Seven changes for Giants

April 26, 2024 12:55 pm in by
Matt Sondergeld is among seven inclusions for Geelong West. (Jason Borys/Pixled Sports Media)

Geelong West has made seven changes for its crucial clash with Anakie at West Oval as Round 4 of the GDFNL season continues on Saturday.

The Giants were left bruised and battered following last week’s loss to the Belmont Lions, with a string of injuries, including to coach Scott Frangos (collarbone), Ako Warakea (shoulder), Oscar Miller (hamstring), Tom Burke (finger), Tannar Stone (hamstring) and Harry Fraser (shoulder).

Harry Smith is unavailable.

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Off-season addition Matt Sondergeld will slot straight back into the midfield, while debutants, Michael Facey, Abwi Deng and Kade Woodhouse are among the seven inclusions.

“I think we’re still a good side despite the guys that are out,” Frangos said.

“They’re going to have guys that are out as well, so it’s a level playing field.

“If we bring what we know we can do, we’ll match it with them.”

The Roos, who are coming off a confidence-boosting win over Werribee Centrals, welcome back Geelong VFL ruck Ajang Kuol Mun, Paul Ridout, co-captain Mason Rhodes and Joel Jahn.

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However, they will be without former Richmond and Western Bulldogs forward Sam Lloyd.

Livewire forward Zac Smith will make his first senior appearance of the year as East Geelong chases its third win when it hosts North Geelong at Richmond Crescent.

Smith, who kicked 68 goals from 19 games in 2023, has spent the past fortnight in the reserves.

Sam King and Tim Lee are also back for the Eagles.

However, they will be missing Ben Flintoff (quad), Will Jozipovic (foot) and Bailey Payne (groin) for the Past Players’ Day meeting.

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North, riding a two-game winning streak, will be boosted by the return of Aaron Beecroft, Cam Bily and Cooper Vaughan.

They replace Charles Andrews, Sam Reynolds and Zack Baker, who have been omitted.


Corio will debut another father-son product when it hosts Winchelsea at Shell Oval.

Jalen Bigham, Ricky’s son, joined the Devils from Bell Park at the end of last year and will join twin brother Isiah in the lineup.

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Lachie Sharp will make his first senior appearance since 2022, among two changes for Corio.

Brayden Cotter (knee) and Logan Dixon (unavailable) go out of the team that ended a 15-year drought against Bell Post Hill last week.

The Blues welcome back Aaron Cook and one-time GFNL Rookie of the Year Jack Symmons.

They will also debut Harry Nagle. Originally from Yarrawonga, he played a handful of reserves games with St Joseph’s in 2023 before joining the Blues.

However, forward Leigh Ellis (knee), Riley Berg (concussion) and Josh Freeman (unavailable) will be missing.

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Thomson has named first-gamer Alex Anticev among three inclusions for its meeting with the unbeaten Belmont Lions at Winter Reserve.

Anticev joined the Tigers from St Mary’s in the off-season.

Big man Jordy Camm and Mitch Hodgson are back from injury.

However, captain Travis McGuire (unavailable), Josh Camm and Jack Wilson will be missing for Thomson.

The Lions will debut Jesse Stapleton as they chase a 4-0 start to a season for the first time since the GDFNL returned to a single-division structure in 1996.

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2019 GDFNL Team of the Year fullback Daniel Bannister is a surprise selection at Bell Post Hill for the clash with Werribee Centrals at Myer Reserve.

Bannister, who also won Belmont Lions best-and-fairest in the same year, last played in the region with GFNL club Geelong West in 2021.

Brayden Staggard is back after missing last week’s loss to Corio, while Grovedale recruit Max Martin will make his debut.

Tyler Edwards, Lachlan Haines and Tanner Martin have been omitted.

The Centurions welcome back Harley Kilby and veteran Matt Miller, with Bryce Campbell earning promotion following some good performances in the reserves.

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Keegan Gilbert is being managed, Tyson Stephens returns to the under-18s, and Ben Leonard’s been dropped.

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