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GWS Giants young gun Ryan Angwin to make AFL debut after packing on the kilos since being drafted

Giants debutant Ryan Angwin tips the scales at almost 82kg these days.

The Gippsland Power graduate will never be classed as a heavyweight but he’s come a long way from the skinny kid who walked into the club barely 18 months ago.

Back then, Angwin says, he was generously listed at 74kg, before a dedicated gym program and a whole lot of eating transformed his body.

His speed and endurance were never doubted, but Greater Western Sydney’s interim coach, Mark McVeigh, revealed on Thursday they challenged the teenager to improve his contested work and tackling.

Angwin, the No.18 selection in the AFL draft two years ago, responded by laying 10 tackles against Geelong’s reserves three weeks ago, a feat he had never managed before, even at junior level.

Ryan Angwin
Camera IconRyan Angwin has had a rough run with injuries since being a Giant. Phil Hillyard Credit: News Corp Australia

“He’s gone away and done that, and consistently now he averages really high up in our tackles and he gets in and under,” McVeigh said.

“He can play on the wing and half-forward, so we’re really impressed with his development.

“He had some shoulder issues for a number of weeks, which made it difficult for him, but he’s starting to string games together … and he’s another player, like a Jacob Wehr, who can use the ball extremely well.

“Players who can use the ball and win the contest really appeal to me – and he’s starting to do that.”

Angwin was buzzing after McVeigh broke the selection news to him, following a series of injury setbacks that meant he had to wait longer than fellow 2020 first-round draft picks Tanner Bruhn and Conor Stone.

There was a pre-season concussion last year that rocked him for the best part of a month before hamstring tightness held him back for several weeks later in his debut season.

Angwin was also sidelined for another month after hurting his left AC joint in a practice game this year, then suffered the same injury to his right shoulder after returning.

But he will finally play his first senior game on Saturday night against the Western Bulldogs at Giants Stadium.

“You can get pretty easily frustrated,” Angwin said.

“It’s been an unfortunate start to the year but the past three weeks have been good and I was able to play some consistent footy and I suppose that showed with the trust in them picking me this week.

“This has been the dream since I was probably three or four years old and I think it’s starting to sink in a little bit now, after all that adrenaline when it gets announced.”

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