GWS Giants' Toby Greene and senior coach Adam Kingsley during the 2023 AFL pre-season (Image: GWS Giants Twitter)

Another off-season of change has GWS facing several seasons of mediocrity as they once again place youth as their priority and slowly work themselves back into premiership contention.

The Giants saw a quartet of key names leave the club in favour of moves to Victorian sides through their trade and free agency window, seeing orange and charcoal take another step backwards in their pursuit of a maiden premiership.

But with new coach Adam Kingsley at the helm, and No.1 pick Aaron Cadman joining the Giants' cause, there is some optimism among Sydney's west heading into their 12th season in the AFL.

Toby BedfordAaron CadmanJason GillbeeMax GruzewskiDarcy JonesNick MaddenToby McMullinHarry Rowston

Jarrod Brander (delisted), Tanner Bruhn (Geelong Cats), Matt de Boer (retired), Bobby Hill (Collingwood Magpies), Jacob Hopper (Richmond Tigers), Zach Sproule (delisted), Jake Stein (Gold Coast Suns), Tim Taranto (Richmond Tigers)

Here we assess the Giants' list and name their best 23 ahead of the 2023 season.


The Giants are home to an impressive and deep defensive group heading into the season, with their attack and midfield groups often taking the brunt of the rival interest.

Home to All-Australian key defender Sam Taylor, the Giants will again heavily rely on the lockdown backman on their last line this year.

Pairing with Nick Haynes and Connor Idun as the club's taller options, Taylor will be the man to go head-to-head with the game's best tall forward while Haynes and Idun offer support.

Sophomore Leek Aleer will look to break back into the senior side, while Phil Davis and Lachlan Keeffe also add to their depth options among the club's key-position defenders.

The Giants also have plenty of medium and small-sized options to run the ball out of the defensive arc, with none better than Isaac Cumming at negating his opponent before hurting them with his ability to rebound and kickstart attacks with his ball movement.

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 30: Isaac Cumming of the Giants is tackled by Lachlan Murphy of the Crows during the 2022 AFL Round 07 match between the Adelaide Crows and the GWS Giants at Adelaide Oval on April 30, 2022 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by James Elsby/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Expect Lachie Whitfield and Lachie Ash to roam through the half-back line throughout this year while they also rotate through midfield.

Josh Fahey firms as another young Giant that could be in the mix to make his debut this year, while fellow youngster Cooper Hamilton and Max Gruzewski can also be thrown into the rearguard.

Swingman Harry Himmelberg may also be deployed into Kingsley's defence when required, but looms likely to start the new season in attack,


Despite losing the likes of Tim Taranto, Jacob Hopper and Tanner Bruhn through the off-season, the Giants' engine room ensemble remains star-studded.

Tom Green, Harry Perryman and Stephen Coniglio are likely to get the work done on the inside, while superstar Josh Kelly looks to take Finn Callaghan under his wing as an outside asset.

With a number of holes opening up in GWS' midfield, expected Green to take hs game to new heights as he looks to impress with his contested ball-winning nous.

Like the aforementioned Whitfield and Ash, veteran Callan Ward will likely rotate through the middle of the field as he looks to offer experience and depth.

Jacob Wehr showed signs last year of his ability at AFL level, rotating through all three lines to be a versatile addition, while draftee Darcy Jones will need to add some size before being thrown into the selection mix as an outside midfield option.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 19: Tom Green of the Giants celebrates kicking a goal during the round one AFL match between the Greater Western Sydney Giants and the Sydney Swans at Accor Stadium on March 19, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The Giants' ruck setup is intriguing one, with the club struggling to cement their ideal structure in recent seasons. Braydon Preuss looks to be their first-string option, with either Matthew Flynn or Kieren Briggs offering a helping hand.

Both injury and suspension to Preuss opened the door for his supporting talls to get minutes in 2022, with Briggs also able to be utilised as a tall target at either end of the field.


While the Giants' midfield saw a number of key names head for the exit, their forward line has been bolstered in more ways than one since the end of last season.

No.1 pick Aaron Cadman is an exciting new addition for the Giants, with the GWV Rebels tall potentially in line to make his debut this year as he develops as a key forward.

The Giants' sole trade move saw the New South Wales side attain Toby Bedford from Melbourne, with the smaller-framed speedster looking to have an instant impact on Kingsley's plans.

Bedford will look to work in tandem with star forward Toby Greene as the dual threats in attack, while Xavier O'Halloran, James Peatling, Daniel Lloyd and Brent Daniels also press their case among the small forward pack.

Adding to the list of taller targets alongside Cadman are first-string forward Jesse Hogan and versatile talent Harry Himmelberg, who will look to hold down the fort in 2023.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 12: Harry Himmelberg of the Giants in action during the 2022 AFL Round 13 match between the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the GWS Giants at Marvel Stadium on June 12, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Jake Riccardi will again slot into a third-tall role in attack, while uncapped ruck-forward Wade Derksen will seek a debut appearance as he enters his second season with the club.

Irishman Callum Brown has impressed with stints in the forward 50, with the 188cm utility able to roam into the attacking third and have an impact on the scoreboard.

Best 23

B: Isaac Cumming, Sam Taylor, Connor Idun
HB: Lachie Whitfield, Nick Haynes, Lachie Ash
C: Josh Kelly, Tom Green, Finn Callaghan
HF: Toby Greene, Harry Himmelberg, Callan Ward
FF: Aaron Cadman, Jesse Hogan, Toby Bedford
Foll: Braydon Preuss, Stephen Coniglio, Harry Perryman
I/C: Matt Flynn, Jake Riccardi, Daniel Lloyd, James Peatling
SUB: Jacob Wehr