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Sydney Swans Season Preview 2019 – Misunderstood

Nobody likes being misunderstood. Frustrations and anger levels begin to rise. First instincts are often to fire through a response and try to explain your position with a few insults thrown in for good measure. But when reading ‘expert’ forecasts for season 2019, I didn’t; I resisted the temptation.

 

Sure, I felt angry that my team was being misunderstood. I felt that the football world should’ve given us the benefit of the doubt. I thought by now, they knew us better than that. After reflecting on my frustrations, I realised that—to me—being understood means being appreciated or at least accepted. We deserve that. Many misconceptions are swirling and that’s ok, for our validation is coming.

 

The Sydney Swans can no longer be considered ‘seasoned’ or ‘experienced’. Seventy percent of the list are aged 24 and under. We actually now have our very own 22 under 22. To read of our inevitable demise being due to our ‘ageing’ team shows more than anything, the ignorance within the mainstream media of anything non-Victorian. And so, with my optimism fuelling my fire, I’ve reconciled that others’ views of my opinions shall not diminish their worth. Here goes.

 

Reasons for excitement are plentiful and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to quash the expectations placed on our outstanding young crop. It’s a group that’s growing in size and stature at an incredible rate. Heeney, Jones, Mills, Papley, Melican and Hewett are poised to breakthrough. The next wave is just as impressive as Florent, Hayward, Dawson, Clarke, Ronke, McCartin and now Blakey are quickly forging their very own paths to the top. This core of young blood will not only hold us in good stead, but begin to silence the cynical hordes.

 

Last season has been referenced as the catalyst for the predicted fall down the ladder. The very same season that saw us playing off for fourth spot in the final round of the season. A match that saw Franklin & Parker withdraw on match eve. A match in which we went down by single figures. Last season also saw the Swans succumb to a ‘once-in-a-generation’ lack of success at the SCG. This will not last. Last season saw the Swans defeat every other member of the Top 8 apart from Richmond, in a match that was also a playoff for top spot. Last season saw the Swans defeat the eventual premiers twice, and the runners-up in our only encounter. Last season wasn’t so bad.

 

The more I write, the more misunderstood I feel. In Alain de Botton’s ‘The News – A User’s Manual’, he writes of media organisations’ penchant for the promotion of the shocking in preference to the regulation. Perhaps that’s all this pre-season piffle is… seeking the sensational.

 

The veteran group have question marks surrounding them of course, but they also have considerable runs on the board. Kennedy will continue, McVeigh is the settling citizen that this emerging crew need, Grundy will serve his purpose and Smith has built a career on being unheralded and underrated. Jack’s best looks to be past, but who knows? The bottom line is they each have very much reduced roles these days, therefore our reliance is limited.

 

Depth has also improved with a couple of Cats moving north, a new draft class and further youth pressing hard to crack the big time. Well, they’re in the right place. Development at the Swans is unparalleled. I predict this to very much continue and keep us ahead of the pack.

 

The mid-upper tier of experience has us in very safe hands indeed. Nothing to misinterpret here. Buddy is primed to dominate after a frustrating season (which saw him named All-Australian Captain). Parker looks in great shape and with the added co-captaincy responsibility, is set for great things. Rampe likewise. Aliir Aliir is this season’s wildcard. We need to unleash him in the ruck and watch him soar. Lloydy is now a key cog and Cunningham is growing each and every season. Menzel and Thurlow are looking to establish themselves and look for Callum Sinclair & Sam Naismith to push each other to the line for rucking duties.

 

To the true believers – keep the faith. Ignore the sceptics, this year will be fun. And remember, validation is coming. Go Bloods.

 

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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. george smith says

    I have written before that the Swans will struggle, because the Sydney Football Stadium is closed for demolition, so everybody – League, Union and Soccer, has moved next door to the SCG. Add to this Sydney’s well known tendency to rain a lot from March to September and you will have Northern Tasmanian conditions up here.

    The boys from Easts, Souths and Waratahs are already cutting up the surface, so even the Test Match in January is looking a bit dodgy. The Swans have already displayed a seasonal exhaustion two years ago when they lost the first 6 matches, so a bit of lead in the boots is not what they need…

  2. The condition of the SCG is certainly a concern at the moment George. Time will tell on the effect it has on the team I guess. I will say that the team/list is quite different to 2017 though.

  3. Ross Treverton says

    Death, taxes and the Swans being written off…

    Looking forward to more of your work this season Joe!

    Cheer, cheer

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