Good afternoon all, it's Wednesday and time for the latest episode of The Swans Blog's podcast, the SwansCast. We take a look at the Brownlow, the shock goal and mark of the year decisions, Kennedy and Franklin, as well as the weekend that was and the grand final ahead.
It's a strange feeling watching the football without the Swans involved. I've watched a lot of Swans finals over the last 11 years, and I've been lucky enough to go to most of them since 2007, suffering through the regular red and white pain at the MCG.
Watching the Crows predictably smash the Cats was as entertaining as watching paint dry. They were never in the contest and even occasional brilliance from Dangerfield couldn't save them. Just makes you wonder what the Swans were doing more than a week ago to let them run riot at the MCG.
The second game was far more intense, and much more like a finals game, until Cotchin took out Shiel and then the game was over. The Giants struggled towards the end of the second quarter and all the way through the second half. Their naivety and lack of experience shone through, glaringly at times, with even their senior leaders struggling. Shaw and Johnson in particular had nightmares, and Stevie J, who's touted to join the Swans' coaching ranks, won't spend much time reflecting on the game, let along the third quarter.
The Swans season overall was a successful one, given their precarious position early on. A lot has been written about it, on this medium and elsewhere, but if someone had offered the semi-final to me after the Carlton game, I'd have bitten their hand off, and then some. So while expectations were understandably high after their record-breaking win against the Bombers, they had to be tempered somewhat given the season they had.
The first ever team to make the finals from 0-6, losing just two more games for the rest of the season, finishing 6th. That's an achievement I hope the players remember fondly, not the start, but how they came together and finished the season off.
Jeremy Laidler yesterday announced his retirement from the Swans. A terrific player, a fantastic clubman and an even better bloke. Never complained about missing out, missed just three games in his first two seasons, including the 2014 grand final, and played in the 2016 decider. While he played just three games this year, he spent a lot of time with the academy as a development coach, which is where he'll be next season. His signing off message was fantastic too, just goes to show the sort of character he is.
In other Swans news, Barry Hall went the biff again. During the week he predicted his QAFL opponents would try to rile him up, and niggle they did. Eerily reminiscent of his shot on Brent Staker, he knocked the guy to the ground with a shot over his right shoulder. Fortunately, it was a slap, or push depending on who you ask, and the player jumped back up. Another guy walked up to Hall and was promptly knocked to the ground, taking an Australian Olympic Team Dive of the Year nomination with his effort.
It's not a great look, but pot calling the kettle black with David Schwarz calling it a dog act, given his own personal history. Those in stone houses shouldn't be throwing rocks.
In this weeks' episode I'm joined by Stephen Treloar from Over the Line Sports and Rowan from BigFooty. We discuss the preliminary finals, cast our gaze over the grand final, discuss future trades and drafts, the Brownlow medal and the MRP.
We're back next week after the Grand Final, wrapping up the season that was before kicking onwards into the off-season. Have no fear, we'll be around with all the latest and best Swans-related content! We have a number of podcasts, live and recorded to keep you busy and engaged through to January.
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