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‘Itching for a game’: Swans, Giants seeking reserve-grade solution

The two Sydney clubs had aimed to stage a practice game on Saturday featuring only AFL-listed players, but it was scrapped at the last moment to fall in line with rival AFL clubs who had explored similar initiatives yet did not go ahead with any such matches over the weekend.

A standout for the Giants against Geelong, Harry Perryman described the atmosphere of an empty stadium as "bizarre".

A standout for the Giants against Geelong, Harry Perryman described the atmosphere of an empty stadium as “bizarre”.Credit:Getty

Sydney and GWS are expected to consider the situation again this week, but will need official sanctioning from the AFL to proceed with regular friendlies.

Kennedy, meanwhile, looks at long odds to play against the Demons after playing just the first quarter of Saturday night’s 32-point win over Geelong.

Coach Leon Cameron said it was not a “severe” hamstring injury and that he was benched as a precaution.

“If he’s not right for next weekend … we’ve got a lot of players who are really looking forward to stepping into the team – Jackson Hately, Lachie Ash, Jye Caldwell, Sam Reid. These guys are itching for a game because there’s no games on at the moment,” Cameron said.

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The standout player for GWS was Harry Perryman, the unheralded midfielder who had kicked just four goals in his career prior to the clash with the Cats. In one night, he doubled his tally – a good first step towards improving an aspect of his game he’s been focusing on.

“I’ve been trying to kick a few goals – Dad always says to push forward and kick a few,” Perryman said. “It was nice to get on the end of a couple and the boys played real well, so hopefully we can back it up next week. I’ve been trying to work on that a bit in the off-season, so it’s nice to see it come off.”

A product of Collingullie in rural NSW, Perryman described the atmosphere of an empty Giants Stadium as “bizarre” and said he had largely tuned out of the endless news cycle on coronavirus for his own benefit.

“I’ve kind of zoned out a bit,” he said. “I don’t really know what the go is, I just take each day as it comes, I suppose. It’s all over the news but I like to just zone out sometimes before it takes over you.

“Every time you talk to someone on the phone back home, it’s even affecting everyone back at home on the farm and that. [The virus is] not out there yet – hopefully it doesn’t get out there but I know all the local footy is called off until the end of May.

“They don’t really know what to do back home. They love their footy so it’s a bit sad. They would have been watching and hopefully we can play a few more games for them.”

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