Feathers to fly in Swans' intraclub game - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Feathers to fly in Swans' intraclub game

By James Dampney 10/02/2010 08:03:23 PM Comments (0)

It's been years since Sydney had so many spots up for grabs in their line-up heading into a new AFL season and an intense battle is expected when the Swans play their first full-contact intraclub match on Friday.

A settled group of veterans throughout the past decade meant there was little competition for places in the Sydney side.

But there has been a considerable shift heading into 2010 following the departures of Barry Hall, Michael O'Loughlin, Leo Barry, Jared Crouch and Darren Jolly.

A host of new and old Swans will be battling for position in Paul Roos' starting line-up for their opening pre-season cup match against Carlton on February 20.

Daniel Bradshaw, Mark Seaby, Ben McGlynn, Shane Mumford and Josh Kennedy have arrived from other clubs and Gary Rohan, Lewis Jetta and Sam Reid are among their crop of exciting draft picks, meaning competition will be fierce on Friday.

Only Bradshaw is unavailable as he recovers from injury.

"We've had a pretty long pre-season so nearing the end of January, start of February, you're looking to play games of footy," co-captain Brett Kirk said after training on Wednesday.

"Come Friday it's going to be game on. Spots are up for grabs this year.

"Against Carlton we've got to pick a squad of 18 and there's probably 35 guys that might be able to play.

"We've got some new, young, exciting guys and guys from other clubs we're looking forward to seeing play."

Roos typically plays a below-strength team in the NAB Cup and is yet to pick up a single win in the competition.

But he is expected to take a different approach this season, with the majority of the remaining Sydney veterans tipped to face the Blues, depending on fitness.

Kirk and Jude Bolton will oppose each other in one of the more intriguing match-ups on Friday.

"All the young guys have injected a lot of life into the club and they can play too," Bolton said.

"We're really looking forward to seeing them pull on the guernsey and also (looking forward to) competing ourselves.

"We've probably been a little bit frustrated with some of the scratch matches we've had that have been non-contact.

"It's now full contact, get the mouth guards on and go for it."

While Sydney boast a host of fresh faces, Kirk expects them to largely stick to their usual uncompromising style of play.

He is also quietly confident of what he sees around him.

"Last year was probably the end of quite a few of our close mates' careers," he said.

"But football clubs change quickly and you adapt quickly.

"Now I feel like these players have been around for a while and feel really comfortable with them.

"It feels good having a rejuvenated list."

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