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Sydney Swans oozing with self-belief

By Tom Wald 21/09/2006 06:27:35 PM Comments (0)

The Swans are oozing with the self-belief that comes from having delivered the goods in September, while the Dockers try to get their heads around Telstra Stadium.

The premiers completed their trouble-free build-up by having a splash at an ocean bath Thursday as the Dockers made two trips out to Olympic Park before Friday night's preliminary final.

Sydney is a hot favourite to make consecutive grand finals and push for back-to-back premierships for the first time in the club's history.

Meanwhile the Dockers have gone to ground, denying all media access to players in the 48 hours before the club's biggest match since forming 11 years ago.

Fremantle has never played at Olympic Park and players walked around the ground in the morning before further familiarising themselves with a training session on Thursday night.

Meanwhile the confidence in the Sydney camp is palpable and dashing defender Tadhg Kennelly said the Swans were desperate for another flag.

"Definitely. I suppose it could be a bit of drug really," he said of premiership success.

"We know what it's like and we know how good the week was before and obviously the week afterwards.

"We talked even at the start of the season when we came back after winning the premiership about what we needed to do again this year and a lot of the boys said we don't need to change a lot.

"What we did was fantastic and we want to try and do it again.

The Dockers have not won in the harbour city for a decade and only recorded their first post-season triumph last weekend against Melbourne in Perth.

However Fremantle has been in sizzling touch having won 10 of 11 matches since a round 13 loss to the Swans at the SCG.

Kennelly felt anything less than a grand final appearance for the Swans would represent a failure for the team.

He said the side was fuelled by the confidence from last year's flag-winning run.

"Yeah definitely," Kennelly said.

"It's going back to knowing what has worked for us. What we do has worked for us. And it worked for us to win a premiership last year. And we've done it for most of the season this year.

"Yes we've had an up and down season compared to last year when we were a lot more consistent for longer.

"But when we were playing bad (this year) we were able to come back to what we knew worked for us and by doing that it reinforces our game plan it reinforces that everything we do, we know it works.

"If we do it we will win games and that's probably where the confidence is coming form."

In talent terms, Sydney has become renowned for getting a lot out of a little while Fremantle has earned a reputation for the opposite.

The Dockers have an opportunity to bury the tag of underachievers in front of an expected crowd of about 75,000 at Telstra Stadium on Friday.

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