Depleted GWS set for NEAFL finals - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Depleted GWS set for NEAFL finals

Rob Forsaith 03/09/2011 03:56:51 PM Comments (0)

A severely depleted Greater Western Sydney (GWS), minus star forward Israel Folau, will start their inaugural finals series on Sunday with an elimination final against Eastlake at Canberra's Manuka Oval.

As has often been the case this year in the North East Australian Football League (NEAFL), GWS will field an understrength and undersized team due to a series of injuries - the most recent being serious blows to Josh Growden (broken leg) and Kurt Aylett (ACL).

Joining the pair on the unavailable list is Folau, who has taken personal leave.

On top of injuries this season, many of the Giants' young list have been in and out of the team due to school commitments.

Coach Kevin Sheedy estimates he's used around 75 players in the Giants' maiden season, and he wouldn't have it any other way - even in the finals.

"We need to make sure we play every young kid we can while we've got this chance, particularly this first year," Sheedy said.

"So I don't mind playing the 17-year-olds, bringing the boys in from around the country in Wagga and around Canberra - our zone.

"I think we've come a long way this year, we've worked very, very hard - I'm hoping that the boys do quite well even though we've got a very, very, very young side in."

The Giants played Eastlake in the last round of the regular season, notching a 16.14 (110) to 14.6 (90) win at Blacktown.

Once their season is over, GWS' squad will be on leave until they return to western Sydney in November for pre-season training ahead of their debut in the top flight, when they are likely to be joined by a number of seasoned AFL players.

Sheedy says his team won't be flying to the US to complete altitude training in the pre-season - a ploy used by Collingwood and North Melbourne this year.

"No. If we want to go anywhere, we'll go to Mt Kosciuszko," he laughed.

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