New season, same old forward line woes

The dawn of a new Football season rapidly approaches, with a smattering of Swans taking part in the AFL's pre-season warm-up competition, the AFLX.

Given a new format for the year, harking back to primary school when captains selected their team, Lance Franklin was tapped on the shoulder as one of the first captains. A season-long battle with injury, followed by post-season injuries put an end to his involvement in the revamped experiment.

Daniel Menzel was the big name recruit in the off-season, joining fellow ex-Cat Jackson Thurlow, ex-Roo Ryan Clarke. Despite his injury history, there was reason for optimism, averaging 2-goals per game since his long-awaited return to AFL.

However, for Franklin and Menzel, their pre-seasons have been anything but positive. Franklin went under the knife in November last year, to speed up his recovery from the groin injury suffered in Round 22, while Menzel underwent a similar procedure just two weeks later.

With high-hopes slated for the on-paper formidable pair, their setback from injury was a sudden cause for concern.

With Menzel and Franklin joining the likes of Sam Reid, Callum Sinclair, Will Hayward and Ben Ronke, it would have been the best forward line the Swans had hoped to field in years, but will now wait to see how the forwards progress in their limited pre-seasons.

Sam Reid is on-track to start the season as the linch pin of attack, but given his injury track record, it's a dependency the Swans can ill afford, with 19-year-old Tom McCartin and 18-year-old Nick Blakey waiting in the wings.

The upside to the current predicament is fit-again ruckman Sam Naismith. His return to the side will free Callum Sinclair to play both ruck and forward, providing flexibility and unpredictability to the way the Swans play.

The Swans will wait to see how injuries play their part in the pre-season. Regularly injured forward Gary Rohan was traded to the Cats in the off-season, Sam Reid is as fit as he's been in years, while Nick Blakey is shaping up for a Round 1 debut.

It's now down to Franklin and Menzel to prove their fitness before the Swans' season-opener against the Western Bulldogs.

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!