Prized recruit Jesse Hogan will make his debut for the GIANTS on Saturday, as the enigmatic forward starts life at a third club now searching for “more firepower”.
The GIANTS are also set to call on Lachie Whitfield for his first game for the season, as the reigning club champion recovers from a bruised liver.
Hogan’s first game since moving to the GIANTS from the Dockers in last year’s Trade Period was delayed by a quad strain in the pre-season, and he returned through the VFL to build his form and fitness.
The 26-year-old is now ready to be unleashed at the top-level, and Leon Cameron confirmed on Wednesday that Hogan will be selected in the team to face Adelaide.
“It's a great story. He's been at our footy club for five months now, and he's done a lot right,” Cameron said.
"No doubt he's going to be nervous, first game in a long time. But he's put himself out there, that's what we like.
"He can come down there and complement our forward line and provide a bit more firepower. We need to probably find another couple of goals.”
Hogan started his career at Melbourne and was one of the best emerging key forwards in the competition as he won the NAB AFL Rising Star award in 2015 and kicked more than 40 goals in three of his four completed seasons at the club.
But his two seasons after moving to Fremantle were less fruitful, as a series of form, injury and off-field issues limited his impact to 18 goals in 19 games.
Cameron thinks the key forward is now in the environment and head-space to again make the most of his obvious talents, and puts part of that down to the influence of veteran ruckman Shane Mumford.
“Since he's been in Sydney he's settled well, settled well living with Mummy, and he's trained really, really hard,” the GIANTS coach said.
“He found Mummy and Mummy found him. It's a really good match. Mummy has a bungalow out the back and that's where he stays, he gets on really well with the family.
"He has been a really good mentor for him. No doubt some of the challenges Jesse has had in his life, Mummy has built that relationship where they can talk about some of the things that he's struggled with. We’re really rapt.”
Cameron said GIANTS star Whitfield is “a huge chance” to come straight back into the team on Saturday, rather than continuing his comeback from a nasty injury with a run in the VFL.
The 26-year-old trained with the main group on Wednesday and showed no signs of the injury he picked up in a pre-season training mishap during match simulation.
“He's done everything right. He's been training for three or four weeks, and did a really tough, 15km session out here on the Saturday. So he's ready to go, if he pulls up well [from training on Wednesday]," Cameron said.
“That's a huge ask because he's been out for 12 weeks. We don't expect miracles, but clearly Lachie Whitfield is a really important player to our structure.
"We'll probably play him as that high half-forward, that wing role. He probably plays half-back as well.”
Hogan kicked four goals for the GIANTS VFL side on Thursday, taking 11 marks and racking up 14 disposals against the Bulldogs.
He kicked three goals the week prior against Sydney's VFL side.
GIANTS coach Leon Cameron noted Hogan is certain to be nervous this weekend.
"It's his first AFL game for a long time, but he's put himself out there and that's what we like," he said.
"He's settled well.
"He's training really, really hard.
"I know he's a player of interest and people will look at him closely.
"He can ... add a bit of firepower. We probably need to find another couple of goals, he's been in form in the VFL and thoroughly deserves his spot."