Paul Roos praises veteran Swans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Paul Roos praises veteran Swans

By Adrian Warren 23/06/2008 05:19:52 PM Comments (0)

Sydney coach Paul Roos has praised the form of his old guard as the Swans prepare for a testing run home to the AFL finals.

Comfortably positioned in fourth spot on the back of six straight wins, Sydney are a game and a half clear of their closest pursuers Adelaide and Brisbane and enjoy a bye this weekend.

While Roos acknowledged the contributions of youngsters Craig Bird (19 years old), Ed Barlow (21), Kieren Jack (20) and Jarred Moore (22), he felt a number of his veterans had answered questions lingering over them at the start of this season.

"I think the young blokes have inspired the older guys and the older guys are playing really good footy," Roos said.

"I don't think you can downplay the form of (31-year-old) Michael O'Loughlin, Leo Barry (31), Brett Kirk (31), the guys that were probably a little questioned at the start of the year in terms of their age.

"Barry Hall (30) is looking really good now.

"I was always confident in those older players, that they had at least another year and probably a year to two years in a lot of those guys."

Seven of the Swans' last nine games are against other teams currently in the top eight, including clashes with high-flying Geelong, Hawthorn and the Western Bulldogs.

"You would have looked at the draw in the first half of the season and said Port at AAMI Stadium, Brisbane at the Gabba, West Coast at Subiaco would have been the tough part of the draw," Roos said, all of which Sydney won.

"But no-one really knows going into a season what teams are going to do well."

The Swans coach wasn't concerned this week's break prior to their next match against Collingwood on July 5 would wreck the momentum generated over the past six weeks.

"I don't think the break is necessarily a momentum killer, because you actually need a break some time during the year and you'd rather be going into the break with winning form than losing form," Roos said.

"But certainly from our point of view we need to have a refresher and get back and train hard next week and get ready for Collingwood."

Collingwood have emerged as Sydney's bogey side, beating the Swans in all three of their 2007 encounters, including an elimination final.

Roos was hoping a revamped side containing an infusion of new blood and recruits Martin Mattner and Henry Playfair would pose some new problems for the Magpies.

"We've got a few younger players in the team and a couple from other clubs, so we are a bit different and hopefully we are in a bit better form, but we need to play a lot better than we did last year to beat them," Roos said.

The emphasis for the Swans this week was on getting some rest, with the players and coaching staff encouraged to get away.

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