Harley - Dramatic change not needed

Tom Harley is confident the Swans have the talent to reverse their 0-6 start to the season, and won't need to make any "dramatic changes".

Under Paul Roos and his successor John Longmire, the Swans have only missed the finals once since 2003.

Since 2000, the Swans have played a whopping 34 finals, the most of any team in the AFL, as well as 5 grand finals, winning in 2005 and 2012.

However, the perennial finalists have endured a torrid start to the home and away season, after their loss to Carlton on Saturday, they haven't won a game yet for season 2017.

Tom Harley told SEN that the Swans were not contemplating the type of "catastrophic changes" that Alistair Clarkson had spoken about, in the wake of his sides' latest flogging at the hands of St Kilda.

Harley said that he believed simple hard work would prove to be the solution to their down form, having debuted 13 players since the start of 2016.

"We haven't taken a specific development focus with the selection of the team. We've been picking the team on merit and the way the list has evolved over the past couple of years, the kids [have been] playing," Harley said.

"So it's not just like we've changed tack and played the kids because the kids are playing. And to be fair, of those 13 (recent debutants) only Jack Hiscox is no longer in the squad and the others have made meaningful contributions.

"We've clearly had some challenges with players coming off limited preparations and some absolute uncontrollables like (Isaac) Heeney (glandular fever) and (Dane) Rampe (broken arm), so we need to get our best players in the team and fit, and then work on the form.

"I wouldn't be forecasting any dramatic change.

"We know we have got the talent. We had five All Australians last year and technically that's only seven games ago. So we've got to find ways to maximise their output."

Having played 34 players already this season, the equal most in the AFL, and dealing with an injury crisis that's almost unprecedented for the club, an up turn in form could yield some very good results for the club, or at the very least generate some positivity.

Following the round 6 defeat, Isaac Heeney noticed a worrying lack of voice amongst his team mates.

“The first game I came back, it (was) really weird — compared to last year, it’s dead quiet,” Heeney told Seven Network’s Game Day.

“We had a good start last week and then, just dead quiet.

“It’s surprising and a bit of a weird vibe at the moment, but we just need that confidence back, play our normal brand of footy.”

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Justin Mitchell

Justin is a passionate AFL and Sydney Swans supporter, and football blogger since 2016. All articles are of his own opinion. You can reach him by twitter and Facebook at @theswansblog

Melbourne, Australia http://theswansblog.com

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