The Roar
The Roar

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Have the Sydney Swans become too greedy?

Expert
16th March, 2014
40
1837 Reads

Over the past ten years or so, the Sydney Swans have become a club whose culture has been the envy of every other club in the league.

Their speciality has been turning struggling fringe players from other clubs into excellent ones.

Josh Kennedy, who couldn’t get a permanent spot in his father and grandfather’s team at Hawthorn in a star-studded midfield, is now one of the best inside midfielders in the competition.

Ted Richards couldn’t establish himself at Essendon, and he is now an All Australian defender and premiership winner.

Rhys Shaw spent ten frustrating seasons at Collingwood, but once he moved north he improved out of sight.

Craig Bolton, Darren Jolly and Jason Ball also played much better footy, and on a consistent basis, when they transferred to the Swans.

Basically, the club has made an art form out of turning discards into wanted and excellent commodities and they put it down to the blood culture, which former skipper Brett Bird introduced under Paul Roos.

However, have they become too greedy with the recruitment of two high profile key forwards in Kurt Tippett, from Adelaide, and one of the game’s most high profile players, in Buddy Franklin, from Hawthorn?

Obviously both of them were anything but discards at their previous teams, and although it’s still early days, especially with Buddy, you could argue that these moves aren’t working.

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It seems to go completely against the grain of how the Swans go about their business.

But again, the season has just started. They lacked spirit in the second half when Greater Western Sydney defeated them on the weekend, and Franklin had minimal impact.

There was no Tippett or veteran Adam Goodes to add to the mix, as they both battle bad knee injuries.

Obviously with all three fit, it’s almost impossible for opposition defences to stop them.

It seems that Franklin and his manager, Liam Pickering, approached the Swans going into 2013, the last year of his Hawthorn contract, about the possibility of playing with Sydney.

In the end, to the surprise of most in the footy industry, they made it happen with this staggering long deal of nine years.

However, did the Swans get caught up in the tall poppy syndrome scenario, after many years of struggling on the field?

After finally becoming an AFL powerhouse did they feel that was being confirmed with one of the game’s current greats wanting to continue a stellar career with them?

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By all accounts, Buddy has fitted in well in the Harbour City, not only away from the club, but within the confines of the red and white brigade.

But they were expected to win that game comfortably, although the Giants look like they have improved, and maybe quicker than most of us thought.

There have been many examples of teams having a shocker first up and then producing a great season, and vice versa.

In ten weeks time or less we might be singing the praises again of Buddy and the Swans in nabbing him, but, even at this early stage, that outcome seems far away.