Toby Greene has kicked 13 goals in seven AFL games in 2018 and averages 15 disposals.Statistics don’t always tell the full story but they suggest GWS forward Toby Greene is the club’s talisman and arguably their most important player, heading into a third straight AFL finals campaign.
Toe, foot and hamstring issues have limited the Giants foundation player to just seven games this season, after he finished 2017 as their joint leading goalkicker with Jeremy Cameron and Jon Patton.
GWS won six and drew the other game Greene played in this season.
In a injury-hampered campaign in which just five Giants have played every game, Greene’s absence has been felt more keenly than most.
The combative 24-year-old is the player whose presence adds spark to their forward line.
GWS have scored an average of 15 points a game more when Green is playing.
He was absent from each of their five lowest scoring efforts of the season, including a horrific mid-season stretch of four straight losses, over which they averaged a paltry 55 points a match.
At 182cm, Greene is hardly a giant in the literal sense.
But his uncanny ability to regularly take marks in the forward 50 with his clever body work and good positional sense, allied to a strong ground game developed as a midfielder, makes him an x-factor player.
“He’s massive because he wins his own footy,” Giants’ forwards coach Brad Miller told AAP.
“He’s so hard to play on as a defender trying to match up on him.
“He can get you in the air but he can also get you on the ground and he’s fierce in the contest.
“He’s such a dangerous threat for us and he’ll be a huge upside if we can get him fit and firing for a couple of games in September.”
Green is listed to return for the first week of finals, by which time he won’t have played for five weeks.
However, he went almost three months between games earlier in the season and made an immediate impact, kicking two goals in a narrow home win over premiers Richmond.
“Even (though) he missed such a large amount of time, to play like he did…….there’s probably only a handful of players who can do that in the competition and he probably sits in that handful,” GWS vice-captain Stpehen Coniglio said.
“It’s not only his goals and his touches.
“It’s more just you’re walking out onto a game, particularly against Richmond, you look over, you see Toby Greene.
“Everyone, especially the more inexperienced players, walk really tall.”