Bedford ready for huge sophomore year at Giants

Toby Bedford at training.
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After his breakout first season at the Giants, Toby Bedford has become one of the club’s hottest players.

As he enters his sophomore year at GWS, the 23-year-old is only focused on impressing those around him as he strives to get better.

The former Melbourne Demon, who played 19 games with the Giants in 2023, was pivotal in the club’s surge up the ladder last season that saw them reach the Preliminary Final.

Last Friday, the club was inundated with requests to chat to Bedford, with an all-in media session required for his services.

The Weekender asked him how he’s handling his newfound attention, and what it means for his second season in the orange and charcoal.

“To be honest, I don’t really think about it. I just want to play my role for the team, it’s their respect that I want – my teammates and my coaches,” Bedford said.

“Obviously, as a team, we like getting recognised for playing well and doing the right things, but it’s the respect within our four walls that we recognise, that we love.

“When you come into work and everyone is highlighting the good things that you are doing, I think that’s what the boys love about playing well.”

Toby Bedford.

Following an off-season spent in Thailand holidaying with his girlfriend, Bedford is feeling rejuvenated ahead of his fifth season in the AFL. The small forward recently took out the club’s 2km time trial for the second year running and is eager to help elevate his team to the promised land come September.

“I’m feeling pretty good… the whole group has come back in great shape, it’s competitive out there,” Bedford said.

“I’m loving it here at the club. Last year was a taste of something unreal. We all want to come back and go those couple of wins better. Hopefully this year we can do it.”

Following a rollercoaster season under new coach Adam Kingsley, the Giants reached last year’s Preliminary Final only to fall agonisingly short to eventual Premiers Collingwood.

Lucky for them, they don’t have to wait too long for some sweet revenge with the Magpies their opponents in the opening round on Saturday, March 9.

“We came up short against the Pies but we definitely put it to them,” Bedford said.

“I think we’ll definitely take last year’s loss as motivation but it’s a new year, we both start on zero points.

“Hopefully we can start the year with an extremely high-quality game, and also the win.”

Before their date with Collingwood next month, the Giants will play two pre-season matches with the first set down for Thursday, February 22 against the Sydney Swans.

“It’s a match simulation game and we all know that, but I think whenever we get the chance to play the Swans, there’s always that little bit extra in that,” Bedford said.

Nathan Taylor

Nathan Taylor is the Weekender's Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for a decade.

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