Since the turn of the century, Sydney has been one of the few powerhouses in Australian rules football.
Sydney. The ugly duckling of the AFL. Even when they won the flag, they were criticised. Even by their CEO. Back then their style of play wasn’t exactly pretty but it was effective.
Not many people liked them, or at least the way they played the game. The only exciting player they had was Goodesy, and maybe Bazza if he felt like swinging. But how the has wheel turned.
They’ve missed the finals only three times since 1996. But it’s fair to say they are usually out of flag contention pretty early.
They are the battlers of the AFL. The Bloods stand by their teammates and never give up. But this season they have taken it up a notch, and are in with a real shot.
They have transformed into a team that can play not only defence, but also attacking footy when needed. They have a great spread of midfielders, and the improvement in Lewis Jetta has only helped this.
He’s running, tackling and goal sense has propelled him to be the equal of Cyril Rioli. Their defenders play great roles in closing down their opponent’s space to the ball, and they are selfless.
Teddy Richards has gone from a good defender to a great one. His intercept marks have been crucial, and along with Grundy should be considered for AA honours.
The only area of weakness for them, possibly, would be playing at the MCG. Sure if they finish top two they can play in Sydney, but if they want to win the flag they need to be comfortable playing in Melbourne.
The Tigers did expose them earlier this year, and I’m sure Longmire also wants them to break the Collingwood hoodoo.
It’s been far too long between drinks against the Pies, but so far you wouldn’t put it past the Swannies to win against the odds once more.
What do you think, Roarers? Is 2012 the year for the Swans?