FIREBRAND forward Toby Greene will complete his evolution from larrikin to leader when he runs out onto the MCG as skipper of Greater Western Sydney against Collingwood on Saturday night.
Greene is set to captain a young Giants team for the foreseeable future while Stephen Coniglio is sidelined for up to 10 weeks with a syndesmosis injury that he picked up in last week's 34-point loss to Melbourne.
The inaugural Giant has a reputation as one of the AFL's bad boys since his debut 2012 season and playing on the edge has cost him more than $26,000 in fines and a total of seven matches in suspensions.
He even has a so-called 'Toby Greene rule' named after him, where players can be penalised for raising a foot and leading with their studs in an aerial contest.
Yet while he is still one of footy's most divisive figures on the field, Greene relies on the understated manner he has off the field to play down the significance of taking on the captaincy.
"I'll just keep doing what I've been doing, on and off the field," he said.
"'Cogs' is still the captain, so he'll be doing everything he can to try to help and motivate and guide the team through a period where we're missing a few senior guys.
"I won't be doing too much different, just tossing the coin on gameday."
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Leon Cameron sees Greene as offering much more than that, and expects a player long seen as a 'spiritual leader' internally to embrace the opportunity to be skipper for a couple of months.
"On field, we know what we're going to get from Toby, he'll just go at a hundred miles an hour," the Giants coach said.
"In terms of his development as a leader, I'm really proud.
"I see a really good balance of having the side underneath him, playing good footy, leading from the front, and passing on some of the experiences of his early years.
"I don't want him to overstretch and look for things that aren't there. He needs to be himself, and he'll be different to Stephen."
While Greene is growing as a leader, he is also making a consistent return to the sort of performances that led to him being an All-Australian and the club best and fairest in 2016.
He just had his first uninterrupted pre-season since that breakout year and has carried that renewed fitness onto the field to offer a persistent threat up forward despite the team's troubles around him.
"I'm going alright, just trying to build week by week," he said.
"I'm more worried about making sure these young guys have some rapid development.
"A lot of these young boys probably had the best games of their career [against Melbourne]. But it can't just be one on, one off, we want to keep driving and keep building as a team."
Greene was more comfortable putting the fire in the belly that he's renowned for on display when discussing the Giants' misfiring midfield, throwing his support behind the likes of Josh Kelly, Jacob Hopper and his injured captain in the way he would on the field.
"They've been really good for us for a long period of time, and I'm sure they'll continue to be as well," Greene said.
"I love playing with all of those guys, and love what they can do. I'll back them to do it this weekend and for the next 20 weeks."