Sydney Swans: the success story of 2012
Sydney Swans and Geelong compete at the SCG (Slattery Images)
The Sydney Swans have experienced a meteoric rise back to relevance in the AFL during the 2012 season. Over halfway through the season, they are now sitting atop the table.
It’s much too premature and tight to call anything major for the Swans. They still may predictably bow out in the semi-finals again come September, but the situation they’re in is incredible enough.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this. The Swans were supposed to plummet after losing key players like Michael O’Loughlin, Craig Bolton, Daniel Bradshaw and Tadhg Kennelly to retirement over the past few years. It’s only natural, you slowly rise and then fall only to rise again. It’s how the AFL works.
But they’ve risen again, faster than anyone thought. Adam Goodes defies time, still tearing up the opposition at 32. Josh Kennedy burst into relevance with a sparkling start to the year, while Kieren Jack and Daniel Hannebery continue to improve until the guidance of veterans Jude Bolton and Jarrad McVeigh.
Young gun Sam Reid has stumbled a bit over the 2012 season but is finding form, booting a career best 6.1 against the Lions the past weekend, while Lewis Jetta has made a case for most improved in the AFL this season, hurting teams on the scoreboard and all over the ground.
The backline has found itself after losing piece after piece over the years. Names like Alex Johnson and Ted Richards may not be as well known as the Zac Dawsons and Heath Shaws of the league, but they’re proving every bit as capable as the Swans boast one the strongest defences in the AFL right now.
This is hardly saying the Swans are perfect, or even destined for September success, but sitting atop the table with only three losses to their name is promising for the red and white outfit. With games against the Eagles, Saints and Blues coming up in the next month, the Swans premiership credentials will really be put to the test.
In such an open league, we may be singing a different tune in a months’ time about the Sydney Swans, but right now they’re looking every bit the success story of 2012.
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