Giants coach issues new challenge to players ahead of season eight

GREATER Western Sydney coach Cam Bernasconi has issued an off-season challenge to his players – 'Operation: Bridge the Gap'.

The Giants have reported on their website the project is the brainchild of Bernasconi and senior assistant Lloyd Perris – who are both full-time across the women's program – and aims to "bridge the gap" between the team and the top clubs and players.

Bernasconi is coming into his second season in charge, having taken the Giants to four wins and six losses with a percentage of 61 last year, with the side having to deal with a number of injuries to key players.

Cam Bernasconi speaks to players at three-quarter-time during round three, season seven, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

'Operation: Bridge the Gap' has an individual focus on players' strengths for now, given the stage of off-season, and will build out to a wider team and game plan focus.

Of the eight inaugural AFLW sides, GWS has won the fewest games (22 of 57), just below the Western Bulldogs (27 and a draw of 58) and Carlton (27 and three draws of 59). Melbourne has won the most with 48 of 64.

Skipper Alicia Eva has undergone shoulder surgery and is two months into a six-month rehabilitation period, while fellow senior leader Nicola Barr has seven weeks to go in her recovery from a knee arthroscope.

Emily Pease and Pepa Randall have returned to running after having surgery from torn ACLs, while Izzy Huntington and Isadora McLeay (also ACLs) are ready to return to contact training, and Fleur Davies(shoulder) will be ready for the start of pre-season.

Given the restrictions placed upon the upcoming draft (mature-agers only), clubs no longer have to have a minimum of three list spots available.

ANALYSIS Why teams aren't panicking about PSP

The Giants have already reduced their list to 32 (inclusive of previously inactive players), and have indicated there will be "limited spots" available for new players.

In other injury news, young Port Adelaide defender Maggie MacLachlan has suffered a stress fracture in her left femur.

She missed the vast majority of last season with a shoulder issue, but is expected to be fit for the start of pre-season.