Some of Greater Western Sydney’s most valuable but injury=prone key position players are staking a claim for returns to the senior AFL side.
While much of the focus before Sunday’s match in Canberra against Geelong will be on prize recruit Steve Johnson’s first game against his old club, the Giants could shortly be faced with a plethora of welcome selection issues.
Match fitness could still be an issue for some, but power forward Jon Patton (32 games in four seasons) and key backs Nick Haynes (44 in four) and Tim Mohr (43 in four) all played in a NEAFL trial against Sydney last weekend.
Midfield stalwart Stephen Coniglio played the whole match after missing the Giants’ NAB Cup fixtures with a hamstring issue.
With the Giants’ other big name key forward Jeremy Cameron suspended, Patton’s return to fitness and form is timely.
It remains to be seen how much more game time the Giants’ match committee want him to get before the 22-year-old spearhead gets promoted.
Haynes and Mohr each had their first hitout of the year after recovering from groin and knee injuries respectively.
Mohr hasn’t played a senior game since round 18 of the 2014 season and a reserves fixture since round four of the 2015 campaign.
After squandering a 21-point three-quarter time lead in their season-opener against Melbourne at the MCG, the Giants will be keen to overcome the Cats in Canberra.
Johnson will be lining up against the club he tallied 253 games and 452 goals for in 14 seasons, during which he won three premierships.
The canny 32-year-old forward has made a bright start with his new employer.
After kicking six goals in as many quarters in the pre-season season competition, Johnson notched 23 touches and kicked 2.2 against the Demons.