Sitting at four and eight going into the mid season bye is not where the Swans thought they would be at the start of the season. Injuries, Poor performances and sometimes a lack of leadership has gotten Sydney into this position. With players like Josh Kennedy, Buddy Franklin and Jarrad McVeigh missing big chunks of the season it not hard to see why.
The Swans have hardly been blown away this year with only one loss of more than 5 goals, but have regularly found themselves behind in games needing to expel a lot of energy just to get within striking distance, just to have to the opposition rally to take the game away from them.
Whats gone right?
Sydney’s Youth have been very promising this year. Tom Papley, Nick Blakey, Aliir Aliir and George Hewett have been stand outs this year. Tom Papleys 21 goals for the season have kept Sydney in games they really shouldn’t have been. His nous around goal, work rate up and back and work through the midfield has been incredible.
Aliir Aliir has continued his strong form in defence averaging six marks and three rebound 50’s a game, with his intercept marking and dash from defence being particularly exciting to watch.
Whats gone wrong?
Sydney’s midfield has been soundly beaten most of the season and their lack in inside 50’s has been a worry. The games Sydney have been able to win has been when they have been efficient inside their attacking half.
With out some changes to their midfield group it is hard to see the Swans doing any serious damage. Whilst it may be good to blood though some youth, Sydney’s youngsters have been shown to go in and out of games. In this day and age, will get you slaughtered if all 22 players aren’t playing their role. Callum Sinclair has battled manfully around the grounds and getting forward but his tap work can sometimes leave a lot to be desired.
George Hewett has announced himself as one of the best 2 way runners in the competition. His inside grunt and tackling has been a shining light on an otherwise dark season as he averages 4 clearances and 4 tackles a game.
Last year, Hewett was used as run with midfielder but this year he has shown that he can find the footy himself. Countless times he has found himself deep in defence winning the ball and clearing it forward to release some pressure. If he can find a way to get himself forward and start hitting
the scoreboard it will thrust him into the Elite category of midfielder.
The Run Home
With 10 games left and only playing two teams inside the top eight, there is no reason the Swans couldn’t win 8 out of the next 10 and possibly sneak into the finals. It is definitely the optimist in me that is saying that, but after the performance against West Coast it’s not that much of a stretch. If they can perform like that every week then the Swans could cause some headaches for the rest of the competition.
There is no getting around the fact that the Swans have been poor to say the least this season. If can lift their performances to match how they played against the Eagles then who knows how the season can end.