Three rounds into 2021, GWS' season was on the ropes.
A Round 1 loss to the Saints hasn't aged well, with defeats to Fremantle and Melbourne following.
Then losing a number of key players to long-term injuries, including Stephen Coniglio, Phil Davis, Matt De Boer, the writing was on the wall for the Giants early, with 2021 looking to be a big drop off for the men in orange.
Enter stand-in skipper, Toby Greene.
The 27-year old has taken his game to another level this season, cementing himself as one of the competition's elite players.
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He can soar for a contested hanger and kick goals at a high clip like a key forward and finds the footy at will as a midfielder.
GWS' season seemingly back on track when Greene was given the responsibility to stand-in for Coniglio against Collingwood in Round 4. The star forward stood tall with his second consecutive five-goal-haul, willing his side to their first win of the season.
The following week against Sydney the Giants were a reinvigorated side, coming back from a 21-point fourth quarter deficit to hand the Swans their first loss of the season. The fourth quarter comeback effort was on the back of Greene, who led fourth quarter contested possessions and kicked an important goal late.
Greene's season to date has been enormous, currently sitting fifth in the Coleman Medal race with 18 goals while averaging 18.5 disposals per game through the first six rounds.
It's not just Greene's statistics that are lifting his side, but his energy and on-field leadership that will others around him to play more on edge.
This has led to calls for GWS to consider standing Stephen Coniglio down as captain and appointing Greene captain, effective immediately. Most vocally has been Essendon champion Matthew Lloyd.
“Some players thrive with the captaincy and some it’s like a noose around their neck,” Lloyd said on Footy Classified.
“I feel like Stephen Coniglio, it has never sat comfortably with Stephen, whereas Toby, he just rolls with it and I think he inspires the other players, whereas Stephen Coniglio maybe not so much. I think they’ve got a massive decision to make and for me I would make it that Toby Greene is the Giants captain.”
Speaking on SEN radio, North Melbourne legend David King echoed Lloyd's sentiments.
“He is their centre of influence, isn’t he. He’s their most critical member. Emotionally, he has a connection with every player on that list, you can see it and feel it," King told SEN Breakfast.
“If Coniglio sees what we all see, he walks in and says ‘you know what, this is probably the best decision for the footy club’."
Playing at an All-Australian level and thriving as stand-in skipper, Greene finds himself in a position to demand big money once contract negotiations arise.
Ex-Hawthorn star Ben Dixon and Saints great Leigh Montagna believe that Greene will command a seven-figure salary.
“Two or three years ago, we were talking about De Goey and whether he was worth a million dollars and whether he was going to leave or stay. But this guy (Greene) is your $1 million man any day of the week,” Dixon said on First Crack on Friday night.
“You’d pay a million bucks for Toby Greene right now.” Montagna added.
"He is single-handedly keeping this side (the Giants) in it and giving them an opportunity to win...He’s just an exceptional player.”
Greene is tied to the Giants until the end of 2024 on a lucrative six-year deal estimated to be worth around $800,000 to $1 million per season.
Do you think Toby Greene is worth $1 million a year? Let us know your thoughts.