AFL: Giants coach Leon Cameron talks to the media after a victory over the Bombers.
GREATER Western Sydney have recalled big guns Shane Mumford and Steve Johnson for Saturday’s match against Carlton.
After last week’s scare against lowly Essendon, Giants coach Leon Cameron is determined to maintain this season’s unbeaten run at Spotless Stadium and has rushed his star pairing into the team after sparing them the punishment of playing on the very hard Etihad Stadium surface against the Bombers.
Johnson was suffering the effects of a sore foot and Mumford was carrying an injured ankle.
“They’re an integral part of the team,” Cameron said.
“Shane was very keen to get back, he wanted to play last week but his ankle was pretty sore. He’s looking forward to the challenge against Carlton, (Matthew) Kreuzer is in really good form. We weren’t sure about both of them but they’ve pulled up well from the main training session.”
Experienced small forward Rhys Palmer has forced his way into the team with a stunning 52 possessions and four goals in the NEAFL.
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“Rhys’s form has been really good and so has Jack Steele’s, Jake Barrett’s and Adam Tomlinson’s,” Cameron said.
“It’s great they are pushing the door down. Rhys has been there and done that and that’s why he’s in. It was a really tough selection because some of the guys who have come back in have pushed some guys out who have been playing some really good footy.”
Sam Reid and Tom Downie have been omitted while Jacob Hopper has been rested for the clash against the Blues.
“Jacob is a first-year player and he’s had a big six weeks,” Cameron said.
“We’re rapt with how he’s gone but we’re mindful playing six and seven weeks in a row really takes its toll.”
Co-captain Phil Davis has also been included after picking up an ankle injury in the win over Essendon.
“It’s a big challenge for Phil,” Cameron said.
“We trust him in these situations because he’s the captain of the football club. They’ve got Levi Casboult and their ruckmen will rest up forward, if he’s putting his hand up he has to be right.
“Our defensive mindset wasn’t there particularly in the first half. We aren’t a big tackling team but it was poor and Essendon moved the ball really well and hurt us.
“Carlton are coached well, they defend well and use the ball really well, so we can expect to do some defending.”
The Giants membership has pushed past the 13,500 mark for the first time.