Never been a gauntlet quite like the one the Swans ran in 2017, spotting the rest of the AFL a head start after six winless rounds, and setting itself a ludicrous task of winning something like 14 of its last 16 to make the finals. But that’s exactly what they did, reinforcing the perception of the Bloods as utterly resilient, and a little bloody-minded.
Sydney should be around the mark again, because who dares expect otherwise after last season? The Swans should at least get off to a better start (or John Longmire will hope so). The midfield operation remains the envy of the rest of the league, with Josh Kennedy (pictured), Luke Parker, Dan Hannebery and emerging star Isaac Heeney dominating at stoppages.
And for all the bleating about the deal that brought him to Sydney, it’s a hard argument to sustain that Buddy Franklin hasn’t been worth it, so far. Kurt Tippett’s surprise retirement in the offseason threw Buddy’s contract into stark relief – sure, five more quality years for a 31-yearold might be too much to expect. But when you have a bloke booting ten to win the Coleman in the last match of the home-and-away, applying rationality might not be the correct frame of reference, for him or his club.
Improbable scenario: The Swans win another premiership, and the Melbourne media gives them credit for it.