NRL WA Premiership Preview 2024 – Joondalup Giants

By Peter Rowe

In part three of our NRLWA Fuel to Go and Play season preview PETER ROWE discovered it’s all change at Admiral Park for the 2024 Joondalup Giants.

New faces and a new coach at the Joondalup Giants offers fresh challenges at Admiral Park in 2024 for long-serving captain Taurean Sheehan.

Coach Darren Smith, who was appointed in November, told 89.7fm recently it was a rebuilding phase for the club, with numbers at preseason “very encouraging”.

‘We had a few sessions before Christmas but since then we’ve picked up the pace and our numbers are good,” he said.

His comments have been endorsed by Sheehan, who has been impressed by a number of young players who came through the juniors set-up, who now want to step up.

The Giants have lost some key players for 2024, with Luke Turner, Beau White and Davey Martin just three who have moved to the Alkimos Tigers.

Influential half Gus Marshall has also indicated he is unavailable this year, although Sheehan is hoping to convince him otherwise.

“Yeah, we’ve lost a few from last year, but there’s solid numbers at training and we have a few new guys, including one from Penrith in NSW who looks good.,” he said.

“Potentially, there’s six or seven who are first grade, so yes, we’re positive.

Forward Riley Captien, a star of their 2023 season, has also departed – for Queensland Cup and the Capras – but new faces in the middles will bolster their campaign.

“We’re in the process of working on our strengths and we’ll build from there,” Sheehan said.

“Commitment and effort are key and I know we have a group of players who are ready to put their hands up.

“Getting the right feel both physically and mentally within the first grade squad is vital. We’ll focus on first grade, but won’t forget we need to improve in reserves.”

The Giants will also be looking at change in their outside backs, working on new combinations as senior players take on mentoring roles.

“We’ve got some good under-19s who want to step up and it’s our job as a senior group to look after them,” Sheehan added.

“Coaching them and helping them build into players we can rely on going forward.

“Darren (Smith) has brought new ideas to the role as head coach and a few players have returned. We’re stepping it up now ready for round one.”

The Giants will boast a new spine for 2024, one Sheehan is happy with and one he believes will serve them well through the season.

“Almost complete there,” he said. “The combinations are coming together well.” And opposition – has he had a look at what they may face in 2024?

“No, not really. Fine tuning what we can do is more important right now.

“But we will be competitive.”