Naismith has his eyes on the prize

Fresh from his impressive debut season, filling in for the injured Tippett, Naismith has his eyes on the prize, the no. 1 ruck spot.

Among the best Swans in the grand final loss to the Western Bulldogs, the 206cm big man solidified his position in the senior team once given his opportunity against Geelong in round 16.

While his development has been long and injury riddled, his addition to the side was critical to the Swans' regaining centre control.

His no-nonsense approach to ruck contests and excellent tap work, gave first use to a struggling midfield in clearances, and went a long way towards securing top spot.

Speaking with Sydney Swans, Naismith was eagerly looking forward to 2017, improving on his impressive finals series and keeping the no. 1 ruck spot, albeit with tough competition.

“The number one ruck spot is hot for the taking and there is going to be a few boys contesting for that,” Naismith said.

“In the long run it is going to be great for the Club because we are all going to be really competitive.

“I am sure when pre-season comes around we are all going to be ready to go and we are going to be fit.”

Already contracted until 2018, the big man was adamant that the recent finals series and disappointing grand final loss wasn't going to hold him back.

“Coming into the team halfway through the year and holding my spot then playing in a Grand Final was pretty special for me,” he said.

“The hardness and speed of a finals series was another level up from regular football.

“To come into the team and play alongside players that are playing that hard footy it really drives you.”

While injuries have always held him back, he was excited about what the next few seasons could hold.

“I needed to get on top of injuries, I needed to play consistent footy week in and week out and I thought I was able to do that this year,” he said.

“To be able to play in the seniors was a great learning experience for me and it is going to be great for my career over the next few years.”

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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

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