GREATER Western Sydney (GWS) coach Leon Cameron revealed Riverina-bred Giants Matt Kennedy and Harry Himmelberg are in contention for round one after promising displays at Narrandera on Saturday.
Kennedy and Himmelberg were just two of the Riverina players that shone in the Giants’ 33-point victory over West Coast.
Kennedy was given an opportunity through the midfield and rewarded the faith shown in him with a strong display, gathering 22 touches.
The 19-year-old showed a lot of promise in three AFL games last year and Cameron revealed after Saturday’s game how he has challenged Kennedy to make the Giants' round one team.
“He's a really popular kid, a Collingullie boy...I thought he got better and better as the game went on,” Cameron said.
“He's had a really good pre-season, he wants to make his mark this year, he played a couple of AFL games last year, he wants to play some more AFL this year and he's on track to do that, and he's on track to do that early.
“I really want him to take up that challenge, to get one of those spots in the 22 for round one, and we look forward to his next couple of weeks.”
Kennedy enjoyed his chance in the midfield on Saturday.
“I’ve worked pretty hard through pre-season, working on the motor and going into the midfield a bit so to get a bit of reward today was nice,” Kennedy said.
“I’ve still got a lot to improve on, a few skill errors but that will come with games I guess but for a first hit out I was pretty happy with my performance and hopefully I can build on it.”
Kennedy hopes to get another shot in the Giants’ pre-season games so he can take Cameron up on his challenge.
“I’m just taking it step by step, obviously I’ve played a game now so it’s up to them whether I play JLT two and three,” he said.
“I’ll do my best to put my hand up for those and if I get the chance, hopefully I can play well to try and push for a spot because it’s going to be tight again this year for midfield and forward spots so all I can really do is back myself and put my hand up.”
Cameron also gave Himmelberg a strong endorsement.
“He's had a pretty good pre-season and there were times there today where he clearly looks like an AFL player,” Cameron said.
“There's other times where he needs to make sure his concentration levels stay at that level to continue to compete but we're really excited and bullish about where he's heading, he's settled well, he's a popular kid and hopefully he can take another step like he did in his first year.”
Cameron was also happy with the efforts of Harry Perryman, Jeremy Finlayson, Matt Flynn and Zac Williams.
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