GWS recall WA forward Bobby Hill to replace suspended star Toby Greene for semifinal against Geelong
Fate has delivered WA forward Bobby Hill a remarkable opportunity after being called up by Greater Western Sydney for Friday night’s semifinal against Geelong at Optus Stadium.
Two years after he was dropped for the 2019 grand final to allow Toby Greene to return from suspension, Hill was included to replace Greene after the wayward star was suspended for the rest of the season.
Hill, 21, will play his first game in eight weeks after returning from personal leave and getting fit to press his claims. Having played every game until round 17, he made the difficult decision to return to Sydney to support his pregnant partner after the Giants were locked out of their home State.
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Hill went goalless in the 2019 preliminary final against Collingwood, his only previous final.
GWS coach Leon Cameron said Hill would be unable to replace All-Australian Greene alone, with captain Stephen Coniglio and fellow onballer Tim Taranto also likely to spend time forward.
“He’s trained really well. He’s now three weeks post coming out of quarantine and he’s starting to put his hand up,” Cameron said.
“It’s got to be a combination. It’s not going to be any particular person just to say he’s got to do what Toby Greene does.”
The Giants also recalled teenage midfielder Conor Stone for his first appearance since round eight, while fellow youngster Tanner Bruhn was included in the 22 after being the sub last week. They lost Tom Green (broken arm) and Sam Reid (hamstring) to injury.
Veteran Shane Mumford was named to play as the sole specialist ruckman on a six-day break, while former skipper Phil Davis was again overlooked.
Cameron described the task against the Cats as a massive challenge, after the Giants limped over Sydney by one point in their elimination final.
“I understand the last quarter it looked like we were holding on for dear life and parts of it we were, definitely,” he said.
“But equally we probably should have taken our moments throughout the third and probably shouldn’t have put ourselves in that position.
“The thing I’ve really admired about the group is they’ve been courageous. Their character has been tested and it will get tested again tomorrow night.
“We really want to make sure we take it up to the Cats. We’ll leave nothing out on the ground tomorrow night.”
Former Fremantle forward Jesse Hogan will play his 100th game.
“Six contested marks last week is a huge effort,” Cameron said.
“And having that down the line or inside forward 50, a guy that can clunk the ball, is really, really important. We’ve just got to get him out there as much as we possibly can.
“What we saw last week was a really, really strong performance from him in his first final and he’ll look forward to seeing if he can back it up.”
Meanwhile, Cameron described Greene’s umpire contact offence as “a lot different” to other incidents throughout his colourful history.
“It’s disappointing. We all know what’s happened. We’re disappointed in Toby putting himself in those positions,” he said.
“And the consequences, which we’ve already seen, he’s going to miss the rest of the finals series.
“So in terms of addressing issues, I think this is a different one compared to the footy stuff, that we’re talking about. This is a lot different actually.
“We’ll deal with that when our season finishes and hopefully we’ve got another three weeks to play out in that.
“Toby’s a much-loved player of our footy club. He’s done the wrong thing. We all know he’s done the wrong thing. He’s put his hand up. And we’ll work through that when the season finishes.”
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