Swans bask in reflected GWS publicity - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Swans bask in reflected GWS publicity

By Daniel Brettig 05/06/2010 01:24:16 PM Comments (0)

If Coca Cola ran a massive publicity campaign in a city where residents could buy only Pepsi, would the latter's sales increase? Paul Roos thinks so.

Though all the AFL-related talk in Sydney this week has revolved around the GWS expansion club, it is another team that will take the field against Essendon at the SCG on Sunday afternoon.

As Swans coach Roos sees it, anyone drawn to the AFL by the Israel Folau episode is going to have to use the Swans as their first point of contact, given Folau's club is still 18 months away from full-fledged entry to the competition.

This time lapse, says Roos, is a valuable window for the city's longer-serving AFL residents to entrench themselves further ahead of a rival club flushed with money from Melbourne.

"At the moment there's only one team, so if you want to go and watch football you can only go and watch us," said Roos.

"I mean you can go and watch the (underage) TAC Cup, but it's a fair way to travel to Bendigo or Ballarat ... but actually the publicity they're getting helps us, because if people become interested in the game then they're going to hopefully come and watch us play.

"It's a real chance for us over the next 18 months to really galvanise the support for the footy club, and we can ride on the back of, whether it's Folau or whatever it is, any publicity is good publicity because there's only one team in town."

After years of boom and bust, with fair-weather supporters only likely to venture to the SCG if the club had won their previous game or three, Roos said Sydney had become the sort of robust club that could cope with a rival.

"I think one of the biggest things if you look at Swans '86, Swans '96 when we played in the Grand Final, I think the Swans model now of 2010 is 30,000 really strong, die-hard supporters and that's been really important for us," said Roos.

"It doesn't mean we're going to get complacent, we need to build a big supporter base, but I think we're a different club now than what we were 10-15 years ago because we do have a strong base.

"We've got to keep building, keep working with our members and sponsors, make sure we put a good product on the field every year."

This year the "product" was bold, brassy and successful in the season's early rounds, but a quartet of defeats have the Swans in danger of reaching the midpoint at 5-6.

"If we can get to 6-5 it makes the first half of the year look pretty solid given the number of injuries we've had," said Roos.

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