GWS draftee Harvey Thomas has quickly emerged as a potential AFL debutant for the early rounds of the 2024 season.

The Giants Academy graduate was the only first-year player to feature in Adam Kinglsey's side during last week's practice match against Sydney, contributing a goal and plenty of two-way craft as a half-forward asset for GWS.

The teenager joined the Giants as the 59th selection in last November's draft after a strong 2023 campaign with the Oakleigh Chargers, the GWS Academy and the Allies - spending his season across all three lines of the field.

Toward the end of his maiden pre-season in the orange and charcoal, Thomas already has the backing of veteran midfielder Stephen Coniglio as a long-term player for the club.

Speaking to media on Tuesday, Coniglio revealed his match simulation conversations with the 176cm utility - which quickly put pre-game nerves to the side.

"I've been in his position a long time ago, but you could see him thinking (pre-game) 'what's going to go on here'?" Coniglio said.

"At the end of the game I spoke to him and said 'mate, you can play at this level'. He's shown that.

"It wasn't an AFL game, but he's showed enough, definitely. He's only going to get better for this season and beyond. I expect a lot of games from him in this Giants top."

GWS Giants Academy prospect Harvey Thomas, 2023 (Image via AFL Photos)

An AFL debut could arise for Thomas come the Giants' Opening Round clash with reigning premiers Collingwood next week as Harry Perryman (hamstring), Isaac Cumming (calf) and Finn Callaghan (shoulder) nurse respective ailments.

All three could miss the start of the new season, opening the door for the likes of Thomas and other young Giants.

Emerging pair Joh Wehr and Ryan Angwin - who also featured against the Swans last week - have earned plaudits from Coniglio as well, while second-year wing-forward hybrid Darcy Jones is also emerging in the selection frame.

"You look at Jacob Wehr and Ryan Angwin," Coniglio added. "Those guys have played AFL football before and played at a really good standard. They're putting their hands up.

"Forward of the ball there's definitely some options. Darcy Jones (is one).

"Luckily, they're only short-term injuries (for Perryman and Cumming) and we'll have them back sooner, but there's competition and guys who want to play AFL football. They don't just want to play VFL all the time.

"That healthy competition you're starting to see in the group."

Entering his 13th season with the Giants, Coniglio is confident 2024 can see him bring the best football of his career - with the former GWS captain placing more of a focus on contributing through his role rather than the stat sheet.

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 16: Stephen Coniglio of the Giants and Connor Rozee of the Power during the 2023 AFL Second Semi Final match between the Port Adelaide Power and the GWS GIANTS at Adelaide Oval on September 16, 2023 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Sarah Reed/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Kingsley's direction to "fall in love with the process" last year gave Coniglio a new outlook on how he can best provide his services to the club's cause, something he plans to implement from the start of this season.

"I do (think I can play the best football of my career), in terms of being able to contribute towards the group," Coniglio said.

"In previous years I may have had statistically better (seasons), but in terms of output for the team, I'm in that zone at the moment.

"I'm yet to achieve the ultimate, and if I'm being honest a lot of my early career was about results and winning. What Adam Kingsley has brought in is trying to fall in love with the process.

"In the first half of last year, we were losing but we were doing a lot of the right things. His consistent messaging around working on that process really taught me, at 29, the most in one year out of my whole career."

GWS are set to face Gold Coast on Thursday for their final pre-season game before welcoming Collingwood to GIANTS Stadium for their Opening Round clash on Saturday, March 9.