Swans looking for things to do during the bye

With one round left in the season, the seemingly impossible situation of reaching finals from a near-disastrous start to the season, has been made possible largely to the never-say-die spirit of the Swans football club.

Fresh off a chastening loss to the Blues at the MCG in round 6, the Swans set about correcting their teetering season with impressive wins against the Lions, Roos and Saints, before their inevitable slip up against the Hawks.

Sitting 3-7 after the first 10 rounds, their worst start to a season since 1995 - 0-6 was also their worst start to a season since 1993 - finals looked like an impossibility, with the reigning premiers next up after the bye.

Fresh of smashing them to smithereens, the Swans staggered over the line against the Tigers and Bombers, before setting up the tail-end of the season with solid wins against the Demons, Suns, Giants and once again the Saints, before again, slipping up on that Brown and Gold banana peel.

By this time, the Swans had already firmed into premiership contention, winning 10 from 11 games, the form team at the time with the best percentage since round 7, and knocking over all other contenders.

Emphatic victories against the Cats away from home and Fremantle at home, as well as an exceptional rearguard performance for the ages against the Crows (and the umpires), has set the Swans up with an implausible finals placement.

As improbable as it was, the Swans are now guaranteed a top 6 finish and a home final, with top 4 an outside possibility if results fall their way.

Resembling a runaway train, the Swans are primed to attack the finals with gusto and vengeance, with only the lowly Blues standing in their way.

Where last year the Swans suffered injury after injury, they go into the finals with virtually no injuries and a full list to choose from, with Newman and Naismith returning to the fold this week.

Where the introduction of the bye week last year made the finals series a bit of a lottery, with all the teams in the first week struggling for consistency and control, as well as both qualifying final winners losing in the preliminary finals, Longmire insists that one year isn't enough to to form a guide from.

“Last year the Bulldogs were able to do it and it worked well but they still had to play four really tough, hard games. That’s not easy to do, regardless of whether you’ve had the week off or not,” said Longmire.

“It’s a bit tough looking at it in a one-off instance and getting a really strong opinion of it. What I do know and what will stand the test of time is you need to play really good footy for a month. We’d like to play good footy for five weeks.”

The Swans are in a fortunate position with their NEAFL team finishing top of the ladder and earning a break in round 23, playing their first final in the Swans' AFL bye week.

This will give the club a few options for their players where they qualify, with Tippett, Newman, Naismith among the NEAFL regulars who'll benefit from game time, as well as those on the fringe pushing to selection.

Despite the Bulldogs finishing 7th last season, heavily favoured by the bye with five players returning from injury, Longmire is adamant that the top 4 is the place to be.

“If you’re going to have a choice you’d finish top four, that’s just the reality of it,” he said.

“What our players have done is given us a chance and fought back really strongly.

“It’s been pleasing that we’ve got to this stage where there’s one more game to go and we’re still a chance.”

While activities like cooking classes, the zoo, movie night at the cinemas, goal kicking practice, or a river cruise may sound delightful, one would hope that the club will put the players through their paces so they can hit their opponents at full steam, like a runaway train.

Have a great idea for what the boys can do on their week off? Let us know!

dismiss x

2018 Player Sponsorship Program

The Swans Blog is delighted to be a 2018 Sydney Swans Redback member. While we're delighted to be members ourselves in such a prestigious, respected and loved club, we're extending the opportunity to you, followers and readers of The Swans Blog, to share in our experience and to become a membership with us.

We've already purchased the membership, and now we're looking for 24 supporters, followers and readers, to join us on our 2018 maiden journey. You'll share the excitement of the Sydney Swans journey, participate in match functions, have your say in who we nominate, as well as the football tips.

Best of all, if the Swans make it to the Grand Final in 2018, you could be the one representing us!

Interested? Let us know!.

dismiss x

Since you're here...

... we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading The Swans Blog than ever, but we don't accept advertising, and don't want to do so in the future. Unlike many other news and media organisations, fan forums and fan media, we haven't put up a paywall, or displayed ads - we want to keep our content as open as possible.

The Swans Blog is an independent fan blog and community platform. Our content takes a lot of time and hard work to produce. We do it because we love what we do and we believe our perspective matters - because it may be your perspective too.

If everyone who reads our blog, who likes it, is supporting it, our future would be much more secure.

Make a one-off contribution →

Want instant access to the latest blog and news content from The Swans Blog?
Download our Android App from Google Play today.

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

Subscribe to The Swans Blog

Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox.

or subscribe via RSS with Feedly!