Greater Western Sydney will add another giant to their senior ranks on Sunday with No.
1 draft pick Tom Boyd to make his AFL debut against the Adelaide Crows.
The 18-year-old tall will don the club’s colours for the first time at Adelaide Oval as part of a massive forward line alongside Jeremy Cameron and Jonathan Patton.
Coach Leon Cameron is also planning to use him as a back-up ruckman to Jon Giles, who held the fort in last weekend’s loss to the Western Bulldogs in the absence of injured star Shane Mumford.
“I was pretty nervous early on the week when they let me know I was in the squad of guys who were up for selection – probably the most nervous I’ve been,” Boyd said on Thursday.
“But to then get that out the way, when Leon let me know, I was just stoked and really relieved I suppose.
“I’ve dreamt of this all of my life, so I really want to enjoy the week.
“But come game time, it’s not about me.”
Despite missing a chunk of last season with an ankle injury, Cameron said his young charge was impressive during the off-season.
“He hasn’t missed a beat,” the rookie coach said.
“His last two or three weeks, he’s really started to get into some rhythm and we’re looking forward to seeing what he can do on Sunday afternoon.”
Cameron praised Boyd’s leadership and his standout ability to contest marks, but said he didn’t expect too much from the 200cm, 104kg teenager.
“All I want Tom to do is compete, play his role and that role is a key position forward and also playing in the ruck as well,” he added.
“Anything on top of that is a bonus.
“I understand there’s a lot of pressure on high draft picks to perform first-up, but it’s a tough brutal game. It’s a huge step up from the NEAFL level to the AFL.
“All we want him to do is go out there, have some fun, play the games like he used to play at under-18 level.
“If he does that, I’m sure his natural talent and work rate will take care of the rest.”
Being the No.1 pick no doubt attracts plenty of extra attention and scrutiny, but that doesn’t have Boyd shaking in his boots.
“I set a pretty high expectations for myself anyway – that’s what drives me and motivates me,” he said.
The Giants sit eighth on the AFL ladder with two wins from their opening four matches.