GWS contemplate Stevie J recall for Eagles final

 

Greater Western Sydney are considering a raft of changes as they seek to keep their AFL season alive, with retiring veteran Steve Johnson's compelling case for a recall likely to be rewarded.

Johnson was dumped for last week's qualifying final against Adelaide, while fellow small forward Devon Smith missed that game because of a knee injury.

Giants coach Leon Cameron confirmed both were shaping up well in their bid to return in Saturday's semi-final against West Coast at Spotless Stadium.

But Cameron made it clear Dawson Simpson, Tim Taranto, Matt Kennedy and Tim Mohr were also in the mix.

Cameron will make at least two changes in response to season-ending injuries suffered by key forward Jeremy Cameron and ruckman Shane Mumford.

But there may also be some unforced omissions after the lopsided loss to the Crows.

"There are going to be some players walking on thin ice at the moment ... wondering if they're going to be playing," he told reporters on Wednesday.

"That's the way it needs to be ... otherwise it means players can get away with some bad habits."

Johnson, provided he pulls up well from Wednesday's training session, is well placed to extend his 291-game career.

The three-time premiership winner, who boasts immense experience gleaned from 24 finals, was dropped after a poor showing against Geelong in the final round of the regular season.

Cameron noted the 34-year-old, who is a proven match winner when on song, impressed in last week's scratch match, trained well on Wednesday and his dodgy knee is in relatively good shape.

"There's no doubt it's enticing to look at him because of what he can do," Cameron said.

The Giants won't rule out recalling Johnson. Pic: Supplied

"Experienced players in those big moments, they only need eight or 10 possessions but they can turn it into gold.

"Our forward line hasn't been functioning as well as it had been.

"There's a lot in his favour."

The rest of the selection debate is more complicated.

Cameron confirmed ex-Richmond veteran Brett Deledio is in no danger of being axed despite a quiet game against the Crows, while former Western Bulldogs captain Ryan Griffen is yet to do enough to warrant a recall.

Simpson appeared a certain inclusion for Mumford but the Giants may yet ask Rory Lobb to shoulder the bulk of the ruck burden.

Mohr has played a single game this year but could be summoned for his first career final, with GWS contemplating the prospect of starting one of their key defenders as a forward in the absence of Cameron.

"It's going to be a really good debate ... some 20 or 21 will pick themselves," Cameron said.

"Then we'll spend three or four hours on the last spot."

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