Swans era over, says Roos - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Swans era over, says Roos

By Adam Cooper 24/08/2008 03:21:03 PM Comments (0)

Sydney coach Paul Roos concedes his club's great era in the AFL might be over, but says the Swans cannot afford to go back to ground zero because of the tough market they compete in.

Although the Swans will play in the finals this year, Roos admitted his side was unlikely to cause any trouble because it could not match opponents' intensity.

He acknowledged after Saturday night's 45-point defeat to Collingwood at Telstra Dome that the era which produced six successive finals berths, including the 2005 premiership and 2006 grand final appearance, was about to draw to a close.

But where other teams in a similar predicament have to make long-term recruiting decisions to rebuild, Roos said Sydney's ultra-competitive sports market meant the Swans could not afford to "bottom out".

Sydney's place in a non-traditional AFL city means the club has to juggle keeping fans onside with their on-field decisions.

"It is a very competitive market, it's a lot different to Melbourne," Roos said after the Swans were comprehensively beaten 18.10 (118) to 10.13 (73).

"Those decisions will be made at the end of the year in terms of how many changes you can make to your list and where that takes you."

Roos said Sydney had to continue developing young players like Craig Bird, Patrick Veszpremi, Jared Moore, Kieran Jack and Heath Grundy.

But he hinted the club would again recruit for the short-term to keep the side in the hunt for the finals, which would keep Sydneysiders interested.

Roos said Sydney were similar to the Brisbane Lions in that they had to rebound quickly from flat patches.

"Brisbane and (coach) Leigh (Matthews) have done a similar job up there, they've remained competitive since their four grand finals (2001-04)," he said.

"We're the two teams in those northern states (where) it's very hard to bottom out, but those decisions will be made at the end of the season."

Sydney's inability to match sides at the start of games in recent months pointed to a lack of intensity, Roos said, adding that his side's core might have given everything they could over the years.

The Swans must confront tough decisions on an older group comprising Barry Hall, Peter Everitt, Leo Barry, Jared Crouch, Brett Kirk, Michael O'Loughlin and Ben Mathews who are all over 30.

Roos said he had to take responsibility for his team's lapse - the Swans have dropped five of their past seven games - as he had been unable to lift the players.

But he declined to discuss his own future beyond this season.

He said the Swans had to focus on regaining form against the Lions on Saturday night before the finals.

He admitted Collingwood always lifted to play Sydney, but was reluctant to discuss the prospect of another looming game against the Magpies in an elimination final.

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