An upset 22-point loss to Aspley on Saturday afternoon cut the GIANTS’ finals campaign short, but the result hardly defined the season says coach Adam Schneider.
Stunned by the Hornets intensity, the 16-listed player-strong GWS side struggled to turn the tide in the low-scoring contest, and Schneider was understandably devastated by the result.
“I’m gutted at the moment,” Schneider told neafl.com.au post-game.
“But I can’t question my boys’ effort; I thought it was there.
“What I can say is that Aspley was sensational. The brand of footy they played was a really, really tough, competitive brand. They deserved the win in the end, they were just too good. They outplayed us and really taught us a lesson.”
In a season riddled with injury and constantly changing line-ups at both AFL and NEAFL level, Schneider holds the belief that there were still plenty of positives to take into 2020.
“I’ve felt over the year we’ve some really good footy, and we’ve probably played two or three games where I was really disappointed in the boys. Apart from those two or three games, the season was pretty pleasing,” he said.
“At the moment, it’s still pretty raw and I’m still disappointed about today. We’ll sit down and review that at the end of the year, but our seniors are still in, so we’ll rock up Monday and go again.”
While the GIANTS as a collective failed to get the best out of themselves on the day, it was the GIANTS Academy players that provided the orange and charcoal faithful reason to smile.
Exciting performances from Rising Star nominees James Peatling, Harry Grant and Lachlan Squire were outshone by the high flying effort of 18-year-old Nicholas Murray, who hauled in a magnificent mark in his game of the year.
“That’s the difference this year and last year we had the same group of Academy kids come through and it makes a big difference in the way we play,” Schneider said.
“It wasn’t that (Murray) mark that impressed me it was just his competitiveness. He’s just an animal and loves to compete, so to do it on a big stage like that was pretty important for a young guy.
“It wasn’t just him; we had the Peatling's, Grant's, Squire's and Perryman's who helped us out all year. They (Academy players) have been sensational.”
The victorious Hornets will play for a grand final spot against the Southport at Fankhauser Reserve on Saturday afternoon.
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