Injury opens door
Wednesday, 31st January, 2018
By Tyler Hannigan
Zac Williams’ achilles injury may just pave the way for former local Isaac Cumming’s AFL debut in season 2018.
The Greater Western Sydney Giants’ once formidable half-back line is now in ruins with Williams’ injury, which followed Nathan Wilson’s defection to Fremantle in last year’s trade period, as well as the aging Heath Shaw in what is likely to be his final season.
That leaves a gap which could be filled by Broken Hill’s Cumming who was taken with pick 20 in the 2016 national draft and spent all of 2017 in the NEAFL competition.
According to Giants officials, Cumming was already penciled in for a debut in 2018, but he could see a lot more game time given the circumstances.
He’s no doubt earned it having impressed almost every week at NEAFL level.
Champion Data ranked him above average in his position for disposals, disposal efficiency, contested and uncontested possessions, intercept marks, intercept possessions and tackles. While he averaged 69 Champion Data ranking points throughout the first month of the season, that then lifted to 93 ranking points throughout the rest of the campaign.
While Cumming is almost certain to play at some point in 2018, the Giants are also likely to look at experience down back with ex-Bulldogs pair Ryan Griffen and Callan Ward among the options to replace Wilson and Williams and a former Tiger might revisit his past.
Brett Deledio switched to GWS in the 2016 off season but an injury curtailed year meant that he didn’t makes his debut for the club until round 20. He eventually played in the Giants preliminary final loss against his old team.
Deledio spent most of his 2018 campaign across half-forward but it was on half-back he did some of his best work when playing for Richmond.
AFL great and SEN’s Garry Lyon supports the move of Deledio to defence.
“I know Brett had an interrupted year and he didn’t get going, but he looked lost when he was out there and they tried to play him as a forward,” Lyon said on SEN Breakfast on Monday.
“Maybe it’s a bit of back to the future for him. Maybe he goes back to that halfback line. It’s an easier spot to play.”
Youngsters Harry Perryman and Adam Kennedy, once he recovers from ACL surgery, have also been floated as options across half-back.