AFL legend Kevin Sheedy has backed Canberra's Harry Himmelberg to become a cornerstone in Greater Western Sydney's search for a maiden flag.
Himmelberg's four-goal haul was a shining light for the Giants as they bowed out in the preliminary final for the second straight year against Richmond on Saturday.
While the Tigers are one win away from their first premiership since 1980, the Giants have been left to rue what might have been.
But Sheedy says the "fantastic" Himmelberg played well beyond his years in the biggest game of his life and expects it won't be long before he truly emerges as a star.
"He's getting better each match. He'll be a cornerstone sort of player if he keeps his head down and has a great attitude," Sheedy said.
"He's learning all that. He's done very, very well for a player that's played the amount of games he has played. He should be very proud for his family and himself.
"If he keeps his head down and keeps working at it, he could be one of the stars for the Giants. To be a game off a grand final, for such a young, inexperienced person, he's done very, very well."
Giants coach Leon Cameron says the club will move away from bringing in mature-age recruits that were once seen as a priority for a young list after they lost a second-straight preliminary final.
Instead he is backing the likes of Himmelberg, Tim Taranto and Harry Perryman to take the next step in their football careers and develop into key figures at the club.
Sheedy believes Himmelberg's versatility will complement the likes of Dylan Shiel, Stephen Coniglio and Josh Kelly, who were picked up in the club's early days
"He's very determined to do well, when he goes at the ball he's pretty strong," Sheedy said.
"I think he's a very strong player which is good, the Giants need that sort of player. He'll blend in with the boys that were obviously picked early enough that have got 80 to 100 games up.
"He'll be a really good player for the Giants."
Cameron expects Himmelberg will play a key role in attack for the Giants next year as they look to go one game better.
"He's come along really well in the back half of the year. He's a player that can play in all positions. We're excited where he's heading," Cameron said.
"I can clearly see him and Jeremy [Cameron] and Jon [Patton] working closely together next year. He's only two years into his career, there's some great signs with him, he's got a great appetite.
"It was a great positive he stood up in front of 95,000 at the MCG."
Himmelberg penned a two-year extension to stay at the Giants until the end of 2019 in August, having been picked up at No. 16 in the 2015 draft.
The former Eastlake Demons star was drafted as a forward but turned into a defender in his AFL infancy, before Cameron threw him back up front in the finals.
He was flying the flag for Canberra alongside Giants co-captain Phil Davis in the Giants' charge to the decider before their premiership dream was shattered by the Tigers.
But there will still be a Canberra flavour in the grand final thanks to the Adelaide Crows - coach Don Pyke is a Belconnen Magpies junior and chief executive Andrew Fagan is a former ACT Brumbies boss.
A premiership for Pyke would make for an interesting piece of history after Canberra's Bec Goddard guided the Crows to the inaugural AFLW premiership in March.