Greater Western Sydney coach Leon Cameron is yet to contemplate what next week might hold for recalled forward Rhys Palmer, adding he is no certainty to be dropped should the club advance to the grand final.
Palmer, who hasn’t played at AFL level since round 16 of the regular season, will tackle Western Bullldogs in Saturday’s preliminary final at Spotless Stadium.
The 27-year-old’s chance to play his first AFL final was brought about by Steve Johnson’s one-game suspension.
It means the dream could soon become a nightmare for 2008 Rising Star winner Palmer, who looms as the man most likely to make way for Johnson should GWS defeat the Bulldogs.
“Haven’t touched on that because anything can happen,” Cameron said.
“We saw in the final last weekend with the Swans and how ferocious they were at the footy .. that’s forced a change.
“That’s going to happen. There will be some casualties on the weekend because everyone will go that hard it won’t be funny.”
Cameron added Palmer and his 21 teammates wouldn’t be caught out thinking about a grand final berth instead of focusing on the Bulldogs.
“He’s just got to go about his business and if he plays his role and we’re lucky enough to get through, then we’ll look at that (team changes) next week,” he said.
“He’s not worried about next week .. he’s determined.”
The Bulldogs could be forced to make a similar call should they win on Saturday, with defender Fletcher Roberts promoted at the expense of injured defender Matt Suckling.
Suckling could return from an Achilles injury the following Saturday.
“We’ve been able to deal with injuries all year and another guy steps up,” Bulldogs assistant coach Daniel Giansiracusa said of Roberts.
A GWS victory would trigger further outrage from some pundits, who this week have questioned concessions handed out to the expansion club.
The Giants are gunning for a record-breaking premiership in their fifth season.
No expansion club outside Victoria has bettered West Coast’s effort of winning a flag in 1992, their sixth year in the competition.
“I’m not here to apologise for our young club having some success early in its existence,” Cameron said.
“It’s a topic at the moment.
“It’ll move on next week and the week after, and this time next year there’ll be something else to talk about.
“We’re a young club finding our way. We’ve had a really good, successful season so far but prelim finals are really hard to win.”