Can Jesse Hogan Replace Jeremy Cameron at Greater Western Sydney?
5th February 2021
On November 12th, 2020, Jeremy Cameron left Greater Western Sydney for Geelong. Prior to his departure, the 27-year-old was the highest-paid player in the AFL and a focal point of the Giants’ team. However, having chosen to exercise his rights as a free agent, he made the “hardest decision” of his life to seek pastures new. Prior to Cameron’s departure, Jesse Hogan was traded from Fremantle to Greater Western Sydney. Now, there’s some discussion over whether he can suitably replace the 27-year-old. Well, let’s consider if he can.
Rising to the Challenge
Following the move, there’s widespread optimism that a fresh start can be the catalyst in getting the best out of Hogan. In 2020, Fremantle won just seven of their 17 matches, finishing the league phase in 12th place. In those games, the six-foot-five forward featured on only seven occasions and lost four of those fixtures. However, in defence of Hogan, he did take some time away from the sport for personal reasons. Not only that, but in the previous year, he suffered a season-ending foot injury, limiting him to just 12 of the Dockers’ 22 games.
It’s fair to say that the 25-year-old hasn’t had the best luck in recent years. That said, when he’s played, there have been signs of promise. Across his combined 19 appearances from 2019 and 2020, the forward scored 18 goals and recorded six goal assists. Moreover, when you take the figures from his entire professional career, he’s scored 170 times in 90 matches.
On paper, the 25-year-old’s career totals are somewhat impressive. However, they indicate that he’ll have to raise his game if he is to replace Cameron. Leon Cameron, the Giants coach, recognises the scale of the challenge awaiting the forward, and described the task as “huge”.
Filling Cameron’s Shoes Isn’t an Easy Task
When seeking to compare the two, there’s more data on Cameron due to his consistency and ability to stay fit. As such, weighing up the differences in their averages will indicate the level at which Hogan must reach. In 171 matches for Greater Western Sydney across his nine seasons with the Giants, the one-time Coleman Medal winner scored 427 goals. As such, his per match average sat at 2.5. Hogan, on the other hand, averaged 1.89 goals between 2015 and 2020.
Regarding Cameron, Geelong supporters will hope that he can help end their nine-year wait for another Premiership triumph. Despite getting to the Grand Final in 2020, the Cats fell short against Richmond at the Gabba. In 2021, Geelong are 6.50 in the Aussie Rules betting to go one better and win their 10th Premiership. Cameron himself will be dreaming of winning his first Grand Final, after losing out in 2019 to Richmond while playing for the Giants. Perhaps together, both Geelong and the 27-year-old can defeat the 13-time Premiership winners.
Consistency Will be Key
Few can argue that Hogan isn’t a talented forward, but his consistency has been questionable. If Greater Western Sydney can keep him mentally and physically healthy, then they undoubtedly have a player on their hands. Whether he can replace Cameron, however, remains to be seen.