Outgoing manager Leon Cameron believes emotions took hold in Greater Western Sydney as Carlton got off to a fast start which the Giants were unable to overcome in their farewell game.
The Giants announced Thursday that Cameron would be leaving the club after their clash with the Blues ended in a disappointing 15.15 (105) to 11.9 (75) loss on Sunday.
While the Giants were expected to come out firing, it was the Blues who seemed most inspired early on as they scored four goals in the first 12 minutes to put the hosts at a disadvantage.
The Giants were able to fight back to level the score at halftime and were still in the game at the last change until the Blues pulled away 5-1 in the fourth quarter.
“We were always trying to make up ground, and sometimes you spend so many gas tickets trying to make up ground,” Cameron said in his final news conference as Giants coach.
“It was probably a shock to our players on Thursday, but like I said, it was the right decision.
“Whether the emotion sometimes boils over and you make dumb decisions, you’re trying too hard, I think there was a little bit of that today. That’s not a true reflection of our group.”
Cameron has guided the Giants to the final in five of the last six seasons, which included a breakthrough finals appearance in 2019 and two preliminary finals, as well as a thrilling one-point knockout final victory over Sydney last year.
With Cameron in the final year of his contract, the manager and the club agreed to suspend talks for a new deal until the end of the season, but he ultimately paid the price for a poor start to 2022.
“There’s a disappointment with the way we finished today. There’s a disappointment with where we sit on the ladder and ultimately the responsibility for that lies with the senior coach,” Cameron said.
“We’re 2-7 and it’s not us, we haven’t been there in a long time.”
Assistant coach Mark McVeigh will now take over as interim head coach for the rest of the season.
McVeigh joined the Giants’ coaching staff for the 2015 season and worked with the defense and midfield groups until becoming head assistant coach this year.
The former Essendon player will face West Coast at Giants Stadium on Sunday in his first game as caretaker manager.
“I’m really confident that under Mark’s tutelage for the rest of the year there will be a number of opportunities for kids and players to establish their authority as a Giants player,” Cameron said.
“Watching from afar, that will be exciting.”