Jolly still has finals hopes for Swans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Jolly still has finals hopes for Swans

By Patrick Caruana 19/08/2009 04:49:55 PM Comments (0)

Sydney ruckman Darren Jolly won't rule the Swans out of September action, believing if they can break their Collingwood hoodoo they are still some chance of making the AFL finals.

The Swans need to win two tough games - against a red-hot Magpies this Sunday before returning to Sydney to tackle the Brisbane Lions - and have other results fall their way to be in with a shot.

But Jolly told reporters at the SCG on Wednesday he didn't believe the make up of the top eight was set in concrete.

"We'll we don't know yet, we're still a chance," Jolly said.

"We're going to finish the year off strong.

"We can't really focus on what other teams are trying to do, we just need to focus on our own performance."

The Pies have won the past six encounters with Sydney in a streak that stretches back to the Swans' premiership winning year of 2005.

Jolly said the key this week would be in the contested ball stakes - something Sydney has prided itself on during Paul Roos' reign.

"We've just got to play the way we've been playing," he said.

"The game against St Kilda out here and against Geelong, it was a good hard physical game, we got our contested footy back up again.

"I think that's where it needs to be won, in contested footy and tackling and pressure, and we need to be on top of that this weekend.

"It's going to be a big test, they're one of the teams that have got the wood over us."

Jolly said the year had been a disappointing one, but took heart from the team's improving form over the past four weeks.

"We've sort of fluctuated over quarters, we've had games where we've really been blown out of the water and we've had games where only a handful of players who contribute," he said.

"But if you look at the last month, month-and-a-half, and we've played some really good footy."

Jolly leads the AFL in hitouts, and is in line for All Australian honours at the end of the year, with 2009 representing perhaps his best season to date.

In a rollercoaster season for the Swans, Jolly says his own good form has been pleasing.

"I've been quite happy with the way the year's been," he said.

"Obviously the team's success hasn't been great all year, but I've just tried to be consistent with my performance and contribute."

He said that Tuesday's retirement of club stalwart Leo Barry was no big surprise to other players.

"It was something that I suppose, we knew all year. He's had a tough year, Leo, with injuries and getting on in age," he said.

"He's a fantastic defender and one that comes with a lot of accolades and he's played on the best full forwards and beaten them."

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