WAFL: We pre­view Swans’ sea­son

Hills Gazette (Kalamunda) - - FRONT PAGE - Kristie Lim

A “YOUNG” group of play­ers will carry the load and ex­cite­ment for Swan Districts in 2018 fol­low­ing the re­tire­ments of key vet­er­ans, in­clud­ing long-time cap­tain Tal­lan Ames.

Ames re­tired af­ter play­ing 263 games, in­clud­ing the 2010 premier­ship, while for­mer AFL play­ers Ryan Crow­ley and Jamie Ben­nell also re­tired fol­low­ing one-year stints in the WAFL.

For­mer Carl­ton mid­fielder David El­lard, who also joined the club in 2017, has taken up the cap­taincy af­ter serv­ing as co-cap­tain with Ames.

The Black Ducks lost in the semi-fi­nal against South Fremantle last sea­son.

The club’s big­gest sign­ing over the sum­mer is for­mer Carl­ton, Greater Western Syd­ney and Fremantle mid­fielder Rhys Palmer, who will be shar­ing his ex­pe­ri­ence with colts play­ers.

Se­nior coach Adam Pick­er­ing, who moved from East Perth into his first se­nior coach­ing role in Novem­ber, said he was “very ex­cited” for the up­com­ing sea­son be­cause the group bought into a new pro­gram and game plan.

“It is a pretty young group with a few fresh faces, which al­ways brings an ele­ment of ex­cite­ment,” he said.

“Our top-end tal­ent, I be­lieve, is on par with any­one in the com­pe­ti­tion.

“With the de­vel­op­ment of our mid-tier play­ers, who may not have had the op­por­tu­nity in the past, or just nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion, we will be very com­pet­i­tive this year.”

Pick­er­ing said his younger play­ers had been great in the pre-sea­son but mid­fielder Jesse Turner had been “won­der­ful” since day 1.

“We have se­cured Rhys Palmer and Steven Payne and a num­ber of younger colts play­ers com­ing out of our de­vel­op­ment pro­gram,” he said.

“Our abil­ity to stay in games longer against the best op­po­si­tion is what I think we can im­prove on.”

Pic­ture: Bruce Hunt www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d475000

Swan Districts coach Adam Pick­er­ing-

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