Giants embrace Kingsley's 'play your role' philosophy

Ask Greater Western Sydney defenders what success looks like, and they’ll tell you it’s playing their roles.

For the first time in club history, the Giants have opened their season undefeated and are on top of the AFL table, buoyed by powerhouse attacking talent in Jesse Hogan (18 goals), Toby Greene (nine) and Callum Brown (10).

But their five-match winning streak came close to snapping when St Kilda gave Adam Kingsley’s men a late-game scare, kicking six goals to almost turn around a 35-point deficit.

It was the backline that secured their one-point victory, with utility James Peatling taking a clutch intercept mark in the dying seconds.

Their backline was without Sam Taylor, after the All-Australian defender was taken to hospital following a sickening head injury in the first term, but it changed little for the well-drilled players.

Medium defender Harry Perryman says everything comes back to playing their roles.

“My role is to defend and beat my man. Pretty simple,” Perryman told AAP.

For Lachie Whitfield, his role is “to play high and try to attack”, and for Connor Idun, who plays on the small to medium forwards, it’s to “lock them down first and foremost”.

The Giants' Harry Perryman (left)
The Giants' Harry Perryman (left) fights for the ball with St Kilda's Mattaes Phillipou.

Perryman knows the mantra is as cliche as it can get, neither sexy nor interesting, but he believes Kingsley’s “play your role” philosophy has been a revelation for the playing group.

“We’ve certainly been improving, that's for sure,” he said.

“Kingers is big on that - we’ve never reached our potential, so we just keep striving for that.

“(Our potential) is just everyone playing their roles at 100 per cent.

“If everyone's playing their roles individually within our system and game plan, who knows what can happen? We obviously want to strive to finish top four, but who knows from there.”

GWS will be without Taylor (concussion) for at least two weeks as they face a tough month ahead, taking on Carlton, last year's grand finalists Brisbane and city rivals Sydney.

Whitfield is relishing the challenge.

“It’s good to have games where you are getting challenged, like we did on the weekend,” Whitfield told AAP.

“We still know we've got better footy ahead of us and we’re going to try and find that.

“At the moment, our offence is winning the games, and we just need a really good balance (between defence and attack) like we had last year.

“We’re a team that can score pretty heavily in patches. We just haven't played a really sound defensive game yet.

“We're going to be trying to do that over the next month because if we can't defend the way we want to, obviously we'll get scored against.”

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