Swans looking long-term at last - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Swans looking long-term at last

By Tom Wald 30/11/2009 06:33:32 PM Comments (0)

For once, Sydney have taken a serious long-term approach to their AFL playing list.

Having so often been forced to think season to season in order to survive in the city's ultra-competitive sports market, the Swans have pulled off a major overhaul of their playing stocks.

The departures of big names Barry Hall (traded), Michael O'Loughlin (retired), Leo Barry (retired) and Darren Jolly (traded) ensured room to manoeuvre for the Swans.

But the fact that, with the exception of Daniel Bradshaw, they have invested heavily in youth in the off-season is a sign of the club's confidence in its standing in the harbour city.

Sure, the Swans have had their hands forced a little.

The next two drafts are heavily compromised and they must be keen to be in a position of strength for the arrival of the Western Sydney franchise in the 2012 season.

Swans coach Paul Roos, who hands the reins over to longtime assistant John Longmire at the end of the 2010 season, compared the turnover to the departures of Paul Kelly, Tony Lockett, Wayne Schwass and Andrew Dunkley at the end of the 2002 competition.

Roos said he felt a deep responsibility to leave the club in good shape after the Swans missed the finals this year for the first time since 2002.

"One of the goals I set myself when I said I was going to have one year to go, I wanted to make sure the club is left in really good hands," Roos said at the unveiling of the club's five draftees on Monday.

"It was up to us to get some good players in to secure the longer term future of the club and I think the recruiting guys have done an outstanding job.

"We have got five really good players and put them on top of the guys we have got over the last two or three years and we probably have 10 or 12 really talented players."

The Swans have become renowned for recycling players and were highly active in the trade period in securing Josh Kennedy, Ben McGlynn, Shane Mumford and Mark Seaby from other clubs.

Add the expected signing of former Lion Bradshaw in next month's pre-season draft, Tadhg Kennelly's return and Roos felt good about the Swans' dealings.

But it was holding onto picks at No.6 (Gary Rohan) and No.14 (Lewis Jetta) that showed a more patient approach by the Swans.

"It is really, really pleasing, I think we can remain competitive next year but we also have addressed the bigger picture," Roos said.

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