Giants' Phil Davis with two-year-old fan Lachlan McLeod at the Giants fan day at ANU South Oval on Sunday. Photo: Graham Tidy
If Greater Western Sydney was to play Collingwood at Manuka Oval later this year, you could bet on Dylan Shiel getting the job of marking Dane Swan.
Shiel has played on three of the last four Brownlow medallists after running with Gold Coast superstar Gary Ablett in the first half of GWS’s historic win at Manuka on Saturday.
The young Giants midfielder also played on Carlton’s Chris Judd in last year’s NAB Challenge game in Canberra, as well as Adam Cooney when the Western Bulldogs played at Manuka Oval two weeks ago.
That means he’s got the 2008-2010 AFL best-and-fairests on his resume, with just last year’s winner, Swan, remaining to complete the quadrella. And if he stands Jimmy Bartel when the Giants play Geelong then he’d have the last five Brownlows covered.
GWS pre-selected Shiel as a 17-year-old and he’s highly rated at the new club.
If you want to make a champion then you play him on a champion, coach Kevin Sheedy said at the Giants’ family day at ANU yesterday.
‘‘We’ve given him some hard ones. There’s only one way to teach some of these guys [and that’s] to put them on the champions,’’ Sheedy said.
‘‘What will happen here is this player and the players we put on the champions will understand what it takes to be a champion.’’
Shiel joked he wasn’t sure if he should come back to Manuka after he struggled to contain Ablett in the first half, the dual premiership player picking up 13 possessions in the first quarter. But Ablett wasn’t his usual damaging self and he had a relatively quiet second half after Tom Scully was moved onto him.
It was a great learning experience for Shiel. ‘‘I don’t know what they’re trying to do to me, I don’t think I ever want to play there again,’’ Shiel said with a laugh. ‘‘Three Brownlow medallists and probably three dark days [for me] you could say, big learning days.’’
Stephen Coniglio spent some time in the Giants’ other tagging job – on former Brisbane Bronco Karmichael Hunt. The West Australian wasn’t happy with his form in his first five AFL games but he showed what he is capable of with a 31-possession game against the Suns.
‘‘I’m a little bit surprised [with how quickly I’ve adapted to the AFL] but I haven’t been overly happy with the start that I’ve had but I’ll keep going and try to emulate yesterday a couple more times,’’ Coniglio said.