AFL 1 year ago

Swans to keep close eye on Giant Shaw

  • Swans to keep close eye on Giant Shaw

    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 14: Heath Shaw of the Giants thanks fans after winning the round eight AFL match between the Greater Western Sydney Giants and the Gold Coast Suns at Spotless Stadium on May 14, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Sydney forward Ben McGlynn has recognised the importance of quelling the potential threat posed by GWS Giants defensive leader Heath Shaw in Sunday's big AFL derby.

Shaw, whose older brother Rhyce is a development coach at the Swans, has been in outstanding form this season and is often the man who triggers the Giants attack.

The 30-year-old half back is coming off a best and fairest year and is arguably having an even better 2016, lifting his average disposals per game from 23 to 26.

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"He's a great player and he's a leader of their defensive six," McGlynn said.

"He starts their rebound so we need to keep a close eye on him."

McGlynn doubted Rhyce would be able to provide much insight in how to curb his sibling's influence.

He suggested it would need a collective effort from the Swans, rather than just one person.

"A few of the boys are good mates with Heath and he's a great fella," McGlynn said.

"But I'm sure that come game time no tips that Rhyce gives will help stop him.

"We just need to do it as a team, defensively put pressure on him."

McGlynn said he was slowly getting some consistency back into his own game after an injury-plagued 12 months.

He played just nine senior games last year and didn't make his first top grade appearance in 2016 till round three because of another soft tissue injury.

"I put a good block in over summer to put myself in good stead to be resilient throughout the year and I'm seeing the benefits so far," said McGlynn, who has played the last eight games.

Part of his training program includes doing some of his warmup in bare feet.

"Just to get a bit more stability in the ankles and calves and achilles to strengthen them," McGlynn said.

"The strength in my legs is something I've noticed coming into games. Pulling up from games I've been pulling up well."

McGlynn enjoyed probably his best season in 2014 when he was used primarily in the midfield.

He hopes to spend more time there in the second half of the present campaign.

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