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Why Stephen Coniglio won’t play in Saturday’s AFL Grand Final

GWS Giants football director Jimmy Bartel says it was “too big of a risk” to play Stephen Coniglio in Saturday’s AFL Grand Final.

The Giants announced on Wednesday the 25-year-old star midfielder wouldn’t line up for his first game in round 17, after failing to overcome a knee injury sustained in July.

Bartel told Macquarie Sports Radio it was a tough decision but ultimately they weren’t prepared to risk him re-injuring himself in the biggest game of the season.

“It was just too big of a risk,” he said.

“There’s always that concern that if something major happened in the first five to 10 minutes, not just the damage for Cogs but would it take the air out of the team.

“There was also a serious conversation, you put all your money and investment in the likes of Stephen Coniglio for games like Saturday.

“You don’t keep saving it, the (Grand Final) is the day.

“You could land up like what Melbourne did (last year), you could make the final four and absolutely lay a turkey in the next year.

“You’re not guaranteed anything in this game.”

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