Roos ready to prove bookies wrong - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roos ready to prove bookies wrong

By Adrian Warren 21/02/2009 02:39:34 PM Comments (0)

Sydney AFL coach Paul Roos expects his side to be competitive against Port Adelaide in Sunday's NAB Cup game in Canberra despite again getting no love and respect from the bookies.

While much has been made of Sydney never winning a pre-season competition game under Roos, the Swans have still named a strong smattering of established stars for the Manuka Oval clash.

The squad contains eight premiership players including dual Brownlow medallist Adam Goodes and All-Australian representatives Brett Kirk, Craig Bolton and Ryan O'Keefe.

Roos will also use the game to look at some of his younger and less experienced players including former Canada rugby union Test representative Mike Pyke, who will play his first competitive game.

Major off-season recruit from Collingwood Rhyce Shaw will also make his Sydney debut against a Port side containing the vast majority of the club's star players as well as four debutants.

"Obviously (they) Port are pretty advanced because they finished out of the finals last year," Roos said.

"Their players are ready to go, so there's no need for them to hold anyone back.

"We look forward to our younger players playing against experienced players, it gives us a good chance to see where our younger players are at.

"In terms of the result, we certainly hope they're competitive and we think we will be."

The bookies have all but written Sydney off for both Sunday's game and the competition overall.

TAB Sportsbet listed Port at $1.22 and Sydney at $4.00 for Sunday's game while making Sydney the $61.00 outsider to win the pre-season tournament.

"We're going out to play hard and hopefully win," Shaw said.

"It's a learning experience for a lot of the younger blokes that are playing their first game and for me as well, just trying to make it into the side."

Shaw said he expected to perform a similar role to what he did at Collingwood.

"Probably half back on the wing, maybe a run through the midfield," Shaw said.

"I think it's more of a learning experience for me at the moment. Playing my first game for Sydney, it's pretty important for me to know the game plan and just fit in nicely."

With Irishman Tadhg Kennelly returning home, Shaw could well see more time in the half back line, but hoped he would spend "a bit more time in the midfield as well".

Pyke's conversion to Australian Rules will be fully tested by the powerful Port ruck duo of Brendon Lade and Dean Brogan.

"I'm probably going out against a guy who has been an All-Australian (Lade) the past few years and another one (Brogan) who is a proven AFL ruckman, so the pressure I don't see is really on me, it's probably more on them, because it's my first game," Pyke said.

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