Hot Taranto set for first Sydney AFL derby

A stronger, fitter Tim Taranto is looking forward to his first Sydney AFL derby and building on the his red-hot early season form.

Midfielder Taranto had never been to the SCG before Greater Western Sydney's Friday training run.

He missed out on playing both derbies in last year's debut season, being managed for the first and injured for the second.

The No.2 pick in the 2016 draft, the 20-year-old Taranto has made an impressive start to his second campaign.

He racked up a career-best 32 possessions in the Giants' first-round game against the Western Bulldogs and logged his second-best haul of 23 against Collingwood in round two.

"Just another pre-season under the belt, getting stronger, fitter, earning the trust of my teammates," Taranto said on Friday.

Taranto played primarily last year as a forward, when he made 14 appearances, including two in finals, despite being sidelined for almost two months by an ankle injury.

He's clearly relishing being in the thick of the action in 2018 and wants more time in his preferred midfield role.

"That's what I would love to do; I've had the opportunity the last two weeks," Taranto said.

"Hopefully that continues, but time will tell."

Taranto is building a physique that allows him to mix it in the midfield trenches.

He proved his toughness last year even before his AFL debut, when he was quickly back on his feet after a massive hit from Swans star Lance Franklin in a pre-season game.

"I got a nice little knock from Buddy, which was a good initiation," Taranto quipped.

He recognised containing Franklin, with 12 goals over the first two rounds, would be a key to the Giants' prospects on Saturday.

"It won't be me that will be stopping him, he's obviously in great form and he's an unreal player," Taranto said.

"I've got full faith in our backs, who are in some really good form, and the structures we can put in will get the job done."

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