INTERIM coach Mark McVeigh accepts his chances of landing the Greater Western Sydney job long term will depend largely on how badly Alastair Clarkson wants the role.

Currently plotting to claim his first big scalp as coach, away to Port Adelaide on Saturday night, McVeigh has ensured he is a leading contender for the vacant Giants role with a 3-3 win-loss record since taking over from Leon Cameron.

He has rejuvenated the attacking arm of the Giants but he admits, with GWS having already spoken to Clarkson, there's only so much he can do if the four-time premiership coach is keen on the job.

"Ultimately, it will come down to what he would like to do and where he'd like to go. And he's earned that right," McVeigh said.

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"The communication has been up front with me. I knew this was happening and so they should. Why wouldn't you talk to Alastair Clarkson about coaching your football club?

"I'll present to the footy club, whether that's good enough we'll wait and see."

"I'll try and win the games we need to win between now and the end of the year but ultimately, I know if Alastair Clarkson says he wants to come to the Giants, I know I'm up against it and that's the way it should be. He's been an incredible coach for a long period of time," he continued.

Clearly aware that Clarkson is the likely first choice, the Essendon champion is still bullish about transforming the Giants into a successful club long term, should he land the job. 

Alastair Clarkson looks on before Hawthorn's clash with Fremantle in round 17, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

"I bring my own set of values, they'd be different to his (Clarkson's). Our club is unique in terms of where we're at and where we sit. I have great information, having been here for a long period of time. I have a great relationship with the players and I can set a strong agenda about the way we play," McVeigh said.

"And also uphold the values and morals about what make a great footy club.

"I'm in a really good position to be able to handle the football club at the moment and I'm very proud of that and humbled by that but I also respect the process going forward."

Another challenge for the Giants to navigate through at the moment is that of 2019 best-and-fairest winner Tim Taranto's future.

Tim Taranto looks dejected after Greater Western Sydney's loss to St Kilda in round six, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

The No.2 pick in the 2016 NAB AFL Draft, Taranto is yet to commit to a new deal at the club and, having admitted last week that contract talks had been put on hold, the links of a return home to Victoria have only strengthened.

McVeigh is confident that speculation won't affect the talented onballer between now and the end of the season.

"Tim's a very level-headed guy and emotionally invested in the footy club. Yes, there's challenges around contracts and what may happen but Tim is a valuable member and he's in good conversations with the football club," he said.

"As long as he's happy, I'm fine. He seems to be going really well. He played really well on the weekend."

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The Giants are set to be buoyed by the inclusion of another star midfielder with Jacob Hopper closing in on a return to the team after making his comeback in the VFL last week.


McVeigh admitted he'd be "heavily considered" to take on the Power, having been sidelined since suffering a knee injury in the round one loss to Sydney.

The coach is weighing up whether Braydon Preuss returns to the AFL line-up with Matt Flynn continuing his good form in the ruck, but he declared that livewire forward James Peatling will be back in the side for the trip to South Australia.