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The Red and the White: Plan B.


Franklin and Hannebery out. Plan B? Much has been said in recent times about the Swans lack of alternatives… too Buddy focussed and over-reliant on contested inside possession. And like last year after our poor start, the pundits have turned their focus to our midfield. Are we looking old, slow and beaten up?


John Longmire is certainly single-minded. His mantra is that you can’t use the ball unless you first win it. Though he must be challenged at the moment by the loss of Tippett and Naismith, followed by Reid. Now with Franklin out for a week or two how will he structure the forward line? I think he will look at one of Cameron or Aliir to play forward and support in the ruck. However Towers and Rohan, and perhaps even Kennedy will need to play tall and provide a target up forward. Here is an opportunity for Gazza to step up and demand more of the ball.


I’d rest young Hayward, who has has not impacted in recent games. He is only 19 and will benefit from a week or two in the Twos. In his place I’d bring in Dan Robinson. He is hard at it, gets the ball and kicks a goal or two. If fit, Melican will return. If not, I’d bring Fox back as he provides run off half back.


Who do you think needs to come in and how should we be structured?


Structurally the changes that I would make are more subtle and rely on asking more of the next generation of midfielders. I’d bring Mills up on to the ball, with support from Lloyd, Heeney, Jones, Hewett and Papley.


Each year we start slowly, having usually gone deep into the finals the previous year, as the core midfield of Kennedy, Parker, Hannebery, Jack and McVeigh find their form. Hopefully Hannebery will be given time to rest, recover and find form. Of the above, Parks has been very good and Macca has actually been outstanding directing play from down back. I am confident that by mid season this bunch will still be providing strong drive from the packs.


I am just as confident that we have recruited well and the next bunch of mids mentioned above, along with Florent will serve us well in coming years. There has been a strong emphasis on recruiting players with speed and skills and this will play out in our game style in coming years as we transition from the old to the new. Time will tell if Ling, Stoddart and perhaps Dawson are major contributors.


The pundits are also asking what we’d look like with Tommy Mitchell, Nankervis and young Sam Murray in the team. The answer is clearly a much better team. Though I think you have to take the longer view in this regard. We clearly wanted to retain them all, though this is not always possible. Effectively for Mitchell and Nankervis we drafted Florent and Hayward, different types though time will tell on those two. For Murray we got a future second round pick. If all goes to plan the points at that pick will help secure the highly regarded Nick Blakey, assuming he chooses to go to the Swans.


As always I remain optimistic. I am not sure that we are more than a top six team this year. I believe our opportunity to be very top went with Tippett, then Naismith going out. Presumably with Tippo off the books from next year, we will be a player in the trading market to complement our talls, mids or forwards.


For this week, we do have a good recent record at the Cattery, having won there three times in six years. It will be a big effort to get up with Buddy missing, however here is the chance for our coaching panel to shine.


Lets see Plan B.


About Keiran Croker

Keiran is a lifelong Swans supporter, despite a brief dalliance with the Cats and Tigers in primary school years. Family connections to Port Melbourne and South Melbourne demanded loyalty to the Swans. The long wait for success was worth it.


  1. You were right about Dan Robinson and Robbie Fox, Kieran. Not sure where the back-up ruckman is going to come from, now wirth Dean Towers out. Obviously the game plan will have to change quite considerably, with a small forward line on Saturday night. Looks gloomy, but I have a slight feeling we could be OK.
    Are you going?
    We’ll be in the Players Stand.
    Cheer cheer

  2. Chris Bracher says

    And the rest – as they say Kieran – is history.
    The once futile trip with its sombre return journey, has for three years now yielded remarkable against the odds triumphs. That red and white bay in the Players Stand was “goin’ off” at 4.15 pm yesterday. Cheer Cheer!

  3. Keiran Croker says

    I’ve never sung the song so loud and hard. It was pumping in the Players Stand. One of our all time great wins. Did not give us a chance at 3/4 time, though they lifted as a team superbly led by Joey Kennedy and Sinclair, who keeps getting better as first ruck. Go Bloods.
    Cheer, cheer.

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