Galvanised Giants proud of gutsy effort

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GWS midfielder Callan Ward believes the club's ability to galvanise through adversity this year will hold them in good stead for the 2022 premiership race.

The Giants' flag bid came to an end on Friday night when they suffered a 35-point semi-final loss to Geelong in Perth.

GWS were ravaged by injuries all year and their chance of toppling Geelong suffered another huge blow when Toby Greene was suspended for three weeks for bumping an umpire.

Geelong ended up having too much firepower on the night, but GWS did well just to make the semi-finals.

The Giants appeared destined for a second straight season without finals action after slipping to a 0-3 record this year.

GWS recovered from that wobbly start but were thrown another curve ball when they were forced to leave NSW on June 22 due to COVID-19.

The Giants would spend the next 73 days on the road before Geelong finally killed off their season.

During that period GWS snared an unlikely finals berth after winning four of their final five games of the regular season, and they bucked the odds again when they pipped Sydney by one point in a pulsating elimination final.

"We had to be really resilient, especially being on the road for 73 days," Ward told AAP.

"It's been a really tough year in terms of being away from home. I've been really proud of the group in the way they attacked that.

"Against Geelong things didn't go the way we wanted it to, but we'll take a lot from it in terms of playing finals football.

"I think we've really galvanised as a group and we've really grown. I'm really proud of the group and the way we attacked that."

The blowtorch was being applied to coach Leon Cameron earlier this season, but Ward said a meeting after the team's horror start to the year helped free up the players to reach their potential.

"We had a meeting and just said, 'Let's release the shackles a little bit'," Ward said.

"It looked like guys weren't enjoying their footy, we weren't playing good footy.

"We just said, 'Let's just have some fun, let's make the most of the opportunity wherever it takes us'."

Greene will miss at least the first two games of next season, but it could end up being more if the AFL's appeal to increase the suspension is successful.

"He was very apologetic to everyone," Ward said.

"He knows he did the wrong thing. He was shattered as you would be, but he put on a brave face and did try to help us get over the line by being there and being supportive at training."

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