Swans plan to be physical again in '09 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Swans plan to be physical again in '09

By Adrian Warren 25/03/2009 05:33:00 PM Comments (0)

Zoning might be the buzzword for many AFL followers, but don't expect the Sydney Swans to embrace the controversial tactic, according to renowned one-on-one warrior Brett Kirk.

Hawthorn's success with the tactic has prompted other clubs to employ their own variations, but Kirk and Sydney coach Paul Roos suggested the Swans would stick to their own traditional hard-nosed, one-on-one style.

"You will see a lot of clubs adopting the zoning technique but we won't be going 100 per cent down that track this year," Kirk said.

"I think the one-on-one physical brand of footy has held us in good stead and I don't think we're shying away from that this year.

"I'm a big fan of contested one-on-one footy and you watch any great games that are tight, I think that's what is the feature of the game and what I like about footy, I love the contest."

With all the talk that widespread zoning could make the game less attractive, Roos couldn't resist a jibe at those people who have frequently labelled the Swans' style ugly.

"We don't play ugly football, you know that," Roos joked.

Meanwhile Sydney's former Canada Test rugby union back Mike Pyke has been promoted him from the rookie to senior list.

Pyke will take the place on the list held by veteran fullback Leo Barry, who is expected to be sidelined for around another six weeks with a knee injury.

Roos said Pyke, who turned 25 on Tuesday, was unlikely to make his senior debut in Sydney's season opener against St Kilda this weekend, but had shown he wasn't far off making a top grade debut.

Emerging ruckman Pyke has impressed the Swans hierarchy during the pre-season with Roos noting the Canadian had made "a huge improvement" in his football development.

"Since he arrived at the footy club he has worked extremely hard and has improved significantly in all areas of the game.

"Even though he is now elevated and a listed senior player we wouldn't envisage him playing this weekend against St Kilda at Docklands Stadium, as we would like to continue his development in the Canberra footy competition with our reserves.

Midfield dynamo Kirk was adamant Sydney could make the finals for a seventh straight season, despite most of the pundits tipping otherwise.

"It's going to be another challenging year, but in saying that I'm really excited and I've got a belief that we can get there again," Kirk said.

"I think the players have that inner belief as well."

Fellow midfielder and reigning club best and fairest Jarred McVeigh had no illusions about the task of defeating St Kilda.

"It's going to be a tough ask but we're up for the challenge and we're ready to go," McVeigh said.

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