GREATER Western Sydney midfielder Tom Scully believes young teammate and No.2 draft pick Tim Taranto is ready for a round one debut.
Scully, himself the No.1 draft selection at the 2009 NAB AFL Draft by Melbourne, labeled the Victorian as the "standout" performer of the Giants' 2016 draft crop.
Taranto has impressed with two solid performances against West Coast and Sydney in this year's JLT Community Series, and will take on North Melbourne in Canberra on Friday night in his last real chance to seal a spot in the Giants' first game of the year against Adelaide on March 26.
The 19-year-old showed off his ball-winning ability with 21 possessions on debut against the Eagles in Narrandera, but it was his recovery from a bone-crunching collision with Swans star Lance Franklin last week that really captured the attention of teammates.
Speaking at Manuka Oval on Thursday, Scully said Taranto was "absolutely" ready to play senior footy.
"There's no doubt he's proven over the two games that he's played that he's capable of playing at the highest level," he said.
"His composure for a young guy has really stood out, and there's no doubt he's certainly putting the pressure on the play early on.
"It just shows his character – he's a tough kid that puts his head over the ball and that's all you can do to earn respect.
"He's done everything right over the pre-season, and that example last week (against the Swans) highlighted what he's made of, it was a really big moment for him and something he should be really proud of."
The Giants' benchmark when it comes to elite running ability, Scully also said Taranto's work ethic on the track over the pre-season had given him the perfect platform to launch his senior career.
Taranto made his mark at under-age level as a midfielder who can run all day, as well as take a grab when playing forward, and his effort to finish fifth – with Scully the winner - in the Giants' 3km time trial when they resumed training in January, showed that the teenager was determined to make his mark early on.
"His training has been outstanding, and obviously he's got a great engine," he said.
"The thing I like about him is that he just puts his head down and works really hard, which is all you can ask.
"I'm really looking forward to seeing what he can produce this year."
The Giants take on the Kangaroos in their final JLT Community Series match at Manuka Oval in Canberra on Friday night.