Giants caretaker coach Mark McVeigh has spoken to his players about tuning out the “outside noise” as annual reports of a potential player exodus arise.
Midfield star Jacob Hooper, who played just his second game for 2022 last weekend, is the latest name among GWS stars who could move on in 2023 joining Tim Taranto, forward Bobby Hill and talented youngster Tanner Bruhn who have been linked to trades in the off-season.
McVeigh, who is yet to present to the GWS board having declared he would like to take on the role full-time after replacing Leon Cameron, said he had no say in list management and that it “doesn’t matter” if he takes on a squad depleted from the one he has now.
He said he and the players were used to the Giants being caught up in trade speculation and while not addressing those individuals named, had spoken to the group about it.
“I don’t address individually. I do speak about the outside noise and letting it be and letting go to a degree and just concentrating on the now,” McVeigh said on Friday.
“That’s how I have to coach. I have no influence on potentially what can happen next year. I need to get good results for our footy club and the players need to finish on the right not. I can address them as a group around outside noise and being able to tune back in.
“But as for the players … I’m very respectful of what they are going through. I do speak to them individually but only about what I need from them on a week-to-week basis.”
Specific to Hopper, who is contracted until the end of 2023 but has been linked to both Geelong and Richmond, McVeigh said he doesn’t know “a hello of a lot around all that”.
But as he tried to maintain “energy and effort” for the final five games of 2023, with finals out of the equation, all players, including those who may not be there next year, were under notice.
“In the end, whoever ends up coaching out club is watching, is watching who they want, and it’s important to remind them of that,” McVeigh said.
“I’m here to coach the team, not to shape the list for the next few years. It’s important for me to coach properly and give them belief they can win.”
McVeigh clarified that key forward Jesse Hogan was being rested more out of caution than any specific injury, having played 14 games already in 2022, the most in a single season for him since 2018.
But he also said on-baller Tom Greene’s form had been “in decline” on the back of a massive workload and he was being freshened up in a bid to get him firing in the final few games of the season.