Main content

Give him a 10-year contract: High praise for young Giant

Footy Feed special: Injuries, predictions, season countdown Nat Edwards and Mitch Cleary co-host from the MCG

HE'S THE young Giant who co-captain Phil Davis covets above all others.

The "special" one.

Greater Western Sydney's priority will be inking long-term deals with Josh Kelly and Stephen Coniglio, but it is first-year midfielder Jye Caldwell who stands out for Davis among the junior crew.

Former Bendigo Pioneer Caldwell, pick No.11 in last year's draft, is considered a chance of making an instant AFL debut in round one after an eye-catching JLT Community Series.

"If I was going to put a 10-year contract in front of anyone, I'd put it in front of Jye Caldwell. I just love Jye," Davis told AFL.com.au at Captains Day on Friday.

"He's tough and he kicked this goal against Sydney the other day off two steps on the run and I was like 'That's special'. Every now and again you get glimpses.

"Don't get me wrong. If Tim Taranto wants to sign for 10 years and Jacob Hopper wants to sign for 10 years, we'll take them as well.

"I think we've seen enough of Tim to see he's going to be a star, but for those we haven't seen a lot, I think Jye is something really special."

FULL INJURY LIST Who's racing the clock for round one?

Davis is also full of praise for fellow 2018 draftee Ian 'Bobby' Hill, who he tipped to make his AFL debut this year.

The star defender is clearly enamoured with national recruiting manager Adrian Caruso's work, and said unearthing bright young talent was the key to extending the Giants' premiership window.

Caldwell, Jackson Hately and co are vital if GWS is to remain a contender, given the Giants lost Dylan Shiel, Tom Scully, Rory Lobb and Will Setterfield in last year's NAB AFL Trade Period.

WHO MAKES FINALS? Do the 2019 Ladder Predictor

"I think what it does is it slightly changes your group, so instead of a seventh-year Dylan Shiel, you have a first-year Jye Caldwell, so it's a bit different," Davis said.

"What it's good for is longevity of success. It's good to spin it over like that.

"When you have young talent, they can really complement a strong core and I think we've got a really strong core.

"People get caught up a lot in what goes out, but if you look at some of the names (we still have), you go (Toby) Greene, (Jeremy) Cameron, (Harry) Himmelberg, (Callan) Ward, Coniglio, Kelly, Taranto, (Lachie) Whitfield, (Zac) Williams. We'll be okay."

Davis remains confident the continual speculation about Coniglio's and Kelly's future – and, to a lesser degree, Adam Tomlinson – will not be a distraction.

The 28-year-old has already made sure to tell both Coniglio and Kelly, who he considers future captains, that they were "an important part of the club".

"I've done it and I'll do it again before they sign, no doubt," Davis said.

"You go out for lunch, chew the fat, see how their life is going and you go, 'By the way'. I don't do a sales pitch. I don't believe in doing a sales pitch.

"They know all the facts, but they need to know they're extremely valued and those two are as valued as anyone at our footy club and it's important they hear it."