Swanny and Me

We call Swanny the ‘Pig’ because he is a fantasy pig… he uses the ground as his sty and he has a lovely time out there. Ironically he strained his hamstring (mmm, ham) on the weekend leaving 87,000 Dream Team coaches sweating on the prognosis. Swan had scans today which indicated it was a strain and the club says he will be back for the Round 11 game against Melbourne.

Evidently, we’re without Dane Swan for 2 weeks… or so they say.

This is where I’m being a little more cautious. Once upon a time I had a player called Gary Ablett and he went down with a knee injury. I assumed it was a 2+ week injury so I traded. Not just because he was out for two weeks (possibly more), but because my mid structure couldn’t go into 2-3 weeks without one of the big boys (ala Swan, Pendlebury or Stanton). So I brought in Swanny. If Ablett was out for two weeks, I would call it a win. Swanny scored 171 on debut for me as captain and up until this week, it was the right choice. Then Swanny’s hammy went ping (slightly).

The old school DT coach in me says not to trade him and hold him on the bench. But I always like to think outside the box and look ahead. While I don’t have an indepth bye trading plan like many other coaches, mainly because of injuries we will encounter like this, they are definitely in my thinking coming up over these few weeks.

So here’s my thinking re: Swanny.

The club have told us 2 weeks. That’s Rd 9 (vs Adelaide) and Rd 10 (vs Gold Coast) to return on the long weekend game in Rd 11 (vs Melbourne) before Collingwood get their week of with the Rd 12 bye. My problem is that this two week injury could potentially be three week and ultimately four weeks if you include the bye. With our bench players, normally you’d wear Swanny’s injury over these rounds as they’re not scoring too badly. But if he does miss Rd 11, there is a whole heap of sh*t that will hit the fan. With Matthew Boyd and a host of GWS midfield boys (along with our new friend Dayne Zorko) all missing Round 11, we will be facing some donuts I think. And then don’t forget that he will be out for Round 12.

My current plan is to trade Dane Swan to Gary Ablett this week – with Ablett playing in Rd 11 and 12 (he has the Rd 13 bye) – and then when Swanny returns in Round 13, upgrade one of my midfield rookies to him and get him back in. While I wouldn’t want to let him go, Kyal Horsley would make this fit quite nicely before his Round 13 bye trading out a player who hasn’t had a bye for someone who has.

So the reason for me trading is that best case, he is out for 3 of the next 4 weeks. I can get Gary Ablett back in without an upgrade now when all of my cows still have a bit more time to mature and then do my upgrade smartly during the bye rounds to help avoid multiple donuts when there will be a hell of a lot of DT carnage.

Issues are that he is every chance to play in Round 11, but with his break even of 144, we’re not going to see a price rise – most likely drop a bit to make him cheaper for our upgrade to him – and we’re only getting him back for a week before the bye anyway. If he doesn’t play in Round 11, then this would be a genius trade (if you’ve got enough left of course) to help set you up for the back half of the season having both Swanny and Ablett kicking around in your team for the last 10 rounds.

Of course, anything can happen this week so I’m not getting too excited about this (did someone say Gary Ablett was carrying a groin injury on the weekend?!)… who knows if all of our GWS boys are back? Argh. So much rides on team selection – and what really happens on the weekends – to see if this is at all feasible.

Anyway, we’ll work it out! At least it’s something to talk about. I’m sure we’ll be doing plenty of that on DT TALK Live this week (7:30pm AEST on Thursday).

What are your thoughts regarding Swanny? Post them in the comments below and chirp chirp to me on Twitter… @WarnieDT!