Good morning everyone, it’s Friday already and it’s time for another instalment of your favourite Sydney Swans weekend preview podcast, the SwansCast Extra.
What a week it’s been, full of enough soapy drama to give a show like the Bold and the Beautiful a run for its money. Gaff’s off play blow on Brayshaw was the hot item to kick the week off, such was its force and nature, that it had even thugs from the 70’s and 80’s up in arms for change.
The AFL finally got it right at the tribunal for once, giving him enough time off to think about his actions, and then some, whacking him with 8 weeks. Dean Solomon was the last player to cop such a hefty suspension for his elbow on Cameron Ling, not long after Hall’s brain snap.
Then the news that the Saints were after Dan Hannebery, pushed by the one and only rumour merchant, Sam McClure. Channelling his inner Goal tabloid journalism, he ran the old copy + paste article, inserting St Kilda as the team and Dan Hannebery as the player.
I don’t know what was more galling or laughable – the non-existent link unconfirmed by both clubs, or his admittance that the Swans don’t want to trade him. He even went as far to suggest that Sydney would foot 25% of the salary if he were to be traded to St Kilda.
Alan Richardson of course came out and said, “if he was available we would be interested”, emphasising the “if”, which of course lead to many media outlets running the “Saints want Hannebery” headlines. They screwed up earlier in the week when Trevor Nisbett from the Eagles suggested that Brayshaw and Gaff were friends and had played golf earlier in the week. You would think they would learn in one day, oops.
Then of course, to cap a rather dramatic week off, perhaps the most well-known identity connected with women’s football in Australia, Daisy Pearce slammed the proposed AFLW fixture, calling the competition nothing more than a gimmicky tournament. She has a point too, with the AFL trying to keep the competition’s scope to its current 8-week window for a 10-team competition.
You would think the AFL would learn from fixturing issues with its male league and more than 100 years of running it. You would think. What’s the point of expanding the league if they’re not going to expand the fixture. As far as the AFLW goes, until the AFL takes it seriously, it won’t be taken seriously.
It’s times like this when being a CEO probably isn’t the most enjoyable job out there. Sure, you get paid big bucks, you get to make all the big calls, but you’re also the figurehead, the scape goat, the recipient of all the criticism for individuals underneath you that make bad decisions.
I think Daisy Pearce’s criticism was warranted, given the AFL’s track record. The women players train as semi-professional athletes for nine months of every year and play in what amounts to a semi-professional competition for barely two months. They’re paid for 4-5 months each year, which doesn’t kick in until November when the pre-season starts. They play in the hottest conditions and are subject to constant criticism from AFL headquarters, interference and rule changes. There’s a lot of room for improvement.
Dan Hannebery and Gary Rohan headline the extended squad inclusions for Sunday’s do-or-die match against the Demons at the MCG. It’s shaping up to be season defining for both clubs – the Swans need to win to stay in touch, while the Demons need the win to break into the top four.
As bizarre and tumultuous as the season has been, there’s every chance lady luck won’t take the weekend off, giving the Swans an unbelievable chance to jump back into the top four. Those chances hinge on a fit Hannebery, with him we’re a better than even chance, but without him, I think the Swans’ midfield will struggle.
Callum Sinclair has had his hands full this season and will have them overflowing again on Sunday, facing Max Gawn for the first time since 2016. That match, Gawn destroyed the Swans’ rucks with 58 hit-outs.
Sinclair couldn’t stop Grundy last week, pillaging 57 hit-outs and was arguably best on ground. Grundy and Gawn are considered the best rucks in the league at the moment, so Sinclair has to lift to limit the damage, and give his midfield the best possible chance to win the game.
In this weeks’ show, I'm joined by SwansCast regular, Joshua Maher. We preview the Swans match against the Demons, discuss Dan Hannebery and Gary Rohan, selections and AFL shenanigans, talk about what we're looking forward to, match-ups, key points, team changes, and give the weekend forecast.
It’s another great episode, so give it a listen, send us feedback, and if you love it, leave us a review on Facebook or Whooskaa, our podcast platform.
Enjoy the week and the episode! As always, hit us up on social media using the tag @theswansblog, or the hash tag #SwansCast and #SwansCastExtra.
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