Tom Boyd in action in Canberra on Saturday. Photo: Katherine Griffiths
No.1 draft pick Tom Boyd showed enough in his first game for the GWS Giants to suggest he's ready to make his AFL debut in the season-opening derby with the Sydney Swans.
The powerfully built 18-year-old kicked three goals and demonstrated his versatility with a stint in the ruck in a 27-point win for the Giants reserves against the ACT at Ainslie Oval on Saturday.
Boyd has been kept in cotton wool for the NAB Challenge, but is hoping to get the green light for a practice match next Friday at Blacktown against the Adelaide Crows. A strong performance would have him on track to take on the Swans at Spotless Stadium on March 15.
''I thought I put a pretty good case forward to hopefully get a game next week, but it's all about where the coaches think I'm at,'' Boyd said. ''I'm just happy to have got out on the track and played some decent footy for the first game of the year.''
The ACT challenged the Giants in the first half before the bevy of AFL-listed players at their disposal took control, winning the game 13.7 (85) to 8.10 (58).
Only inaccurate kicking in the slippery conditions prevented Boyd from improving on his haul of 3.4.
The overwhelming top selection at last year's draft made the perfect start to his Giants career, slotting a goal from a set shot from 45 metres out on the left-hand boundary line with his first touch.
He used his 104-kilogram, 200-centimetre frame to good effect, outmuscling his opponent to take a mark leading to his second goal before beating two defenders with strength for his third.
Boyd started at full forward, but also played higher up the ground at centre half-forward and in the ruck.
''The last couple years I probably got drafted as a key forward and that's where I predominantly play, but I rucked in the juniors from under nines to under-15s,'' he said.
''It's something I've got within me, I just need to tweak a little bit playing ruck from juniors to seniors.
''I don't expect it to happen as much as it did today with the limited rotations and us having five guys over the two-metre mark in the team, but it's something I can bring to the table in terms of my versatility.''