HE WAS listed as 'managed' but GWS coach Mark McVeigh has admitted form has played a major role in boom youngster Tom Green being left out of the Giants' side to take on Carlton on Sunday.
The No.10 draft pick from 2019 has emerged as one of the best young inside midfielders in the competition over the past 12 months, but his influence on games has waned in recent weeks.
In Saturday's disappointing loss to Brisbane, Green was restricted to 14 possessions with only two clearances.
The 21-year old’s total clearance number over the past month sits at 14, which is down on his usual bullocking output in the middle of the ground.
"Tom's form's probably been on the decline," McVeigh said.
"I think that's off the back of a big pre-season, young player, inside contested player, gets hit hard every week, can be tagged. He wins a lot of his own ball and we rely on him a lot in that area. Probably over the last month it's just started to get to him a bit so I've chosen to freshen him up.
"He's disappointed obviously but we've got to be smart in the way we approach this. I want energy towards the end of the season."
Green's name was a surprise in the Giants' list of outs for Sunday's daunting test against Carlton at Marvel Stadium, as was that of in-form forward Jesse Hogan, but his situation is a straight forward management one.
"He's played fourteen games this year. He hadn't played more than 10 in a season since 2018 so there was a plan in place for a long period of time to weigh up how he's feeling and how he's going," McVeigh said.
"We worry about his calf and that and some symptoms were popping around so we just erred on the side of caution and decided to rest him this week. He's been in great form, it hurts us obviously but we want him to play out the rest of the year."
With two-time best and fairest winner Josh Kelly also missing due to concussion protocols and All-Australian Lachie Whitfield still out injured, it leaves the Giants looking light-on for their trip to take on a finals-bound Carlton.
"I'm not concerned. We had 30 players to choose from which is always difficult. But I'm always about next man up and we've got to have that attitude at our footy club," McVeigh said.
Braydon Preuss will return in the ruck for the omitted Matt Flynn, and while the team for Sunday is not yet finalised, McVeigh said wingman Jarrod Brander is in 'serious contention' after a good run of form in the VFL.
In addition to the mounting absentee list at the Giants, there is also constant speculation over player departures.
As reported in AFL.com.au's Inside Trading, Jacob Hopper's name has now been strongly linked with a move back to Victoria along with that of fellow first round draft picks Tim Taranto and Tanner Bruhn.
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"This is something we deal with every year at the Giants. Jacob's just another one that's popped up a week later. Our list management team are working hard to work through all the scenarios that pop up. I'm not one to delve into those because I don't want to be swayed either way on either player," McVeigh said.
It's another complication for the interim coach to deal with as he vies for the top job permanently.
McVeigh is yet to make his presentation to the Giants' board, but that moment will come within the next few weeks.
In the meantime, he's trying to arrest a worrying form slide over the past fortnight that led to a scathing review of his side's output against Brisbane in Canberra last week.
McVeigh revealed the players called their own meeting immediately after the 40-point loss to the Lions and he's been impressed with the response since.
"Our training standards and the way we reviewed last week reflected those comments. I found that the players turned up energised, looking to learn and revise what happened. I think the week has reflected that," McVeigh said.