Swans claw way out of darkness
SYDNEY’S year has been a tale of two seasons, rounds 1-6 (The dark ages) and rounds 7-14 (The renaissance)
If the Swans beat Melbourne tonight they will be back on level pegging at 7-7 and at least temporarily in the eight.
It’s a situation which was unimaginable two months ago when lowly Carlton humbled them at the MCG. The fall from grace was complete, last time they had played at the G was on grand final day, now they were rock bottom and the only winless team in the competition.
The only consolation was they couldn’t fall any further and the only direction available was up. So how did they get here? The first thing was not panicking, John Longmire knew going into the season they were thin on talent and were in for a rough ride.
“There are the controllable and the uncontrollable and the uncontrollable was the injuries to senior players,” Longmire said.
“We openly discussed that going into the season and we know it was going to be a problem and it was always going to be a tough start for us. It was tougher than we hoped but we understood where we’re at and in the end it’s a reminder we need to bring our best every week regardless of who’s playing.”
The charge back to the top has been led by the team’s barometer Josh Kennedy, Luke Parker and Dan Hannebery.
Former Swans and most recently Melbourne coach Paul Roos says the engine room will be where tonight’s contest is decided.
“Melbourne’s work around the ball is getting more and more consistent,” Roos said.
“You have to do that against Sydney and if you don’t you’re in massive trouble. They are more ready to take on Sydney than they have been in the past. We weren’t consistent enough in the past. A lot of games are decided on pure talent when it’s so close, Josh Kennedy was a perfect example last week against Essendon. That’s where Melbourne have caught up. Talented players can make things out of nothing.”
CLIMBING UP: Josh Kennedy and Luke Parker have been key players in the Swans’ change of form.