CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 14: Tim Taranto of the Giants takes a mark during the round four AFL match between the Greater Western Sydney Giants and the Fremantle Dockers at UNSW Canberra Oval on April 14, 2018 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

The GWS Giants have lost a key midfielder in Tim Taranto for up to five months as he undergoes a shoulder reconstruction.

The reigning Kevin Sheedy Medallist was instrumental in the Giants midfield throughout their 2019 season and played a vital role throughout the club’s finals campaign, racking up 30 disposals and 15 contested possessions in the grand final.

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Taranto blossomed throughout the 2019 season in the absence of injured midfielders Callan WardStephen Coniglio, Josh Kelly and Matt de Boer.

Stephen Coniglio will slot nicely back into the side after he was sidelined from a knee injury in Round 17, while the likes of Josh Kelly, Matt de Boer and Jacob Hopper will remain strong in Taranto’s absence.

The 22-year-old’s unavailability will be felt in the early months of the 2020 season but there are a few familiar faces and new names that could step up to fill the Taranto shaped void.

Here are five players set to fill the Taranto void.

Callan Ward

While Callan Ward won’t be back in Round one, he is likely to return to the top tier after a few games in the NEAFL. After a long road of recovery from a ruptured ACL in round 4 of the 2019 season, when Ward does return he will likely be a dominant player within the midfield as he has done in previous years, averaging 26.8 disposals per game and a total of 642 disposals in the 2018 season.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – JULY 14: Callan Ward of the Giants kicks during the round 17 AFL match between the Greater Western Sydney Giants and the Richmond Tigers at Spotless Stadium on July 14, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Jackson Hately

Jackson Hately will be looking to expand on his seven-game debut season, after he impressed in the Giants first Marsh Community Series Match. His four-quarter effort was stellar earning him a place in the best players and already showed he can step up in the absence of Taranto from his exit early in the opening quarter. The 19-year old averaged 16 disposals across his seven games at the top level.

Jye Caldwell

Jye Caldwell was pick 11 in the 2018 Draft and has so far played two games at league level and will be pushing his case for around one selection and beyond. He will have an opening to expand on his preseason efforts, with a goal and consistent intentions in the Giants’ first match of the Marsh Community Series.

Xavier O’Halloran

Xavier O’Halloran is yet to debut for the Giants AFL side, as he was sidelined by a knee injury in the early rounds of the team’s 2019 campaign. A first-round pick in the 2018 AFL Draft, O’Halloran has said his body is fit and fighting as he takes on the Giants 2020 preseason.

Featuring in the best players of his last three games before his injury, he will be eager for an opportunity to prove his worth and gave a glimpse of that in the Marsh Community Series match against the Swans with a goal and consistent run.

Lachie Ash

Lachie Ash is one of the newest faces to the Giants group, being drafted as pick number 4 in the 2019 Draft. Ash possesses the ability to read the ball exceptionally well and has line-breaking speed. He is comfortable in both the backlines and midfield and was among the best players in the Giants’ first match in the Marsh Community Series and proved ready for senior selection.