2017 GAMES: 16
2017 AVERAGE: 96
In perhaps one of the most eyebrow-raising moves of the offseason, the GWS has made a bold contract offer to their star small-forward Toby Greene.
If you judged it on playing ability alone, the multimillion-dollar contract which extends over six years is barely a surprise, with the 24-year-old already a club Best and Fairest, an All-Australian and has kicked 89 goals in 42 games since he became a full-time forward.
However, a string of off and on-field misdoings has put a dampener on the public perception of Greene as a footballer, becoming arguably the most maligned players in the league. Such a show of faith, however, could be the beginning of a new era for Greene, as he chases the premiership glory that the football world knows he and his team are capable of reaching.
The new challenge for the Victorian turned Sydneysider is to restrain from the feelings of comfort and security that comes with his deal, and push himself to consolidate his position as one of the game’s elite.
Greene initially burst onto the AFL year and was instantly prolific as part of the inexperienced outfit – averaging 94 SuperCoach from 19 games in 2012. Not bad for a debut year. The former number 11 draft pick continued to show his capacity to find the Sherrin at will but began to have his influence questioned.
It wasn’t until Leon Cameron took the footy world by surprise by throwing Greene inside 50 that his purely instinctual talent took over, and transform him into a genuine game-breaker. Funnily enough, Greene’s match impact has been inversely related to his number of disposals which demonstrates his creativity and potency is the forward half.
As a SuperCoach prospect, Greene’s 2017 average of 96.1 barely sets the world on fire from someone that we would consider elite, but the lack of other highly-credentialed forward options brings Greene into relevance.
Another point to note about the Wesley Collegian is his durability, and his body has served him well throughout the bulk of his career to date. The only thing preventing the craft forward from being on the park more often is his susceptibility to struggle to maintain his aggression, resulting in suspension.
Greene’s 2017 was also remarkably consistent, kicking at least one goal in every game bar one – and even then he managed to clock up over 100 SuperCoach points. What’s more is that he stands up in the big moments, and we know how crucial that can be for scoring.
So it may be time to put personal vendettas aside if you are after a quality forward premium option who could be anything if he curbs his aggressive behaviour.