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Time trial king Toby Bedford looking to improve on impressive 2023 season

Jackson Clark -

Second-year Giant Toby Bedford is expecting big things from his team in 2024 after falling just short of a grand final appearance last season.

Bedford has been leading the way taking out both the pre-and-post-Christmas time trials during Greater Western Sydney's pre-season training.

The former Melbourne player played down his achievements and credited his teammates for pushing him to his limits.

"I've been lucky enough to win two (time trials) of them here, but everyone comes back and we just push each other," Bedford said.

"We all want to come back and outdo each other, the intensity has gone up to another level.

"The tackling, the physicality and also the running, we're extremely fit and everyone's testing each other – it's been extremely hard but extremely good."

Bedford had an excellent first season in Giants colours, the Bunuba man recording career-high numbers in almost every statistical area.

The small forward provided plenty of pressure and intensity in the attacking half and finished equal-third at the club for total tackles (97).

Toby Bedford had a career-best season for Greater Western Sydney in 2023. (Image: AFL)

GWS were one of the surprise packets of the 2023 season, recording two finals wins – against St Kilda and Port Adelaide – and falling just short of a grand final berth after a thrilling one-point loss to eventual premiers Collingwood in the preliminary final.

Bedford said that the club gained respect across the competition last year and that the playing group were eager to go a step further in 2024.

"Last year, especially the back half of the year, we gained a lot of respect," he said.

"We kind of said in our four walls that we were the team you didn't want to play come finals and we definitely believed that.

"Obviously last year it was a taste of something unreal, but we were just short – we all want to come back and go a couple of wins better, so hopefully this year we can do it."

The 22-year-old played 19 games for the Demons across four seasons before being traded to Greater Western Sydney at the end of the 2022 season in exchange for pick 44 in the 2022 AFL National Draft.

Originally from Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia's remote Kimberley region, Bedford said he is loving living in Sydney.

"It's great, the weather has been unbelievable, the beaches and the family vibe at this club, where else would you rather be?"

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