K rock Football

Young guns to take West forward

Geelong West coach Greg Mellor at pre-season training. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer

GEELONG West coach Greg Mellor has backed the club’s young talent to help the Giants climb the GFL ladder in 2021.

Since its most recent finals appearance as Geelong West-St Peter’s in 2008, the Giants have never posted more than six wins in a season, with ninth their highest finishing position.

Mellor is planing to announce recruits between now and Christmas, but he’s also keen to boost the profile of a handful of youngsters that he hopes will help propel West forward.

“The youth in our group that, even though they didn’t get to play this year, they are all 12 months older,” Mellor said.

“Lachie Handley and Max Kelly and Riley Moore. Titit Nyak and David Handley as well.

“I’m expecting them to take that next step; go from being kids to mature young men, and be able to compete and play consistently for the whole season at a really high level.”

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It’s a core group Mellor says is invested in the club, with the majority coming through the Giants’ junior program.

“If you have people who are invested in the club, they’re going to want to give,” he said.

“So, you need to look after them, you need to promote them, and you need to develop them. Whether it’s football, netball, they’ll give ten times more back.

“I say to these young guys, they’ll play here for 10-15 years, they’ll go to each other’s weddings, their kids’ christenings and all that.

“And then they’ll come and watch their kids come through and play here; this will be their club.

“They’re building that themselves. It’s great to see, but they do take time.”

Mellor, who is entering his fourth year (including 2020) at West Oval, says now is the time for Geelong West to push for a return to September action.

“That’s where we need to get to,” he said. “We’ll be driving them (the players) to make sure that’s their goal.

“It’s my goal.”

Twitter: @tom_king79