GWS were the surprise package of the 2019 season, having overcome an injury crisis to reach the Grand Final, despite finishing sixth. It was a remarkable and monumental campaign, and although they have yet to hit those heights this time around, the Giants still look on course to make the play-offs. They won three consecutive matches at the beginning of August to put themselves firmly back in contention for a spot in the top eight, yet questions surrounding the future of Zac Williams could prove to be an unwanted distraction in the club's quest to reach the showpiece event for the second consecutive season.
Despite being told by doctors that he may never recapture his 2017 form, Williams returned from a ruptured Achilles last season, and immediately hit the ground running. His blistering performance against the Swans emphatically announced his return to top-level football with an eye-catching 23 disposals at a 78% efficiency as well as nine marks, six intercepts and 489m gained. Predictably, the out-of-contract 25-year old has attracted his fair share of admirers, and a number of AFL clubs are believed to be keeping tabs on the free agent. He is believed to be worth between $600,000 and $800,000 per season, with his flexibility unquestionably helping to increase his value.
Williams is one of two key players who are out-of-contract at the end of this season, and although coach Leon Cameron is confident that the duo will re-sign, the temptation to accept a lucrative deal elsewhere may just prove to be irresistable. GSW have offered the 2013 AFL Rising Star a five-year contract, yet it remains unsigned, and the situation is still likely be unresolved going into a crucial period of the season.
The dashing half-back has arguably the biggest and toughest decision of his career to make over the coming months, and he certainly won't be short of potential suitors. Although no formal offers have been officially confirmed, several clubs in Victoria have recently registered an interest, whilst a handful of other AFL sides from other states may also jump on the bandwagon.
Williams is a model professional, and although there is no suggestion that the New South Wales-born star will take his foot off the gas over the coming weeks, the prospect of a big-money move can sometimes weigh heavy on a player's shoulders. Several highly-rated stars have lost form amid protracted contract negotiations, and fans will be hoping that the adaptable performer can maintain his high standards, despite the continued uncertainty. GSW are $2.60 in the latest Aussie Rules betting to finish inside the top four, and they will need their soon-to-be out-of-contract players to be at the top of their game in order to mirror last year's achievements.
Which clubs should chase dashing defender Zac Williams? https://t.co/nYeNWH6h8P— Real Footy (AFL) (@agerealfooty) August 11, 2020
Second-year midfielder Jye Caldwell is another player whose contract situation is up in the air, however, the 2018 draftee is believed to be settled in Sydney, and despite interest from elsewhere, he's expected to put pen to paper in the coming weeks. However, the future of Williams remains far murkier, and fans will be hoping that a conclusion can be reached before the end-of-season play-offs. With the situation expected to last several weeks, the versatile star's future mustn't overshadow another positive campaign for GSW. The club have done everything within their power to persuade the much-coveted utility man to stay in Sydney, however, regardless of the eventual outcome, both player and club must knuckle down and focus on firing the Giants back into the AFL Grand Final.