TOBY Greene has revealed his great mate and GWS captain Stephen Coniglio was "angry and disappointed" at being axed from the Giants' round 17 team and also conceded he had personally failed to provide required support in 2020.
In an exclusive interview with AFL.com.au during a tumultuous week for the Giants where the Coniglio axing was followed by Aidan Corr being exited from the club's Gold Coast hub, a candid Greene said the club's leadership group beneath the captain was also aware of failings in 2020.
"It was a big week for (Coniglio) and the club, and it was super disappointing for him, and I know he's angry and disappointed, and rightly so, as any player would be if they missed out on a game he felt he needed to play in … it was an indifferent week," Greene said.
>> WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW IN THE PLAYER BELOW
"He's got every right to feel angry and disappointed. It is what it is now, he hasn't sulked about it, and has gone about it the best way possible, and he will be back this week and he will play his role this week."
Asked how he had personally dealt with Coniglio after the shock omission from the Giants' team which lost to Melbourne last weekend, Greene said: "I just told him it's natural to feel that way (angry and disappointed), as he should feel that way, I would feel the same way.
"We are all here for him. We all have the utmost belief, and he is the best person to captain this side. He has done a great job with that this year, we just probably haven't helped him as much as we could've.
"That's been disappointing. Being a new leadership group, and a new captain, there are things we could've done better to support him, and I know we will learn from that.
"He never liked to shy away from jobs he felt he should do. Certain things could've been done better throughout the year and that is something I feel bad about, and something I will definitely learn from.
"The team wasn't helping him, either. We were inconsistent, and it reflects on him even though it actually hasn't really got too much to do with it. That’s all part of it."
The Giants, grand finalists last season, enter the final 2020 home and away round in 10th position, four premiership points and 3.3 percentage points behind eighth placed Western Bulldogs.
They are to play seventh-placed St Kilda on Friday night at the Gabba.
LADDER PREDICTOR Can your team make the eight?
Greene said Coniglio's form and impact may have suffered this season because of his tendency to want to provide support for everyone associated with the Giants.
"He will learn from this year and how to use his time for the club, for the boys, for himself, that's just part of being a first-year captain, but he does put a lot of effort into everyone else, because he does hold that dearly," Greene said.
Greene replaced Coniglio as skipper for the round 17 match.
"I tossed a coin, there was nothing different to how I went about – Cogs is the captain, we love him, he will be captain next year and captain for a long time," Greene said.
Greene also spoke of the tension within the Giants on Monday when it was determined that eight-season defender Aidan Corr would immediately leave the club's hub, after revealing he would be exercising his free agency rights.
"It came as a shock to a lot of the boys – probably no one expected it – so there was a certain frustration, and pretty shattered to be honest that he did leave because he is important to us and probably underrated in the external media," Greene said.
"He's made that decision, and we move one, and move on pretty quickly. As for him leaving, I think that's just part and parcel of being a football club and making that decision. I wouldn’t read too much into it."
Asked if the instant dismissal was due to the club being in a hub, Greene joked: "Yeah. And the other team is at the hub, so he could've joined 'em now."
With both West Coast and North Melbourne currently sharing the Sanctuary Cove facilities with the Giants, asked if it was the Roos to whom he was referring, Greene said: "Most likely, yeah. He didn't say anything, but that's what I'm hearing."
In the interview, Greene also:
- SPOKE of his deep personal hope that Jeremy Cameron would re-sign
- HOPED for a return to 20-minute quarters, plus time-on, from next season
- SAID despite his own tribulations that he loves the game of football as much in 2020 as he did when he was a kid, and loves even more when young fans tell him he is their favourite player, as he once did to James Hird
- SAID West Coast's Liam Ryan was his favourite non-Giants player … "He is a superstar, I love watching him play, I've been really enjoying it, I've bumped into him a few times here, he seems a great fella"
- FELT that GWS' "inconsistency" of performance needed to be rectified in the off-season