Giants coach Leon Cameron. Photo: Getty Images
Port Adelaide sits on top of the AFL world after tearing apart competition benchmark Geelong, but rather than feeling daunted by the thought of facing a resurgent Power at Manuka Oval on Saturday, Greater Western Sydney coach Leon Cameron is inspired.
In less than two seasons Port has climbed from 14th in 2012, to a semi-final (2013) and now it is first, albeit just six rounds into the 2014 season.
Port has been the AFL's Cinderella story, both on and off the field, with coach Ken Hinkley, chief executive Keith Thomas and high-profile chairman David Koch all playing important roles in the resurrection.
While the Giants are clearly the AFL's youngest squad, Port isn't that far off, as the sixth-youngest. It's been a quick climb and Cameron hopes his young team can emulate it.
"We know we're going to have some ups and downs and a lot of work to do to get to the level where Port are at the moment, but absolutely it does give you [inspiration]," he said on Tuesday.
"They've obviously improved quite dramatically in the last year and a half ... We're the youngest list and they've got a young list as well."
Port has also turned around its off-field fortunes and passed 50,000 members for the first time this month. It's a path Cameron would like to follow, but he believes Port's historical base in Adelaide puts it a long way ahead of the Giants.
Cameron knows it's going to be a tough ask on Saturday against Port, which is playing at Manuka for the first time since 2005.
GWS will be without ruckman Shane Mumford, who had a minor knee operation on April 12 and hasn't played since. He's a big loss for a side that needs all the big bodies it can get.
But the Giants could be buoyed by the return of several onballers, with Dylan Shiel (quad) playing well in the reserves last week, Toby Greene coming off suspension, while Rhys Palmer (hamstring), Lachie Whitfield (foot) and Josh Kelly (hamstring) are also in the mix for selection.
As is All-Australian full-forward Jeremy Cameron, who suffered a perforated eardrum last weekend and had a minor procedure.
"I'd love [Mumford] back, but there [has been] a couple of minor complications,'' Leon Cameron said. "He's touch and go for this week, but he's probably just going to miss, and with such an important player I don't think we can mess around with his health and fitness."
The Giants and Port will train at Manuka on Friday afternoon.
GWS Giants v Port Adelaide
Manuka Oval, 2.10pm
Tickets available at Ticketek