The GIANTS’ second selection in last year’s draft - Jackson Hately - will make his AFL debut in the nation’s capital when the GIANTS take on Fremantle at UNSW Canberra Oval on Saturday afternoon.
The 18-year-old, who was born in Canberra before moving to Adelaide, becomes the 93rd GIANT and comes into the team for co-captain Callan Ward who will miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury.
Everything's Bigger Up Close - get your tickets to watch Jackson Hately debut on Saturday as the GIANTS take on Fremantle at UNSW Canberra Oval.
GIANTS coach Leon Cameron said Hately, who was knocking down the door for a round one spot before a bout of tonsillitis, thoroughly deserved his selection.
“It’s always pleasing to have a first-gamer,” Cameron said.
“We all know the impact it has on a footy club and it’s no exception for Jackson.
“He’s come across from South Australia, he played some good footy last year, we took him at pick 14 and he’s done everything we’ve asked.
“He’s played some good footy at NEAFL level, he’s been knocking the door down, he’ll come in and he’ll play in the midfield - he’ll play an inside and an outside role, he’s got that capability.
“He’s got a good motor, he can run, which helps at that early age as an 18-year-old in your debut year.
“His composure is probably his number one quality. He’s composed with the footy, he doesn’t get flustered, he plays with a really good, even temperament.
“He’s tough and hard at the footy, we saw that in JLT where he put his head over the footy, and that’s what you want from a young player.”
Cameron has opted for a settled line-up with just the one forced change after a memorable win over Geelong at GMHBA Stadium last Saturday.
The coach isn’t taking lightly a Fremantle side who are sitting inside the top eight with two wins and two losses to start to the year but backs in the GIANTS’ home-ground advantage at UNSW Canberra Oval as the club kicks off the first of three big games in the nation’s capital this season.
“They’re hard to beat, we’ve had some good games against Fremantle, last year we went down to halfway through the last until we got the result,” Cameron said.
“They’re in good form, they’re in the top eight for a reason.
“To have over 4,000 of our record 25,000 members in Canberra is fantastic. The great thing is that when we rock up there, we all know that there’s clearly a sea of orange there.
“The weather seems like it’s going to be perfect. Our players love playing in Canberra, the ground size suits us, but equally the atmosphere that’s now started to support our performance is first class so we look forward to it.”
There’s still time to make sure you don’t miss a moment of the action in 2019 with a three-game Canberra membership giving you access to big games against Fremantle, St Kilda and Hawthorn.
GIANTS v Fremantle
Saturday, April 20 at 1:45pm
UNSW Canberra Oval
FB: Matt Buntine, Sam Taylor, Adam Kennedy
HB: Phil Davis, Nick Haynes, Adam Tomlinson
C: Zac Williams, Matt de Boer, Jeremy Finlayson
HF: Sam Reid, Jeremy Cameron, Stephen Coniglio
FF: Brent Daniels, Harry Himmelberg, Jacob Hopper
RR: Shane Mumford, Josh Kelly, Tim Taranto
Interchange: Jackson Hately, Daniel Lloyd, Lachie Whitfield, Heath Shaw
In: Jackson Hately (debutant)
Out: Callan Ward (knee)
Emergencies: Isaac Cumming, Lachlan Keeffe, Dawson Simpson, Nick Shipley