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Swans' McVeigh hoping better omen

By Adrian Warren 24/09/2006 08:49:17 PM Comments (0)

Emerging Sydney midfielder Jarrad McVeigh will be hoping he fares better than his brother when the Swans take on the West Coast in the AFL grand final.

One of just a handful of Sydney players in this year's team who didn't take part in the 2005 decider, McVeigh has not missed a senior game this season.

Last year McVeigh's tally of 13 games was more than any other Swan who missed out on the grand final.

His chance for redemption comes this week against the Eagles, five years after his elder sibling Mark lined up for Essendon in the 2001 season decider against Brisbane.

Like his younger brother, Mark had also missed out on being part of a premiership team the year before.

Listed on the interchange, Mark tallied just two touches for the Bombers in their 26-point loss to Brisbane in 2001.

Jarrad, who at 21 is four years younger than his brother, said he hadn't really spoken to his sibling about the grand final parallels of their careers.

"He probably missed a grand final with Essendon and played one the next year after and they unfortunately lost, it's probably the same situation but we really haven't talked about it that much," Jarrad said.

When it was suggested to him that Mark's misfortune in 2001 could be a bad omen for him, Jarrad replied, "No, that won't be happening this week."

The younger McVeigh said the hardest part of grand final week last year had been when the siren went to signal the end of the Swans' 72-year premiership drought.

"I was sitting in the crowd with my family and I was obviously very happy for the boys, but you just want to be out there and be a part of it," Jarrad McVeigh said.

Sydney's qualification for this year's AFL showdown enabled McVeigh and another young midfielder Nick Malceski, 22, to make good on their pact to play together in a season decider after both missed out last year.

"We've talked about it a fair bit, we are both really looking forward to this week more than anyone," McVeigh said.

Their excitement at making the big day has already been noted by their teammates who tasted premiership victory last year.

"I can sense from the way they've been training and just after the preliminary final just how excited they are," veteran Sydney midfielder Jude Bolton said.

"It's just been burning in their guts ever since watching last year's final and that's what gives us a bit more edge as well."

Bolton said he felt the young duo had brought skill and flair to the Sydney midfield.

Renowned battler Bolton didn't take umbrage at fellow midfielder Brett Kirk's recent suggestion that the West Coast midfield was populated by Lamborghinis and Sydney's by Ford Cortinas, but acknowledged the quality of the Eagles' on-ball brigade.

"We haven't got the talent those sort of midfielders have, so we have to overcome that the best way we can," Bolton said.

"That's where our game plan stands up, we're confident in our own ability to compete."

Bolton predicted: "It might come down to the last couple of seconds to break them again."

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