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'We've just done 1km, we've got 21km to go': Cameron

The Shiel factor a 'beat-up': Cameron Leon Cameron says facing former GWS players Dylan Shiel and Devon Smith was not discussed internally

GREATER Western Sydney coach Leon Cameron has tempered the expectations of his side despite a stunning opening round statement against Essendon on Sunday.

The Giants were never headed once they booted the opening five goals of the game against the hapless Bombers, who failed to fire a shot in the 72-point defeat.

GIANTS CRUSH BOMBERS Full match coverage and stats

Cameron said the hype surrounding the first game of the year always created more exaggerated headlines in the media, and he was keen to remind everyone how much footy was left in this season. 

"I've been in this game long enough to know that we've just taken off on the marathon," he said post-match. 

"If it's a 22km marathon, we've just done 1km, and we've got 21km to go. 

"I couldn't be prouder of our boys because they played a brand of footy that our supporters would be proud of.

"It's obviously great to win round one because you don't know where you sit after the pre-season (games), and we won in a really good manner and were hard and tough, which is really pleasing. 

"But we're not silly or getting carried away.

"We've still got a fair bit of work to go, we know it's only round one."

 

Young midfielder Harry Perryman typified the Giants' intensity against the Bombers, when he ferociously attacked a contest in the second term and was left sprawled on the ground by a Patrick Ambrose bump.

He got back to his feet and continued playing but failed to return to the game after half-time with sore ribs.

 

"He's really sore, but it was inspiring for our footy club that he cracks in that hard," Cameron said. 

"His teammates went to him (afterwards), it's an emotional game and one of momentum, and our entire footy club, whether you're in the stands or part of the team out there, you're really proud. 

"I thought it was a great contest from both players, and they didn't take their eyes of the footy.

"You take your hat off to these boys because our game is brutal. 

"It builds a good culture when you have players putting their heads over the footy like that."

WATCH Leon Cameron's full post-match media conference

Cameron said Josh Kelly is a chance to return for next week's crucial clash with West Coast at Optus Stadium after he trained solidly on Sunday, but no decision would be made until later in the week.

The star midfielder had off-season hip and knee surgery and after initially making it back to full training, missed the JLT Community Series. 

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Big man Lachie Keeffe could in doubt for the trip to Perth after he suffered a knee injury in the opening term.

The key defender managed to return after quarter-time and kicked three goals playing as a deep forward, but the Giants only have a six-day break to prepare for the premiers.