GWS recruits Josh Hunt, Heath Shaw, Shane Mumford, Dylan Addison and Jed Lamb at Manuka Oval on Wednesday. Photo: Jay Cronan
- Swans star Kennedy takes pride in being hounded by rivals
- Craig Bolton calls for more Sydney derby clashes in Canberra
They're the five recruits Greater Western Sydney is banking on to drag the AFL's whipping boy out of the competition cellar.
While the Sydney Swans are keeping superstar Lance Franklin in cotton wool, the Giants will roll out all of their off-season purchases in Thursday night's NAB Challenge match at Manuka Oval.
Former Swans ruckman Shane Mumford and Jed Lamb will face their old side for the first time, while Heath Shaw (Collingwood), Dylan Addison (Bulldogs) and Josh Hunt (Geelong) will also debut for the Giants.
Mumford was offloaded by the Swans after their unprecedented $10 million, nine-year deal to snatch Franklin from under the nose of their cross-town rival.
He doesn't expect there to be any ill feeling from his ex-teammates as he settles into his new surrounds.
Shane Mumford trains in the rain at Manuka Oval on Wednesday. Photo: Jay Cronan
''It's always a little awkward that first time, but I'm not too nervous,'' Mumford said. ''There's no hard feelings from anyone at the club, they know what happened. You want to get it over and done with as quickly as possible that first one and being in the NAB Challenge isn't a bad format to do it.''
Mumford, Shaw and Hunt have all won premierships, Addison has eight years and 88 games of experience at the AFL level and Lamb showed plenty of promise during his time at the Swans.
Giants coach Leon Cameron said the senior players had made a noticeable impact around training and expected that to carry into the game when it mattered.
''The energy and the direction they give, whether it's at a weights session, on the training track, in a boxing session or at the back end of hard week is really important,'' Cameron said.
''In terms of us running out games, having that experience in your side is going to help.
''Also, I'm confident our third-year players can understand it's 120 minutes they have to last.''
The Giants have selected close to their strongest possible squad for their first hit-out of the year with the exception of last year's draftees.
The No.1 and No.2 selections Tom Boyd and Josh Kelly, along with No.14 pick Cameron McCarthy, have all been kept on the sidelines.
In contrast, the Swans are missing a host of big names, including Franklin, Adam Goodes and Kurt Tippett, along with Mike Pyke and Lewis Roberts-Thomson.
The match marks the comeback of injury-troubled Giants forward Jonathon Patton, who has been sidelined since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in round three in Canberra last year.
The 2011 No.1 draft pick has only played 10 games in his first two seasons in the AFL and has had to overcome his own self-doubts about returning to Manuka Oval.
''There will be a few demons here, but we've spoken about that during the week,'' Cameron said.
''The big thing about Jon is he has had to get over a number of hurdles, the first year with his patella. That adversity he's faced has really helped him to mature into a young man so we look forward to him strutting his stuff here tomorrow night.''
The Giants have struggled to be competitive with the Swans when they have met in premiership games during their first two years.
However, they did take some small portion of achievement with a victory over their more established rivals in the corresponding NAB Cup game last year in a shortened format.
''The Sydney Swans have been in Sydney for 30 years, we've only been here for a couple,'' Cameron said. ''We're trying to make some ground and we're confident after the pre-season we've had, the change in the list, that we can.''