Will the Swans’ bandwagon roll in 2010?
For a team that finished eleventh on the AFL ladder in 2009, you have to admire the loyalty of the Swans fans who turned up for their first game, with a crowd over 30,000.
There the fans were in that first game against St Kilda covered in red and white from head to toe, cheering on the bloods in what became a tight enthralling game.
For Sydney, as a sporting city, any crowd over 30,000 is decent no matter the code or sport.
After round two, and the Swans demolition of the much fancied Adelaide Crows, the Swans now have a spring in the step. Or is that grease in their wheels?
Almost immediately, the Swans are featuring more prominently in the sport pages of the Sydney papers.
At least online.
Prior to the AFL season it was a very low key build up for AFL in the Sydney media.
The Sydney Morning Herald had even moved its AFL drop down tab to the far right, whilst the Daily Telegraph had relegated the AFL article block below boxing in its online version.
This in the wake of the mighty Swans bandwagon of 2003- 2007, which came to a halt in 2009.
In their heyday, 72,000 packed into ANZ Stadium to watch Sydney play Brisbane in a Preliminary Final.
In 2007, the bandwagon still rolling from the 2005 and 2006 Grand Final appearances, they managed three crowds over 60,000 at ANZ Stadium, such were the winning wheels of the Swans wagon.
Paul Roos has recruited well, maybe that crowd of 30,000 to the Swan’s first game of 2010 sensed a resurgence. Old wheels had been replaced and the bloods faithful could smell some blood on their opponents in 2010.
Whilst the Crows are struggling with injuries and poor form, they’re difficult to beat at AAMI Stadium in Adelaide.
The Swans smashed them in the first half. Rejuvenated with leg speed and traded players out to prove their former clubs wrong, the Swans have Top 8 next to their name all of a sudden.
When you consider they took St Kilda to within an inch of defeat, the gulf between the Swans and other Top 8 contenders is not as far as many believed.
Sydney loves a winner.
Those crowds of 60,000 won’t happen in 2010, but the Swans, in Paul Roos’ last year, will not die easily and that bandwagon already has a shiny look.