A FRESH forward set up with the addition of Jesse Hogan is "only going to get better from here", according to Greater Western Sydney stand-in skipper Toby Greene.
Hogan starred in his Giants debut against Adelaide, kicking four goals and impressing just as much with eight score involvements through his work once the ball hit the deck and clever passes to teammates.
AFL FIXTURE Check it out here
The new forward mix with Hogan in the side for the first time allowed Harry Himmelberg to roam further from the goal square while still kicking three goals.
Superstar forward Greene also offered his usual threat in the forward 50, though he had an off-day in front of the big sticks and finished with one goal and three behinds.
A forward line with Hogan, Himmelberg and Jeremy Finlayson as marking targets should ensure there is less reliance on Greene in the coming weeks.
"It's great having 'Hoges'. He's been building for a while, he's a really smart forward," Greene said on Wednesday.
"He'll add a different sort of dynamic in the forward line.
"He's really fit and knows how to play as a forward. It's good to be part of and I'm sure the longer we play together the better we'll get."
Young forward Jake Riccardi kicked nine goals in five games last season, but so far hasn’t been able to make the most of his opportunities this year with only two goals and little impact in three games.
Riccardi made way for Hogan ahead of the win over Adelaide, instead lining up in defence for the first time in the VFL.
The 21-year-old impressed in the new role, picking up 40 touches and 19 marks to show that that he could offer useful versatility rather than only waiting for another chance to be part of the forward mix.
"He's strutting around at training today," Greene said.
“It was a good performance on the weekend from 'Ric'. He's sort of learning that forward and back role, and it'll be a great thing to add to his game."
Greene has kicked a goal in every round, including two bags of five, and already has 19 for the season.
He has also stepped in as captain with Stephen Coniglio sidelined with a nasty ankle injury sustained in the round three loss to Melbourne. Coniglio is expected to miss another 6-8 weeks.
The Giants have gone on to win three of the four games since Greene has taken on the captaincy, but the 27-year-old is adamant it’s not a role he wants to take on full-time.
"Unfortunately 'Cogs' will be out for an extended period, so I had to step up. It's just part of being vice-captain," Greene said.
"It's something that I've enjoyed but I haven't put too much pressure on myself.
"I love what [Coniglio] does and he brings a lot away from the field as well. It's his role and I enjoy playing under him."
The Giants today confirmed that Greene has signed a two-year contract extension to play with the club until at least the end of the 2026 season.
Greene has played 165 games and kicked 202 goals for the club since being recruited ahead of its first season with pick No.11 in the 2011 NAB AFL Draft.
He joins the likes of Coniglio, Lachie Whitfield, Nick Haynes and, potentially, Josh Kelly on long-term deals, giving the Giants a strong core of players for a second-coming of the team after it missed the finals last year for the first time since 2015.
"It's good to have those guys around my age who are here for a while. A lot of them are my best mates as well, so it's a good environment," Greene said.
"But I think it's more important that those other guys coming through is what we really want to nail, and get all of those boys on board and make sure everyone is fighting for the same prize.
"We've got a strong bond going so it's special to be part of."