This is the next of our submitted Club Dream Team Previews. Thanks to magpies01 for sending this one in! You will receive a stubby holder and if your article is one of the two that gets the most Facebook “Likes’ (just above this blurb), you’ll get yourself an AFL Prospectus! Read on!
The future looks bright for the Swans, and it also looks very near. After a quality season in 2010, the Swans finished 5th on the ladder, with a 13-9 win/loss record, and a percentage of 108.27. Many people see Sydney as a ‘shut down’ club, but last year they showed their much more. Their younger players have excelled in their performances, and this means Sydney have taken aboard a more attacking role in 2011. There is no doubt in my mind that they will make the top 8, and I also think they could go far into the finals, probably to the prelim finals. With their young players looking fresh and fit, and a new coach to lead the team into a new era, the Swans look like a genuine top 8 contender for the year.
Now onto the fantasy. Sydney are one of the 4 teams to have both their byes in the multi-bye rounds, in rounds 5 & 19, so that’s great news for any DT coaches who are looking for a league win. This is also good news for coaches who are wanting the car, as they can get on a cheap Swans player, have him get his first bye out of the way early, and then he can deliver a solid 14 rounds of scores, which means upgrading him to a premium in round 19. In 2010, the Swans best DTer was, with no surprise, was Adam Goodes, with an average of 94. Second, was the young gun, Kieren Jack, with an average of 90. Next were Jude Bolton, Malceski and O’Keefe.
If you’re looking for a Swans player in the backline, look no further than Nick Malceski. The defender was one of the best buys of 2010, starting as a cheap buy, and has now been promoted to a premium. Malceski gathered the most possessions for the Swans in 2010, and had a solid average of 85. He is also having an outstanding pre-season, smashing his 3km time trial. However, there was a large surprise to all fans in 2010, with Heath Grundy having a standout year. The forward-moved-defender had a great season, lifting up his average to 78, and being one of the Swans best defenders. Sydney’s defence is more about shutting down the opposition and not gathering stats, and this is why their backline doesn’t standout in DT, with the exception of Malceski and Grundy. The Swans only rookie defender looks to be Alex Johnson, who was pick 57 for the Swans. The tall defender can also move up forward, or slide into the ruck.
With the loss of Brett Kirk, the Swans midfield must stand up to fill in that hole, not only with statistics, but with leadership. Kieren Jack has showed what he is capable of in 2010, with a break out year. His average was an excellent 90, and he played all 22 games. With nothing but upside to him, he is sure to be a popular pick in 2011. Swans veteran Jude Bolton gave us yet another solid season, with an average of 88. Although he is one of the most consistent players in the AFL, there could be better buys out there, with age catching up with the hard at it midfielder. Brett Meredith, a young midfielder who has been injury-plagued the last 3 years, is having his best pre-season to date. He has improved his fitness and his skills have excited the Swans coaches. Lewis Jetta looks to be a good buy, with a solid start to his career in 2010. Hopefully, he could get more goals quicker this year, and become a consistent player.
After the loss of Darren Jolly, the Swans needed a big man to stand up. Luckily, Geelong had given them Shane Mumford and kept Mark Blake, which has now been recognised as a large mistake. Big Mummy was their premium ruckman for 2010, with an average of 79. The young man only looks to be improving, and should be a popular buy for the season. Another player with the possibility of having a breakout year, is Jesse White. The forward/ruckman has showed us many signs, but has not been able to string together a consistent season, but with a pre-season injury maybe we should wait to see how he goes. Big Canadian, Mike Pyke looks to be improving, but as a DT player, you should stay away.
Adam Goodes is leading this forward line into the year, with a great average of 94 in 2010, the veteran could be a good buy in 2011, but with injury concerns, and age catching up to him, you might want to stay away. Ryan O’Keefe has showed us again that he is capable of being a premium player, but still couldn’t put together a consistent season. After a great 1st half to the season, Paul Roos shifted him into a tagging role, and this was his downfall, but he still had a solid average of 86, and should be considered. Trent Dennis-Lane was someone I had in my team last year. The rookie forward showed great signs last year, and gave coaches some solid scores for a rookie. Even though he has the 2nd year blues of his head, he should be considered. Jed Lamb was the highest pick for the Swans, and could be a good rookie buy. The strong, quick forward has an ability to find the ball and has a great kick at goal.
Swans DT recap
Who to watch: Nick Malceski, Brett Meredith, Kieren Jack, Trent-Dennis Lane
Who to avoid: Daniel Bradshaw (injury-prone), Lewis Roberts-Thompson (injury-prone), Tadgh Kennelly
Injuries: Craig Bolton, Jesse White, Mark Seaby
Overall, the Swans look to be genuine threat in 2011. They also have many great options for DT, and will continue to improve under a new coach.