Swans don’t feel the AFL hype

By , 5 May 2012

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    Sydney have become the toast of the AFL after a resounding upset win over Hawthorn, but Swans defender Nick Smith says it’s been easy to ignore the hype.

    Smith returned from a severe inner ear infection in last Sunday’s triumph over the Hawks, a result which has the club sitting undefeated in second spot on the ladder.

    It was the most impressive of the Swans’ five wins on the trot, leading some to trumpet their arrival as premiership contenders.

    But with most of that noise coming from Melbourne, Smith suggested it hasn’t really registered at the SCG.

    “Not really (it doesn’t feel different). Being up here you don’t hear as much about it and we’re just going about our business as normal,” Smith said on Friday.

    “We’re not getting caught up in what everyone else is saying.

    “I don’t think (it is hard to stay grounded) … it’s round five and we’re under no illusions that there’s a long way to go in the season.

    “If we’re going to go further we’ll have to improve.”

    That starts with Saturday’s match against Adelaide at the SCG.

    It looks like an easier assignment than pre-season flag favourites Hawthorn in Launceston, but midfielder Dan Hannebery knows his side won’t be looking at it that way.

    “Our first five weeks have been sensational … and we’ve worked really hard for it,” Hannebery told the crowd at the club’s Ladies Lunch.

    “Confidence is up and there’s no reason why we can’t make it six-zip.

    “But we’re not getting ahead of ourselves. I think it (Sydney’s form) just comes down to really respecting our opponents and knowing them inside out.”

    Crows coach Brenton Sanderson has his fourth-placed side playing with Swans-like endeavour in his first season at the helm, with Saturday night to be a clash between the top two contested-ball winning teams.

    Smith was confident the Swans wouldn’t need to change too much on the weekend.

    “They play a similar style of footy (to Hawthorn) and they’ve been going really well,” he said.

    “We’ve gone in with similar planning to the Hawks and we know it’s going to be a hard battle.”

    The 23-year-old returned as the substitute against the Hawks after missing two weeks with an illness that left him battling vertigo.

    “Initially it was really bad, I couldn’t stand up and I couldn’t sit up. I was pretty nauseous,” Smith said.

    “A couple of days in hospital but then got out and it was just a slow build-up.

    “I was catching a lot of tennis balls, footballs to try and get my balance and coordination back … it was pretty frustrating.

    “I was a little bit nervous (returning) … but it was good to get back out there and I felt fine.”

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