AFL 2020: Sydney – Five Fearless Predictions

What lies ahead of the Swans in 2020?

2019 in a Nutshell

September spectators for the first time in a decade, and just the fourth time in 24 years, meant that the 2019 season provided a novel, if unwanted, experience for John Longmire and his Swans. More valuable however, for the coach would be the increased opportunities the season afforded him to blood youngsters which began to pay dividends late in the season.

2020 Playing List

 1 Chad Warner17 Will Gould33 Ryley Stoddart
 2 Kaiden Brand18 Callum Sinclair34 Jordan Dawson
 3 Dylan Stephens19 Matthew Ling35 Barry O’Connor
 4 Ryan Clarke20 Sam Reid36 Aliir Aliir
 5 Isaac Heeney21 Jack Maibaum37 Elijah Taylor
 6 Jackson Thurlow22 Nick Blakey38 Colin O’Riordan
 7 Harry Cunningham23 Lance Franklin39 Brady Rowles
 8 James Rowbottom24 Dane Rampe (c)41 Hayden McLean
 9 Will Hayward25 Ben Ronke42 Robbie Fox
10 Sam Naismith26 Luke Parker (c)43 Lewis Melican
11 Tom Papley27 Justin McInerney44 Jake Lloyd
12 Josh Kennedy (c)28 Lewis Taylor45 Sam Wicks
13 Oliver Florent29 George Hewett46 Joel Amartey
14 Callum Mills30 Tom McCartin48 Michael Knoll
15 Sam Gray31 Harry Reynolds
16 Zac Foot32 James Bell
INS: Lewis Taylor (Brisbane), Barry O’Connor (IRE), Dylan Stephens (Norwood), Will Gould (Glenelg), Elijah Taylor (Perth), Chad Warner (East Fremantle), Brad Rowles (Bendigo Pioneers), Sam Gray (Port Adelaide), Kaiden Brand (Hawthorn).
OUTS: Daniel Menzel, Toby Pink, Cody Hirst, James Rose, Durak Tucker, Jarrad McVeigh, Kieran Jack, Heath Grundy, Nick Smith, Darcy Cameron, Zak Jones.

Be sure to check out our fearless predictions for the other AFL teams in 2020.

2020 Fixture

Two double up games against top eight teams from the previous season is an unlucky break for a team that finished 15th. With Carlton, Gold Coast and Hawthorn the other three double up teams though, Champion Data rate it the second easiest draw.

No surprise then that the Swans were positive when discussing the fixture upon its release. “Overall our 2020 fixture provides a balanced draw that has a little something for everyone,” Swans CEO Tom Harley said.

“It will also be great to welcome some of the big-drawing Melbourne clubs to the SCG across a range of timeslots and days that will be sure to appeal to members and supporters alike. “To have six games in Melbourne – three being at the MCG – is a terrific result for our club, as is returning to Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland.

We name the Top Ten Swans of the 2010s.

Five Fearless Predictions

Young Talent Time

The Swans don’t subscribe to the theory that you have to go down to come back up again but with 16 players between 18-21 the Swans have quietly built an exciting group to build future success around. While finals are always the aim in Sydney, having spent much of 2019 getting game time into their youngsters, developing these players further will be the main focus in 2020.

Taylor to remind us why he beat the Bont.

Quite surprisingly now, given their career trajectories since, but Lewis Taylor beat out Marcus Bontempelli to the 2014 Rising Star Award. As a result the Swans believe they have enacted the steal of the trade period in acquiring the 25-year-old from Brisbane in exchange for Pick 48. Consequently, expect to see him given every chance to display his speed and skill on an SCG wing by John Longmire this year.

Buddy to set off after Ablett.

After 300 games and 944 goals, Buddy Franklin now sits in seventh place on the competition’s all-time goalkickers list. Just 26 goals behind Jack Titus, the big Swan should find himself in sixth place early in 2020 with an eye on Gary Ablett’s career tally of 1031 for a place in the Top Five.

Positive headlines only for Rampe.

The Swans co-captain has been in the headlines for some unusual reasons in recent years. In 2017 he broke his arm after tripping over a chain on a recovery run with teammates. While in 2019 he received unwanted attention after climbing a goal post while Essendon’s David Myers attempted a shot at goal. One of the competition’s finest defenders, and the Swans reigning Best and Fairest, 2020 will pass without an addition to his list of unusual headlines.

A welcome return.

Despite the Swans busy off-season list management, the biggest ‘recruit’ for the club may well prove to be Sam Naismith. The absence of the 27-year-old in the ruck was keenly felt as the Swans struggled to get first hands on the ball in the middle. While he might not be a Max Gawn or Brodie Grundy, he is a quality ruckman who will provide some greater flexibility with Callum Sinclair freed up to spend more time forward.

Who did we pick in the Sydney Swans team of the 2010s?

Ladder Prediction

With three of their first four games against fellow non-finalists, the opening to the season couldn’t be kinder to the Swans aspirations of a fast rise up the ladder. A finals berth seems beyond them but after everything they’ve achieved this century it would not be the first time they’ve surprised us with their performances. Sydney to finish 12th-16th.

Have an opinion you want to share? Be sure to join the conversation online by liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter

Better yet, why not write for us?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: