Coniglio Unsurprised by Green’s Rise to Round 1
Tom Green isn’t just a prodigious footy talent, with GIANTS captain Stephen Coniglio revealing on Friday that the debutant can also predict the future.
Green, taken with pick No.10 at last year’s NAB AFL draft from the GIANTS Academy system, will be the GIANTS’ only first-gamer in Saturday night’s clash with Geelong.
The inside midfielder was given the good news by coach Leon Cameron on Wednesday, the same day he inked a two-year contract extension with the GIANTS and looks set to have an immediate impact on the competition if his form in the Marsh Community Series is anything to judge him on.
With club champion Tim Taranto (shoulder) out for 4-5 months and Callan Ward (knee) still a month away, Green has taken full advantage of an opening in the GIANTS’ onball division.
Coniglio said the youngster, who was no stranger to his teammates after starring for GIANTS in the NEAFL last season, made a strong first impression from the moment he’d won a position on the club’s playing list.
“I remember the first day he came into the club I was chatting with him and he told me he was going to play round one,” he said.
“It wasn’t said in an arrogant way, he just said he was just going to do everything in his power to make sure he got a spot for the first game.
“From the way he attacked that first day and every day since, speaks volumes about the player he is now, and the player he’s going to be for our football club going forward.
“To be told (he’s playing) on Wednesday and having to wait until Saturday night to play, that’s a lot of time to wait, so I just told him to put the phone away, enjoy the moment, and not play out the game in his head before it comes around.”
The new skipper hasn’t been overwhelmed by the uncertain nature of the coronavirus situation unfolding around him, and said he’s used it as a learning experience to build his leadership skills even further.
Coniglio said the GIANTS have kept mobile phone use to a minimum inside the changerooms and switched televisions off around the club in a bid to normalise the past few days.
“It’s one of those opportunities (we can use to come together),” he said.
“I didn’t get to see much of it but Richmond’s performance (on Friday night) but they jumped Carlton, and that speaks volumes about that group.
“Whatever gets thrown in front of them they can adapt and adapt quickly.
“With our group in particular, whenever adversity has hit we’ve got a really good record of showing up and putting our stamp on things early (in games and seasons).
“We’ve talked about how well we’ve attacked this season and what a shame it would be if we let this distraction get in the way.
“The discussion has been about living in the present and I couldn’t be more confident in the group.”