Swans 'squeeze' Davis into AFL line-up - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Swans 'squeeze' Davis into AFL line-up

By Adrian Warren 09/05/2006 06:44:41 PM Comments (0)

The Sydney Swans match committee is facing the tough task of squeezing forward Nick Davis into its winning line-up for this weekend, when veteran midfielder Paul Williams will make his 300th AFL appearance.

Davis missed the Swans' last two games - the Swans beat Geelong and Brisbane - due to a hamstring injury.

However, the gifted forward is on course to recover in time for Saturday's clash with Richmond at Telstra Dome.

"Nick Davis should be OK, but obviously he's got to get through the week," Sydney coach Paul Roos said before training on Tuesday.

"If he's okay, its going to be a challenge for the match committee to find a spot for him and to get him in the 22.

"Obviously we would like to get him in and someone would probably be stiff to miss out, but he's got to get through a couple of sessions."

But the match will particularly be special for Williams.

Roos, who made 356 AFL appearances himself, said he thought Williams' versatility had been the key for the 33-year-old reaching the triple digit landmark.

"He started off as a small forward, went in the midfield, played a little down back and he's tagged players," Roos said.

Roos thought Williams could possibly play on for another year, but thought it best initially to let the player form his own opinion first.

While he felt some players had limped over the line to 300 games, Roos was adamant Williams didn't fall into that category.

"Sometimes you can actually drop off really quickly, I don't think there are signs at the moment with Willo but we'll probably talk to Willo as we get to the end of the season and just see how he's played and where he's at."

By far the oldest member of the Swans' playing list, 33-year-old Williams said he didn't feel his age and hadn't recognised any signs of decline in his game.

"I don't feel like I'm slowing down or I've lost my penetration in my kicking," Williams said.

He said whether he played on would be as much a family decision as a footballing one.

Williams, who spent 10 seasons with Collingwood, is currently the only player over 30 on the Sydney list, a far cry to when he joined the club before the 2001 season.

"I just snuck into the top 10 oldest when I first got here," said Williams.

Journalists weren't the only people interested in whether Williams would have played on so long if he hadn't moved to Sydney, a switch he described as "the best decision I've made".

"My wife even asked me that the other night, it's hard to answer, who knows. I might have played one or two more years longer if I stayed in Melbourne."

Last year's grand final win apart, Williams nominated the 2003 finals win over Port in Adelaide as a career highlight and turning point for Sydney, along with playing in the first Anzac Day game for Collingwood against Essendon.

He requires just seven more games to overhaul Alastair Lynch as the Tasmanian to have played the most AFL games.

"I think I'm a chance but Roosy is pretty good mates with Lynchy so he might sack me in about 5 [games]," joked Williams.

Roos said in terms of player commitment and four quarter effort, Sydney wasn't far off where it was toward the end of last season but were behind in other areas.

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