GREATER Western Sydney coach Leon Cameron has leapt to the defence of veteran ruckman Shane Mumford, saying he's "no ballet dancer" after Mumford was criticised for a brutal tackle on Tarryn Thomas during Sunday's draw with North Melbourne.
Mumford was also criticised for a swinging forearm that almost caught Jy Simpkin high just minutes after the Thomas incident. And the big man was slammed earlier this year for his physical approach on Essendon’s Zach Merrett.
But Cameron has backed in the 198cm, 107kg ruckman, who has impressed this season in his seven matches that have resulted in five wins and a draw for his team.
His tackle on Thomas was looked at by the Match Review Officer, and Mumford received a $1000 fine, but Cameron wants Mumford to continue playing in his renowned physical style despite the criticism.
"Shane has only been reported for one week at our footy club. That's pretty good for a person that 'nearly' gets people," Cameron said on Thursday.
"I understand that there is some clumsiness, and the commentary around it, and Shane is the first one to acknowledge he probably went too far on some occasions. But equally I love the way he plays.
"There is some legitimate awkwardness, he's no ballet dancer. When he falls, he falls hard. And he's a big boy."
Mumford trained away from the main group on Thursday and could be rested for the clash with Carlton at Giants Stadium on Saturday night.
The Giants will decide on Thursday afternoon whether to recall Phil Davis to take on the Blues after the key defender played well in the VFL last week and got through the main training session for the week.
The former co-captain’s return from a significant calf injury would boost the Giants’ beleaguered backline that has been undersized at times this year, especially since key defender Sam Taylor was sidelined in round 10.
If selected the 197cm Davis looms as a likely match up for the Blues’ 204cm forward Harry McKay who has kicked 38 goals this season to lead the race for the Coleman Medal.
"McKay is just one of seven or eight of their forwards but clearly he's the leading goalkicker for the League. He's in outstanding form, he's a really hard match up," Cameron said.
"We always wanted [Davis] to train three or four weeks and play a game, and then start to consider him because it's just not fair on him.
"He's only played two games in 12 months, really, but his performance [in the VFL] was pretty good."
Harry Perryman is expected to return from a hamstring strain suffered in the thrilling round nine loss to Richmond.
The 22-year-old half-back is seen as an important part of the Giants side, with his deft kicking and smart decisions helping their ball movement out of defence and through the midfield.
Jake Riccardi is pushing for a place in the forward half, after the key forward bounced back from being omitted last week to kick eight goals in the VFL.
"We've given [Perryman] the extra week at training. He's a really crucial part of our footy team, he can play multiple positions," Cameron said.
"Jake has had an up and down year. Sometimes in your first year you just come in with a bang and things can just flow, and in your second year they can come back to earth a little bit.
"We've moved him around a bit, we moved him back, then we had him on the wing and he's gone back forward. Eight goals in a VFL game is pretty goddamn good, so no doubt he'll be looked at."