Grundy aiming to step up for Swans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Grundy aiming to step up for Swans

By James Dampney 19/06/2009 03:14:46 PM Comments (0)

Heath Grundy is set to inherit the sizeable boots of injured Swan Craig Bolton against Collingwood on Saturday night as Sydney try to find a way to break their Magpies hoodoo.

Bolton has been a rock in the Sydney backline ever since he headed south from the Brisbane Lions in 2003, missing just one game in that time, back in round nine 2006.

Despite his 2006 All-Australian honours, Bolton has often been an unsung member of the Sydney defence.

This year he has been given some of the biggest tasks in the AFL and taken it all in his stride, winning duels with star forwards Nick Riewoldt, Buddy Franklin and Brendan Fevola.

So his absence adds mightily to the already considerable task facing the Swans, who haven't beaten Collingwood since 2005 and need to win to keep in touch with the top eight.

Sydney coach Paul Roos stated matter-of-factly someone simply has to step up and replace Bolton's influence, pointing his finger straight at Grundy, a 23-year-old who splits his time between attack and defence.

"Craig has had a really consistent season and obviously you don't like to miss your better players, but that's just the reality of the team we put on the field tomorrow," Roos said on Friday.

"We'll give someone else a chance.

"We'll probably move Grundy back there. He has played most of his better footy down back and do a few little different things.

"We have to do something different against Collingwood anyway, because we haven't done that well against them the last five or six times.

"Obviously it hurts us a bit but hopefully we can cover that and play just a little bit differently."

Amon Buchanan, who has struggled with a knee injury this season, will also miss the match along with Nick Malceski, who has been dropped.

Ed Barlow gets another chance to turn his undoubted potential into a regular place in the Sydney 22, along with fellow youngsters Kristin Thornton and Nick Smith.

The 10th-placed Swans are still aiming for the finals this season, but Roos is also clearly looking towards the future.

He believes the big stage that is their traditional match with Collingwood at the Olympic stadium is an ideal opportunity for younger players to taste a finals-type atmosphere.

Roos will try to implement some different tactics against the Magpies, but he is also turning the spotlight back on his players and challenging them to prove their hunger to end their barren run against Collingwood.

"We have to do different things," he said.

"It's like banging your head against a brick wall for the sake of stopping.

"We'll do slightly different things against them and hope that it works, but the bottom line is tactics can sometimes be overrated.

"It's really about who wants it more.

"They've tackled really well against us and pressured us. We have to come out and tackle and pressure them and put them under a lot more pressure than we have in the past."

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