Rest and rotation are not part of resilient Sydney star Jude Bolton’s vocabulary at the moment, but the workhorse accepts that might have to change in his 15th AFL season.
Bolton, known for his toughness and recuperative abilities, will extend a 301-game career next year when he suits up for the Swans’ premiership defence.
He will be 33 years old when the Swans’ 2013 campaign starts on March 30 with a derby against Greater Western Sydney.
While rest was a dirty word in AFL circles only a few years ago, it has since come into vogue with the likes of Geelong rotating their senior players on an almost-weekly basis in an effort to keep them fresh for the finals.
Bolton senses the Swans won’t adopt a similar approach with him and fellow stalwart Adam Goodes, who missed the start of pre-season training on Friday due to a knee injury.
“We don’t have that luxury to rotate guys. I think we just get out and try to win as many games as we can,” Bolton told AAP.
“We’ve never been a team to rest up guys or anything like that. We just get out and play.”
However, the introduction of the substitute rule has changed the game and Bolton acknowledged he might come in for some enforced rest.
“I don’t want the tap on the shoulder at all, but that’s something I’ve got to get my head around as well,” Bolton said.
“I haven’t had to wear the dreaded red vest yet, only once when I did my knee last season.”
“There might be times next season when I get subbed off.”
With the Swans’ embarrassment of riches in the midfield, Bolton spent more time forward in 2012 and kicked a career-best 23 goals.
Bolton expected coach John Longmire would continue to use him in both the forward line and midfield, noting he’s keen to continue mentoring the likes of young gun on-baller Luke Parker.