Has Dylan Shiel played his last game for the Giants? Picture: Getty Images
Has Dylan Shiel played his last game for the Giants? Picture: Getty Images

Is Shiel in Giants’ top five players?

IT'S going to cost $1 million or more a season to get Dylan Shiel but how much bang for your buck do clubs actually get for the Greater Western Sydney ball magnet?

Once one of the club's jewels, North Melbourne dual premiership player David King says Shiel has been overtaken by the likes of Josh Kelly, Lachie Whitfield, Stephen Coniglio and Callan Ward at the Giants.

Contracted at GWS, the 25-year-old has been touted as a million-dollar player worth Carlton's No. 1 draft pick as the likes of Hawthorn, Melbourne, Essendon and the Blues clamour to add him to their engine rooms.

But, after a pair of lacklustre finals performances against Sydney and Collingwood, what would those clubs be getting?

A player who is a gun in the regular season, but is unable to lift his game under the bright lights of finals footy; or a midfield star who can tear apart a game and lead a club to a premiership?

Dylan Shiel had a quiet game against the Magpies. Picture: Getty Images
Dylan Shiel had a quiet game against the Magpies. Picture: Getty Images

Champion Data numbers reveal that over the past three seasons, Shiel's output in finals has dipped significantly when compared to his regular season performances.

From 2016-18, Shiel raked in 27.3 disposals a game during the home-and-away season, but in six finals, his output dropped to 22.8.

Naturally, he finds it harder to get off the leash in the finals pressure-cooker, his ability to find uncontested ball dipping by more than three per game, along with falls in ground ball gets, metres gained and score involvements.

Only once has he exceeded 25 possessions in those six finals and his kicking efficiency falls from a far from awe-inspiring 59 per cent to a barely passable 51 per cent.

While he does increase his clearance work slightly, Shiel's ranking points fall by 11, from 95 to 84, providing a case to say the pressure of finals footy has a significant impact on his output.

The statistics ignore last year's preliminary final loss to Richmond, when Shiel was rocked by a high bump from Tiger captain Trent Cotchin and ruled out with concussion before quarter time.

The Caulfield Grammar product is the AFL's kick clanger king. Shiel had 47 this home-and-away season and he saved his worst for last, with seven clangers in the cutthroat semi-final against the Pies on Friday night.

"I just look at that game on the weekend - Coniglio goes next level, Whitfield goes next level, Callan Ward's contested stuff is pretty strong and his tackle pressure's pretty strong," King said.

"There was a time there when they (GWS) had to make a choice between Coniglio, Shiel and Adam Treloar (who left for Collingwood).

"When you see what Adam did in that last quarter specifically on Saturday night (12 disposals), you think 'well, that's what GWS needed Dylan to do'."

Make of it what you will, but when the AFL released the list of Brownlow Medal invitees this week, Shiel was a notable omission, with Coniglio, Davis, Kelly, Ward and Whitfield preferred.

There's an air of resignation at the Giants that Shiel has played his last game for the club, with captain Phil Davis on Tuesday lamenting the "arms race" for the AFL's top talent.

King believes a change of scenery could be beneficial for Shiel - provided his new club is realistic in its expectations.

"We see what's happened with Devon Smith (who moved from GWS to Essendon in 2017)," he said.

 

Has Dylan Shiel played his last game for the Giants? Picture: Getty Images
Has Dylan Shiel played his last game for the Giants? Picture: Getty Images

"Dylan might come to a club where they say 'we want you to go and be that prime ball winner, work with Patty Cripps or maybe a Dyson Heppell, go and reset yourself, get us rolling' and he may be able to do that.

"Whilst he might not be worth $1 million a year, he certainly might get it, because you've got to pry him out of the Giants.

"But it's buyer beware, just make sure you know what you're getting if you're buying Dylan Shiel at such a cost."



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