AFL needs successful Swans: Roos - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL needs successful Swans: Roos

By Greg Buckle 10/06/2009 05:41:43 PM Comments (0)

Sydney coach Paul Roos has warned the AFL it could be "absolutely catastrophic" for the code if the Swans were absent from the finals for a few years just as the western Sydney franchise came into the competition in 2012.

The Swans have made the finals for six successive years under Roos.

But following last weekend's loss to Hawthorn, Sydney are now in 10th spot with a 5-6 record and facing an uphill battle to make the eight.

Only six times in the past eight years has a team qualified for the finals after sitting outside the eight after round 11.

The Sydney market is a fickle one for sporting codes and Roos admits the Swans can't afford to miss the finals for a few years and still grow support for the game.

The changed conditions of the AFL drafts in the next few years to accommodate Gold Coast's entry in 2011 and western Sydney a year later won't help either.

"The challenge for this footy club and for the AFL bringing in a second (Sydney) team is if we go down for three years, well it could be absolutely catastrophic," Roos said on Wednesday.

"I'm sure there's enough intellect in there that they'd have to be sitting there thinking that we can't afford the Swans to be finishing 13th, 15th, 16th prior to bringing in a second team.

"We are the brand in Sydney up until the second team (is established) and if we finish 16th in 2011 and 17th in 2012 you'd hate to think the bottom-of-the-ladder match at the end of round 22 between the Sydney Swans and west Sydney whatever they're called, it wouldn't be a great marketing tool.

"We can't go down for two or three years (outside the top eight).

"The AFL would have to be worried about it.

"Clearly bringing a second team in on the back of a premiership, if you did it in 2006, it would be a lot easier task than doing it on the back of a 15th place."

Roos said Sydney's next two games against Collingwood on June 20 and Adelaide on June 27 were "critical" matches.

"If you fall a little bit behind the ladder, that's when you've got to start to think `do we have to play more kids and do some of the senior players miss out'?" Roos said.

"Hopefully we don't have to come to terms with that this year.

"That's when you start to think how do you fast-track the kids and how do you look at your list.

"I'll tell you after the Adelaide game."

Roos says Sydney's plans to give more games this year to younger players have suffered because of injuries to Patrick Veszpremi, Brett Meredith, Tim Schmidt, Lewis Johnston, Nick Smith and rookie-listed Irishman Brendan Murphy.

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