EVERY club had a chance in last year's mid-season draft to make amends for previously overlooking Jake Riccardi.
Instead, Riccardi missed out again and had to continue his redemption story at VFL club Werribee – eventually winning the competition's most promising player award.
DOCKERS v GIANTS Full match coverage and stats
Greater Western Sydney was wise enough not to ignore him again, finally giving the 20-year-old key forward his shot in the NAB AFL Draft last November.
>> WATCH THE HIGHLIGHTS IN THE PLAYER ABOVE
With the Giants' season on the line at Optus Stadium on Saturday, it was Riccardi who was one of the stars in just his second game.
After taking 10 marks and kicking two goals on debut last week, he was even better against Fremantle with nine more grabs and four majors to help GWS record a 38-point triumph.
Defender Lachie Whitfield (31 disposals, nine intercept possessions) was arguably the only player better than Riccardi in a tremendous 14.7 (91) to 8.5 (53) triumph that propels the Giants back inside the top eight.
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It was a timely percentage-booster, with GWS improving from 96.8 to 101.8 to leapfrog the Western Bulldogs into eighth spot.
Back-to-back David Mundy goals in the first five minutes of the second half slashed the Dockers' deficit to 14 points, only for the visitors to kick five of the next six to put the game away by three-quarter time.
Riccardi kicked three of those Giants majors, before Jeremy Cameron joined the party with his third and fourth goals to kick off the final term.
ROUNDS 14-18 Check out the full fixture
Tim Taranto (25, five clearances), Steve Coniglio (24, three) and veteran big man Shane Mumford (game-high six clearances) were critical to GWS's clearance dominance, particularly early in the match.
They were even more important once Josh Kelly's strong start came to an end on the tick of half-time, when Mumford's knee accidentally clipped him in the head.
Mundy (20) was Freo's top contributor, but with Matt de Boer quelling captain Nat Fyfe's influence, there was too much left to Andrew Brayshaw (24) and Adam Cerra (23).
Notorious Giant in hot water?
Here we go again. Toby Greene is a magnet for controversy and he will again be a talking point over the next 24 or so hours until the match review findings are revealed. GWS had the game well in hand by three-quarter time, but Docker Reece Conca still managed to draw an ill-advised Greene reaction. No player is scrutinised more the box-office Giant – and his elbow into Conca's midriff in the final term will definitely ensure match review officer Michael Christian has something to look at on Sunday morning. Conca played the game out – after briefly leaving the field – so that's in Greene's favour, but he still might have to open his wallet (although a suspension seems unlikely).
Ex-Docker back to haunt his old teammate
Matt de Boer hasn't been a Docker in four years and has become one of Greater Western Sydney's most successful recycled footballers. Freo left him on the scrapheap and he's since transformed himself into one of the AFL's best ball-winning taggers. De Boer missed the Giants' past four clashes with a hamstring setback, but returned in time to face his former side and ex-superstar teammate and close mate Nat Fyfe. The reigning Brownlow medallist is rarely beaten, owing to his ability to impact the game in multiple positions, but de Boer certainly took his scalp on Saturday. The tone was set early, with the Giant racking up eight touches to Fyfe's three by quarter-time – and Fyfe still had only four at half-time. De Boer had that many score involvements by that stage and was a key contributor in a vital victory for GWS.
The streak rolls on
Only one AFL footballer has kicked at least one goal in every possible match this season. That man is Fremantle's Matt Taberner, who ensured on Saturday that his consecutive games with at least one major continued. Taberner ticked that off inside the final minute of the opening term, when he outmarked Nick Haynes near the behind post before an excellent left-foot snap finish. Swan Tom Papley fell out of contention when he failed to kick a goal against Greater Western Sydney in round 12, while Giant Jeremy Finlayson was dropped last week to fit Jake Riccardi in. Finlayson's booted a major in all of his 11 matches in 2020, although only twice did he manage two or more. Taberner, on the other hand, has done so on nine occasions and must be a sneaky Virgin Australia AFL All Australian squad chance.
FREMANTLE 1.1 2.3 5.3 8.5 (53)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 4.2 6.4 11.7 14.7 (91)
Fremantle: Mundy 2, Taberner 2, Bewley, Henry, Crowden, Wilson
GWS: Riccardi 4, Cameron 4, Hill 2, Himmelberg, Taranto, Greene, Daniels
Fremantle: Mundy, Brayshaw, Cerra, Wilson, Walters
GWS: Whitfield, Riccardi, Taranto, de Boer, Coniglio, Mumford
Fremantle: Ryan (bruised hip)
GWS: Kelly (concussion)