Toby Greene’s return from a lengthy suspension is dominating headlines ahead of the Giants’ Friday night clash and one of his teammates can’t wait to have him back.
In-form Giants onballer Tom Green won’t be surprised if Toby Greene produces a match-winning masterclass on Friday night in his first match in eight months.
Greene’s much-anticipated return from a six-game suspension has dominated the build-up to Greater Western Sydney’s prime-time Canberra clash with top-four rival St Kilda.
Everyone at the Giants, from coach Leon Cameron down, was at pains this week to say it would take more than the superstar forward to reverse their 1-4 fortunes, but Green said he would provide a “massive bolster”.
“He’s one of the best players in the competition (and) he’s also a really inspirational leader,” Green said.
“He was appointed as one of our co-captains and I think he’s taken to that role really well. He was obviously always a leader of the club, but having that official mantle, he’s been fantastic for us so far.
“It’s great to have another leader back in the side and we all know how Toby will be ready and raring to go … so we’re really excited and I’m sure all of Canberra is as well.”
Green, who, like Saints captain and ex-Giant Jack Steele, grew up in Canberra, said his namesake was used to the “spotlight” and would have realised people had his return match circled on the calendar.
But more important, he said, was Greater Western Sydney’s bid to upset St Kilda and energise a season in danger of being lost.
Cameron, who is out of contract, faces renewed scrutiny about his job and has agreed to park negotiations until season’s end as the Giants prepare to dig themselves out of trouble for the second-straight year.
“I think it’s a really mature decision from both parties. Nothing is to be gained from trying to discuss a coach’s contract during the season,” Green said.
“I think Leon also talked about there’s going to be a spotlight and blowtorch put to him with a 1-4 start, but I’ve got great faith we’ll be able to turn that around.
“That pressure is always going to come to a coach who is 1-4 and out of contract but, to be honest, we feel like it’s a little bit unfair.
“At the end of the day, the people out there playing are us and not him, so we certainly are right behind Leon. I know I absolutely love having him as coach.”
In selection news, Isaac Cumming and Braydon Preuss join Greene as a trio of strong inclusions but oft-injured forward Jesse Hogan will rest this week as part of the GWS plan to get him through the season.
The Giants axed Matt de Boer and Xavier O’Halloran to make room for the high-profile additions.