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Nanjing Night Net

GREATER Western Sydney (GWS) head coach Leon Cameron has backed Temora product Jake Barrett to shine in the AFL for years to come.

Barrett, 18, was taken by the Giants with a concession pick at the 2013 draft and has spent the entire pre-season training with the fledgling club.

Cameron has been impressed with the young midfielder-forward and says he has the attributes to go all the way.

“Jake’s got a great work ethic so he’s a chance to make,” Cameron told The Daily Advertiser.

“From the day he walked in he had a big smile on his face.

“It’s a credit to his mum and dad the way they brought him up, and the sporting clubs that he’s been involved in.

“We’re looking forward to Jake progressing through his career with us.

While Barrett has been unable to crack the squad for the Giants’ two NAB Challenge games this pre-season, he will travel to Canberra to play a trial with the GWS reserve grade team today.

Meanwhile, the majority of the senior list will be in Wagga to take on St Kilda at Robertson Oval.

The Giants spent yesterday morning travelling around schools and visited the Wagga Base Hospital as part of the Gentle Giants program.

The squad then enjoyed a final training run on the oval ahead of this afternoon’s clash.

Co-captain Callan Ward and young gun Matt Buntine are the only two omissions from the team that lost to Sydney Swans last week in Canberra.

Number two draft pick Josh Kelly and Leeton junior Jacob Townsend are the two due to come in.

Townsend had hinted at getting a tagging role on Thursday but Cameron expects to let him play loose through the middle.

“Jacob will probably just roll through the midfield,” Cameron said.

“He’s really worked on his fitness during his third pre-season and he’s starting to make some serious ground on that.

“We see him as an integral part of our midfield going forward.”

The Giants will be hunting for their first win of the pre-season following last week’s loss.

Cameron has pinpointed some areas for improvement.

“We spoke about better use going forward, knowing when to go long and knowing when to go short,” he said.

“Building that good connection between mids and forwards, if we do that a little better it also puts the opposition under pressure defensively.”

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