demons in their early teens, and Perryman expects to get plenty of support from his home town when the Giants clash with the Tigers at Spotless Stadium.
"There's only about 400 people in the town so they'll probably all be here," he said with a laugh.
Perryman has been in outstanding form in the NEAFL this season, averaging 26.8 possessions and 5.8 tackles per game, but despite the Giants' long injury list, he hasn't quite been able to find a spot in the senior side until this week, after vice-captain Stephen Coniglio suffered another serious ankle injury.
"I knew it was going to be a hard team to get into, there's some great players in this side, so I just had to put my head down and keep working," he said.
"It's pretty special, so hopefully I can just crack in on Saturday."
The 18-year-old has played mostly as a midfielder in the reserves, but is expected to slot into a role as a small defender against Richmond, alongside dual All Australian Heath Shaw, who was Perryman's mentor last year as part of the club's academy program.
"Harry was unlucky enough to fall under my guidance, so we just kept in contact throughout last year and I checked in on how he was going," Shaw said.
"He's been performing at a very high level from round one in the NEAFL, and has really shone under duress, given the amount of top-up players we've had, so he's really stood up and his leadership has been really good.
"He's a natural footballer and that gets lost a lot these days.
"Everyone is looking for the athlete with washboard abs, who can jump and mark it, but Harry is a rugged, country footballer, and he reads the ball really well and he's very, very skilful."
The Giants will also receive a boost with reigning club champion Toby Greene to return against the Tigers after serving his two-match ban for striking Western Bulldog Caleb Daniel in round six.
"We didn't miss him on the weekend but we missed him the week before because we lost," Shaw said.
"He's a critical part of our team and he was in career-best form in those first six weeks. He's a raging bull, he's ready to roll, and after two weeks out he's like a caged animal."