Sydney Swans 2012 Preview
Ben McGlynn and Rhyce Shaw of the Swans (Slattery Images)
Although the big names are still firing, it is the likes of Sam Reid, Daniel Hannebery, Kieran Jack, Shane Mumford, Gary Rohan, Nick Smith and Andrejs Everitt that Sydney’s success in 2012 depends upon.
The older Swans had a solid year last season. Adam Goodes notched up his 300th game and took out his third Bob Skilton Medal as the club best and fairest, equaling Gerard Healy (’86, ’87, ’88), Ron Clegg (’48, ’49, ’51) and Billy Williams (’46, ’47, ’50).
Once he plays four games this season Goodes will also overtake Michael O’Loughlin as the club’s game record holder.
The dual-Brownlow Medallist gained more votes than any of Rhyce Shaw, Josh Kennedy, Ryan O’Keefe or Ted Richards. All but Kennedy have played 150 plus games.
On Brownlow night it was again the well-known names that led Sydney vote getters – Goodes, O’Keefe and Jude Bolton, who is only 21 games away from joining the 300 club.
This is a club with great experience and a very promising bunch of youngsters. Furthermore, they have the depth to once again be a finals contender.
Sydney finished sixth in 2011 with 13 wins, 10 losses and one draw, that came in round one against Melbourne. Expect somewhat of a similar record this year.
In the goalkicking area, it was again Goodes who was the Swan’s best with 41 majors. Little Ben McGlynn contributed 30, Reid added 22 and O’Keefe helped out with 20.
Sydney in 2012 has a reasonably difficult schedule, more so in the second half of the season.
They play Geelong twice after the bye and West Coast away, although the defeated the Eagles in Western Australia in round three in 2011. They also have St. Kilda and Carlton away, Collingwood at home, the Dogs in Melbourne and will host the Hawks at home.
I’m looking forward to seeing those young aforementioned players, in addition to Tony Armstrong, who Sydney acquired from Adelaide. Watch for him across the half-back line, as well as Nick Gordon, who has been elevated from the rookie list.
Expect a fit and healthy Jed Lamb to play his first game. Likewise watch for Tom Mitchell, the son of Barry Mitchell, who dominated in the under-18 Western Australian competition.
There may be a new team in New South Wales, but Sydney won’t lose any supporters. Another finals campaign is on the cards.
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