Andrew Demetriou speaks to Giants players at the media launch of the Sydney derby with the Swans. Photo: Andrew Johnson
AFL chief Andrew Demetriou has set Greater Western Sydney a pass mark of six wins this year but believes the league's newest club will be a finalist within five seasons.
Expectations are rising for the Giants, who, heading into their third season, are no longer considered a certainty to claim the wooden spoon.
Demetriou's goal of six wins for the Giants is two fewer than the eight victories posted by fellow newcomers Gold Coast in their third year in the league.
Giants players (from left to right) Callan Ward, Phil Davis and Jeremy Cameron with Swans players Ted Richards, Josh Kennedy and Rhyce Shaw. Photo: Anthony Johnson
"I'm in the camp that says I can see the team winning half a dozen games. The Suns exceeded everyone's expectations, they won eight games in their third year," Demetriou said.
Although coach Leon Cameron did not disclose his goal for the club this season, Giants chief executive David Matthews wants the team to avoid a third consecutive 18th-placing.
"We want to get off the bottom as soon as we possibly can," Matthews said. "We want to be more competitive and more entertaining and you don't do that from bottom place."
The Giants' Phil Davis. Photo: Getty Images
The Giants are not regarded as being near finals contention yet but the bar will be raised considerably higher in the coming years as their raft of early draft picks matures.
"My instinct is they'll make the finals for certain in the next five years, particularly with the list they've got," Demetriou said.
"It is great they have added some experienced talent. They're going to be a team that wins a lot of football games and they could even be a little bit frightening."
Although Demetriou said he was pleased with how the game was tracking in Sydney he warned it would be a lot longer before the Giants became a force off the field in a market traditionally dominated by rugby league.
"From our perspective we're tracking really well but it's a 20-year haul," Demetriou said. "It's a generational change, it's not overnight."
"We've got a game here every weekend instead of the Swans playing once every fortnight. That means it's producing news on a much more daily basis about two teams. We've been pleased with the coverage."
Demetriou said it was important the league started this season two weeks earlier than usual to give the game extra exposure against rival codes, but he acknowledged the split round was not ideal, with no game in Sydney next week.
A crowd of more than 20,000 is tipped for this weekend's Sydney derby at Spotless Stadium, Homebush. That's well above the NRL's average attendance of 15,824 from its opening round last week.