Magpies' confidence justified, says Swan - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Magpies' confidence justified, says Swan

By Adam Cooper 29/03/2010 07:42:41 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood midfielder Dane Swan says the Magpies are justified in believing in their AFL premiership credentials following their round-one slaying of the Western Bulldogs.

Swan said Sunday's 36-point win at Etihad Stadium reaffirmed the Magpies' belief they were genuine flag contenders in 2010, after they bolstered their side in the off-season and began the new season with a confidence-boosting win.

"In the pre-season we sat down and realised where we wanted to go this year," Swan said on Monday.

"We got slapped by the two grand final sides last year (Geelong and St Kilda) in the finals and thought we were way off them.

"That's why we recruited three mature-age players (Luke Ball, Darren Jolly and Simon Buckley) to fill a gap and they will do that this year.

"With the window, we've got just as good a chance as anybody this year to win a premiership and hopefully we keep playing the same level we did on the weekend."

Swan said Collingwood would gain extra confidence out of beating the stand-out team of the pre-season campaign, but could not afford to let their guard down against bottom side Melbourne on Saturday.

Swan was one of the Magpies' best against the Bulldogs, but praised young onballer Sharrod Wellingham, who was impressive early and then displayed courage by getting in the way of Barry Hall's lead, which prevented him marking just before half-time.

Wellingham suffered a cut head from the accidental contact to Hall's elbow and required six stitches, but impressed his teammates.

"Around most footy clubs that kind of stuff will get noticed more than a flashy goals or six bounces down the wing," Swan said.

"That really gives the boys a lift for a young fella like that to run back in front of Barry Hall and cop a clip, go off but then come back on."

Despite Collingwood's midfield stocks Wellingham began the game in the centre square, kicked a goal and finished with 23 tidy disposals.

"We know Sharrod has got a lot of ability and a lot of talent, he has just had to concentrate and put it all together," Swan said.

"The coaching staff put a lot of faith in him by starting him in the middle on the weekend and he is going a long way towards repaying that faith."

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