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Sydney Swans Season Preview 2017 – Life’s A Beach

Life’s a b__ch sometimes. Especially after your team loses the Grand Final. Beach. I said beach.

Summer in Australia is a time of carefree uninhibited joy. As the sunscreen appears from a winter tucked away inside the medicine cupboard, spirits begin to soar and thoughts of sun and surf bubble to the surface. This season provides the perfect tonic to a football season that fell flat at the final hurdle – much like a waxhead who misread the swell. Yes, 2016 was a year of finery for Sydney Swans supporters, but ultimately one of disappointment. Throughout recent months, as the pain of that defeat washes over us in waves, summer has been there to lend a supportive shoulder to cry on. And a most welcome distraction.

However, those in club land have been toiling through those warmer months and as barbies roared around the country, footballers revelled in another gruelling pre-season of blood, sweat and tears. As our cricketers clashed with Pakistani sweatband swingers and ball tampering South African captains, coaches poured over game plan analysis looking for that extra edge for the upcoming campaign. As seagulls swarmed for that elusive taste of potato chip, administrators were ensuring all was in order for their club to launch into a new season. But of course, there really is only one club that concerns me – our Swans. And we are ready.

The appointment of a new leader has refreshed what has always been a well-lead team and the credentials of Joey Kennedy as the next in line cannot be disputed. After completing yet another career-best year including being our best on Grand Final day, this man always leads from the front. He possesses premium quality and if J. Kennedy was an ice cream, he’d be a Magnum deluxe – and it’d never bloody melt. I’ve had many a discussion with Hawthorn people over the years lamenting club royalty of theirs becoming club royalty of ours, but surely nobody could’ve predicted his dominance. This was a trade of pure genius – long may King Kennedy reign.

Like any well-established set of backyard cricket rules, there have been changes made at The Swans in 2017. Ollie Florent, Will Hayward and Darcy Cameron headline our next clutch of cygnets, to join our ever growing young brigade of Bloods. There is much to like in the limited glimpses of these three and don’t be surprised if all push for senior selection at some stage. Unfortunately we’ve also had one fly the coop. Tom Mitchell Has left us for browner pastures and just as a favourite pair of thongs usually snaps a plug before you’ve enjoyed the full value of your purchase (how on earth can they charge that much for Havaianas?), the nuggety onballer leaves us with a sense of disappointment. Anyway, best of luck Tommy Havaianas.

If you’re looking to fish an unknown species from the lake to surprise you this season, look no further than two young rookie defenders in Lewis Melican and Colin O’Riordan. Both are looking to add their names to the list of recent debutants and have impressed in the level below. The defence is an area that may just bring an outpouring of emotion this year too as Alex Johnson continues to work his way back to fitness after an incredible five knee reconstructions. No player has ever returned to the top level after enduring such a wretched run and if our premiership winning defender does so this year, it will be one of the great stories.

Before you pack the budgie smugglers away for another year (and if you wear them, you probably should keep them packed away) be sure to make a point of taking a dip in your favourite swimming hole to refresh and energise yourself for what is to come. The premiership season is like lathering yourself up in greasy lard and attempting to swim some type of incredibly long and polluted channel of freezing water. Our Bloods are well versed in pacing their way through the season proper with an eye on the ultimate prize. Last year’s events and those of the previous four for that matter will act as a trigger point for finally completing their mission.

It’s a big year ahead for many and I foresee that this time next year we will be speaking of a ‘fab five’ to lead our Swans into the promised land. Heeney, Mills, Jones, Aliir and Florent will prove to be a phenomenal pack to build around for the immediate to long term future of this team. There are many others that will be fine contributors themselves, but this core will amaze. 2017 promises to be another enjoyable ride on the boogie boards, but lets hope we don’t lose the boardies on our way in.

Best 22 (in the league):

B: Smith, Grundy, Rampe

HB: Mills, Aliir, Lloyd

C: Hannebery, K.Jack, Heeney

HF: Franklin, Reid, Parker

F: Papley, Tippett, Rohan

R: Naismith, Kennedy, Jones.

Int: McVeigh, Hewett, Florent, Towers

Emg: Robinson, Marsh, Cunningham.

Prediction: Premiers.

About Joe Moore

Learned the art of the drop-punt from Derek Kickett as Jamie Lawson watched on. And thus, a Swan for life. @joedmoore1979

Comments

  1. Neil Anderson says:

    You have every right to be confident about the Swan’s prospects this year Joe. I think it was after about my tenth viewing of the grand-final replay, with the euphoria easing just a tad, that I conceded that the result could have gone either way. And don’t tell my fellow Bulldog supporters, but I think Kennedy would have been a worthy Norm Smith Medalist.
    But enough of the niceties. I can’t wait to see the two-heavyweights go at it again in Round 2. Like the Swans, both our lists are good but we need to see how the teams perform on April 1st before we get too far ahead of ourselves.
    Your article theme was about taking time out to swim in the Sydney beaches to refresh yourself before hostilities start again. My last article involved the analogy of a war-time truce before eighteen teams return to the ‘trenches’. Combining the two themes, it conjures up a picture of soldiers at Gallipoli taking a quick swim in the ocean before returning to their posts on the front-line. Unfortunately they were re-grouping to fight in a real war and not just a much-anticipated sporting-contest.

  2. Keiran Croker says:

    Love your passion and I share your optimism Joe. I also like the look of Robbie Fox and am hoping Rose & Newman will come through as well. It would be brilliant if AJ returned. Here’s hoping! Bring it on.

  3. Good article, Joe. Without McVeigh, Heeney, Papley and Rohan we’ll have a fight on our hands, but Swannies will win with the new boys helping too (hopefully). Cheer Cheer!

  4. Joe Moore says:

    G’day Neil. I hope you’ve been basking in that well deserved glory over summer! I agree that the GF could’ve gone either way, but your boys finished the game stronger. Looking forward to next week too. Could be a rivalry for the future building here.

    KC, bring it on indeed! AJ back this year would be something else. Hopefully catch up soon mate.

    I agree the first few games with be tough being undermanned, Marcel, but here’s hoping we get through them with a few wins on the board!

  5. Love to see AJ back out there this year – who knows what might have been if he played all this time? But talking of players who endured a wretched run: I can’t let the moment pass about without remembering Heath James, 18 games in 7 seasons. Sometimes the most inspiring examples happen off the field.

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