Giants not giving up on spot in AFL finals

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GWS veteran Callan Ward is hopeful a win over battling North Melbourne can kick-start the Giants' push for an unlikely AFL finals berth.

The Giants reached the second week of the finals last season but a horror start to 2022 led to Leon Cameron's departure as coach and a disappointing 3-8 record at the halfway point of the campaign.

But with some tweaks made by interim coach Mark McVeigh, in particular to the Giants' training methods, Ward still has half an eye on the top-eight.

"There's a long way to go," Ward said.

"At the moment we're just trying to find that consistency, trying to get better every week and trying to train really hard.

"We'll try to nail the education side of our defence and our attack, and who knows what can happen?

"If we can win a few in a row and really get on a roll, who knows?"

Lachie Whitfield (ankle) and Adam Kennedy (illness) are back to bolster the Giants for Sunday's meeting with the Kangaroos at Marvel Stadium.

They replace Jarrod Brander and Bobby Hill, who has had surgery after being diagnosed with testicular cancer.

North Melbourne have recalled Jaidyn Stephenson and Aaron Hall, while former first-round draft pick Tarryn Thomas has been dropped and Ben McKay (concussion) is unavailable.

Ward was substituted out of the Giants' loss to Brisbane in round 11 following a head knock but has since cleared concussion protocols.

The inaugural GWS co-captain will become the first player to reach 200 games for the club, after playing 60 in four years with the Western Bulldogs.

The Giants will start warm favourites to celebrate Ward's milestone with a win.

North Melbourne have managed one victory this season - over an injury-hit and virus-ravaged West Coast in round two - and are on a 10-match losing streak.

Those defeats have come by an average margin of 61 points, turning up the heat on the Kangaroos' rebuild under David Noble.

But the Giants won't travel south thinking they've already got a win in the bag.

"Their football is actually pretty good, like, their best football is really good," Ward said.

"They're a bit like us at the moment, they're a bit inconsistent, but against Melbourne they had a really good first half and they've proven they can compete against the best sides.

"There's no doubt we'll have to be on our game."

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