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Coniglio 'fresh as a daisy' for Magpies finals clash

Coming off one of his finest performances, former GWS captain Stephen Coniglio feels as "fresh as a daisy".

It's a stark difference to the man who was once spread too thin just three years ago.

Turning down big money offers in favour of a seven-year contract extension, the star midfielder became the Giants' sole leader after their 89-point thumping from Richmond in the 2019 grand final.

It was envisaged the foundation Giants player might not only lead the men in orange back to a premiership decider but also to their first flag.

But what was touted to be Coniglio's best season would turn out to be his worst.

Dogged by patchy form, the skipper was axed by then coach Leon Cameron from the Giants' best 22 - an act that would be immortalised in the 2021 documentary Making Their Mark.

GWS finished 10th in 2020, ending their run of four consecutive appearances in the finals.

"If I'm being honest, over the last few years, there were definitely moments where you question," Coniglio said on Monday.

"It doesn't matter what profession you're in, you start to question yourself."

A change in coach and leadership in 2023 gave Coniglio and the club a new lease on life.

The infamous Toby Greene joined Coniglio and Josh Kelly as co-captains in 2022 before carving his own path to redemption as sole skipper this year.

And as vice-captain in his first season under Adam Kingsley, Coniglio has averaged almost 30 disposals, six clearances and five tackles per game.

While many football minds continued to doubt Coniglio's value, the West Australian played his 200th game in a mammoth encounter against Carlton that sealed a finals spot.

In a masterclass performance in the semi-final against Port Adelaide on Saturday, Coniglio made a declaration the footy world couldn't ignore.

Registering 30 disposals, seven clearances and two goals, it was clear the 29-year-old was back.

Going into a preliminary clash against Collingwood on Friday, Coniglio is raring to go.

"I feel as fresh as a daisy," he said.

"I was true to myself in terms of where I was at and where I needed to get better both physically or mentally.

"Being able to admit that first and to get over that hurdle, it takes some time but I'm glad that I went through that process.

"Hopefully, if someone else is ever in that situation, I can be the one that gets them out of that rut."