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Best 22 and draft needs: GWS


The team from the mighty Greater West fell short in the finals yet again, with the Giants coming close - but not close enough - to Collingwood in the Semi-Final.

Cruelled by injury throughout the year, GWS never really got their best 22 on the park - making it hard to judge the Giants on season 2018.

But judge we must, and even when the Giants were playing well, they were a level below their best. The late-season return of superstar Toby Greene bolstered the forward-line, as did the return of Jeremy Cameron from suspension.

In terms of the youth, Harry Himmelberg and Zac Langdon stepped up as forwards, while Sam Taylor proved handy down back.

Aiden Bonar, the Giants' first pick at the 2017 draft, also proved capable at the highest level and will be better for the run. Tim Taranto only enhanced his repuation as a talented young mid.

Phil Davis remained solid down back, and dashing winger Lachie Whitfield successfully transitioned to the half-back line, earning his first All-Australian guernsey.

Here’s what their best 22 looks like pre-draft:

FB: Nick Haynes, Phil Davis, Adam Tomlinson

HB: Heath Shaw, Sam Taylor, Zac Williams

C: Tim Taranto, Callan Ward, Lachie Whitfield

HF: Zac Langdon, Jeremy Cameron, Brett Deledio

FF: Toby Greene, Jon Patton, Harrison Himmelberg

Fol: Dawson Simpson, Stephen Coniglio, Josh Kelly

Int: Aiden Bonar, Matt de Boer, Jeremy Finlayson, Adam Kennedy

Long term needs

At some point the Giants will have to replace dashing backline play-maker Heath Shaw, with the premiership Pie and now veteran GWS defender reaching the final stages of his career.

Jon Patton has not quite made the most of his height and talent, and it may have GWS thinking about slotting in another key forward. For now though, you'd think they would persist with the former number one pick.

It seems likely that Shane Mumford will make a return to footy to fill the number one ruck position, but at 32 years of age, and with back-up in Dawson Simpson, the Giants will be looking for someone to step into the ruck long-term.

Short term needs

The Giants' short-term needs are simple: keep their gun players on the park and avoid any injuries. Looking at their best 22 - and assuming Mumford returns and they draft wisely - the Giants have a team bound for finals in 2019.

They lost two gun midfielders in Tom Scully and Dylan Shiel, but the return of Zac Williams to the half-back line allows Lachie Whitfield to push back into the midfield. They'll still need to draft young mids to bolster depth in that area of the ground.

Draft picks: 9, 11, 19, 25, 52, 89

Who could they target?

Jye Caldwell may well be the third-best midfielder in this year's draft, according to AFL Draft Central, and the flexible Victorian seems to have great leadership skills on top of his on-field talent. He has been hampered by injuries, but this may not scare away the Giants.

Jackson Hately also looms as a potential pick-up, with the 190cm midfielder performing strongly for South Australia and Central District.

The Giants other need is in the ruck, and their top Academy prospect Kieran Briggs fills this need perfectly.

The AA Under-18 ruck for 2018, Briggs has great second efforts, good defensive pressure and is strong in the contest.

Briggs won the MVP for the Giants and the Allies side and looks like he'll be joining GWS and learning his ruck craft from the likes of Shane Mumford.

best 22 and draft needs

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