My wife came home in an Uber the other day, it was a shiny new blue Subaru WRX. I was jealous, I always get Camrys.
The Sydney Swans are like a Camry – functional, comfortable and will get the job done but it’s hardly going to be a white knuckle ride.
2018 in a nutshell
There were some solid wins – three from three against the Grand Finalists, split the wins against Geelong, GWS, Hawthorn but uncharacteristic losses against an improving Essendon, and worse Gold Coast led to a 14 and 8 season, the same as 2017.
Consistent but unremarkable – dare I say Camry Like
The ugly exit from the from the finals at the hands of GWS was tragic.
2019 Playing List
2019 – Best 22
|B||Heath Grundy||Lewis Melican||Jake Lloyd|
|HB||Dane Rampe||Aliir Aliir||Callum Mills|
|C||Oliver Florent||Josh Kennedy||Zac Jones|
|HF||Tom Papley||Ben Reid||Will Hayward|
|F||Ben Ronke||Lance Franklin||Daniel Menzel|
|Ruck||Sam Naismith||Luke Parker||Isaac Heeney|
|Int||Kieren Jack||Nick Blakey||Jarrod McVeigh|
|Emg||Callum Sinclair||Tom McCartin||Nick Smith|
Ins and Outs
Daniel Menzel – delisted free agent
Nick Blakey (10)
James Rowbottom (25)
Justin McInerney (44)
Zac Foot (51)
Durak Tucker (12)
Harry Reynolds (28)
Kurt Tippett – redrafted
Sam Wicks – Category B Rookie
Sydney’s degree of difficult sits about the middle of the pack according to Champion Data who seem to also be on board with the Camry metaphor.
Whilst it won’t be as bad as last year I’ve got them winning two of the first six and finishing with twelve wins for the season.
Five Fearless Predictions
1. Innit Marvellous?
Whilst it was a foregone conclusion that Sydney would match the bid of their neighbours, John Longmire muttered this classic Blakey catch phrase from “On the Buses” when pick ten was read out in 2018 draft.
Nick Blakey brings to Sydney 195cm of penetrating left foot forward/midfielder. A player everyone is looking forward to seeing if he can step up to the next level. If he has his father’s unerring commitment and tenacity on top of his own natural ability, this is one to watch.
Prediction – will start on the pine in R1 and given an injury free run will play all 22 games.
2. Wayward Hayward
The raps on this kid were huge when Sydney got him with pick 21 from North Adelaide and he has delivered kicking 50 goals in two seasons. Expect him to get better again in 2019.
A player with pace like this can be restricted on the small SCG. Just ask Gary Rohan who left because every time he got into third he ran into a fence.
Hayward is contracted until 2020 but could easily be a target for one of the SA clubs if home becomes a factor and the carrot is big enough. Having said that Sydney is culturally very strong and has not been regularly prone to losing players going home.
Prediction – Hayward will stay and I only made this point so I could use the pun in the title and get the Gary Rohan joke in.
3. Mr Reliables
These are the players that just continue to keep Sydney strong and they will keep on and on and on. Every year I put $20 on Josh Kennedy to take out the Brownlow and he taunts and teases and gets a place. Super consistent, strong and uncontroversial, like he’s been taking life lessons from John Eales. Hopefully he will win this year at 10/1 and I’ll get my money back for the last ten years.
Heath Grundy and Jarrad McVeigh will likely have their last year and have been unstoppable servants for the Bloods (although, the toll on their hamstrings is reduced when every second week they play on a circular ground 90m in diameter)
Buddy will kick one bag of 10+ probably against St Kilda in Round 23. St Kilda have already lost Carlisle, Nathan Brown will be suspended again and even new old recruit Jonathan Marsh will be missing in round 23 due to a bout of the mumps which will have taken a foothold in Melbourne thanks to Taylor Winterstein’s growing popularity.
4. One Foot in, One Foote out
This isn’t a prediction, it’s a fact. Sydney delisted Jordan Foote and drafted in Zac Foot.
Prediction – I’m going to battle to get a useful fifth prediction.
5. Camrys at Bathurst
This year they will allow Camrys at Bathurst. The hybrid ones will be remarkably competitive because they won’t require a fuel stop.
It will also introduce a level of unpredictability with them all doing 85km/h in the right lane and leaving their indicators on.
Prediction – this could be the last time someone asks me to write for them
Where will they finish?
12 wins for the season, should see them finish ninth or just sneak into the the eight if everything goes right and they have a good percentage.
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