After an extremely disappointing 2022, the Giants have a new coach, a new midfield and likely a new lease on life. There is little doubt that last year saw the Ferrari break down and become in desperate need of a tune-up.

The season could not have been much worse for the Giants, losing coach Leon Cameron and searching for a way to rediscover the fire and form that saw them make the Grand Final in 2019.

They lost five of their first six games and never really recovered, as injuries and form took their toll. Tellingly, they didn't manage to beat a single team that finished higher than 12th, a sign their form had fallen off a cliff.

The nightmare season saw long-time coach Leon Cameron step down, perhaps aware that the club had grown stale and was in desperate need of a revamp after going so close to the ultimate before descending back down the ladder.

Related: If every AFL club could steal one player: Geelong Cats

The off-season wasn't much better, with gun onballers Tim Taranto and Jacob Hopper both requesting moves to Richmond. To make matters worse, developing youngster Tanner Bruhn also requested a trade and managed to land himself a move to the reigning premiers.

Fortunately, the Giants are well-stocked for midfielders and the expectations on them for season 2023 are much lower, meaning they may just be able to sneak under the radar and pull off a few shock upsets.

With new coach Adam Kingsley and his glorious pipes at the helm, there will be a clear imprimatur to reinvigorate the squad, which still boasts an array of extremely talented players. There is no doubt they are a better team than their six wins in 2022 suggest.

From 2022 All-Australian Sam Taylor down back, to midfield guns Stephen Coniglio, Josh Kelly, Lachie Whitfield and Tom Green, to a handy forward line in Toby Greene and Harrison Himmelberg, there is enough there to win games.

Green's signature is a huge boost, having been the subject of much speculation throughout 2022 and no doubt signifies that all is not lost at the Giants.

Throw in another number one pick in Aaron Cadman and a handful of others ready to make their mark, such as the highly-touted Finn Callaghan, and the Giants could be pushing for finals again sooner than expected.

Aaron Cadman and Toby Greene during the 2022 AFL National Draft (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Sports)

With that in mind, we look at four options that could help speed up the process and see the Giants get back to September action.


1. Sean Darcy

Having long been an area for concern for the Giants following the physical decline of Shane Mumford, they may have thought their worries were over when they managed to secure Braydon Preuss. While the physical big man has shown plenty, he hasn't proven to be reliable just yet.

Fremantle bull Sean Darcy has established himself as one of the best ruckmen in the game, building his tank and conditioning to the point where he can be depended upon as the sole ruck if need be. The past two seasons have seen him play 21 games each, while in comparison, Preuss played just 10 in 2022 and none in 2021, so his durability is not in question.

Embed from Getty Images

As the main man at the Dockers, Darcy has begun to flourish, in 21 games in 2022 he averaged 33.9 hit-outs, 4.5 clearances, 2.6 tackles and 2.6 marks per game. He ranked third in total hit outs and hit outs per game for the entire competition.

Still just 24 years of age, Darcy has plenty of time on his side and as a big man, is surely just entering his prime years. A fearsome tandem with Preuss would not only help give the Giants' plethora of quality midfielders first use, but add a serious physical edge to their stoppages.