Jeremy Cameron celebrates one of his nine goals against Gold Coast which secured him the Coleman Medal.
Jeremy Cameron celebrates one of his nine goals against Gold Coast which secured him the Coleman Medal.

Coleman winner Cameron far from content

Jeremy Cameron is ready for a sudden-death pressure test against the Western Bulldogs on Saturday.

And it's not because the Giants sharpshooter has finally claimed his first Coleman Medal.

 

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Current Giants forwards coach Brad Miller - the man primed with preparing Cameron for his fourth consecutive finals campaign - believes he's ready to lead by example and deliver when it matters most.

"The fire burns deep in his belly to play well on the biggest stage," warns Miller.

Cameron is acutely aware that his 67-goal haul during the regular season is history.

Something to treasure, but the season really starts now for the 26-year-old.

It's do-or-die time in front of goal. No next week, no second chances. Every goal is a step closer to a first flag, every miss is a potential season-killer.

But the two people who know him better than most are confident that the boy from sleepy Dartmoor in Victoria isn't about to crumble under the pressure.

Miller and former GWS assistant coach Dermott Brereton agree it's Cameron's razor sharp mind and relaxed demeanour as much as his physical strength and deadly accuracy that will test the Bulldogs defenders.

Cameron's finals record is unremarkable.

He kicked four during the club's inaugural finals tilt in 2016, saw a hamstring injury wreck his 2017 finals campaign and he managed just three in last year's run to the semi-finals where the Giants were eventually eliminated by Collingwood.

But Miller is adamant the past won't play on Cameron's mind.

There'll be no sleep lost. No pre-match worry.

"I just think his humble approach to life crosses over into his football and into his game," Miller said.

"He doesn't really get too affected by the highs and lows. He just rolls with it. I just think that's a great trait to have in an industry that's so heavily scrutinised and as the pressure is ever increasing he's able to not ride the extremes as a lot of other players probably do.

 

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"But this is the finals. Jeremy's one of our leaders and I've no doubts, he'll be putting his hand up to stand up - like we need all our senior guys to do.

"And as he takes more and more responsibility as a leader, his game's only going to develop and grow.

"There's no doubt that he can improve further in the next couple of years. He's coming right into his prime as a key forward.

"His instinct to read what's going to happen in a contested situation 80m away is really sharp, which makes him hard to play on.

Jeremy Cameron poses with the Coleman Medal after receiving his All-Australian blazer. Picture: Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images.
Jeremy Cameron poses with the Coleman Medal after receiving his All-Australian blazer. Picture: Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images.

"He often sees small little cues up in that contest which allows him to make quicker decisions and react faster than his opponent, which often gets him separation and allows him to be able to use his strengths - his athleticism and aerobic capacity - to get off his man."

Brereton is delighted with the development he has seen in the humble country boy he worked with back in 2012 and believes the Bulldogs may struggle to find the right man to keep Cameron quiet.

"He's just a lot wiser," Brereton told The Daily Telegraph.

"He's able to read the cues. The diving mark he took in front of his opponent Sam Day, the mark that eventually brought up his Coleman Medal-leading goal, that type of play requires a 1/100th of a second recognition of a situation ahead up the ground, where you must get to the front position.

"He's highly intelligent as a forward and, like most others, the harder you work the more results you get."

Jeremy Cameron has a point to prove in finals after several lean returns. Picture: AAP Image/Dave Hunt.
Jeremy Cameron has a point to prove in finals after several lean returns. Picture: AAP Image/Dave Hunt.

And as for Saturday's opponents, Brereton believes the visitors have no simple task in front of them.

"The Bulldogs I don't think have a natural match-up for him (Cameron)," he said.

"He'll probably get either Zaine Cordy or Easton Wood. Easton Wood might not be able to stretch with him and he might just be a bit agile for Cordy. But that is dependent on how the ball comes in.

"The basic rule of thumb for our game of football is that the team that wins most positions and makes the most right decisions normally wins the game. It's very rare they don't. The only thing that really stops them on occasions is poor kicking. And the Giants aren't a poor kicking team.

"So I tend to think that if Josh Kelly can click into gear, Tim Taranto can keep up his good form, Lachie Whitfield can get ball delivery going forward, they're a massive chance. I think this going to go right to the wire."