Key players returning to Swans: Roos - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Key players returning to Swans: Roos

By James Dampney 27/06/2010 01:43:47 PM Comments (0)

Sydney coach Paul Roos expects to welcome back Daniel Bradshaw and Tadhg Kennelly next week when the Swans try to boost their AFL finals hopes against Richmond.

Both were late withdrawals with knee soreness from Saturday night's disappointing 25-point loss to Collingwood that left the Swans with a 7-6 record and clinging to the top eight on percentage.

Sydney now face a crucial stretch of their season, facing the improving Tigers at the MCG next Sunday before matches against fellow top-eight contenders Carlton and North Melbourne (both 7-6).

With Jesse White again failing to fire against the Magpies, and Adam Goodes outplayed by veteran Collingwood defender Simon Prestigiacomo, Bradshaw can't come back into the forward line soon enough.

Sydney had just six goals to three at quarter-time before kicking four in the final term to add some respectability to the scoreline.

The Swans were flattered by the 13.18 (96) to 10.11 (71) result.

"Both Tadhg and Braddy were still a little bit sore later in the week and with nine games to go and both of their histories of knee injuries and knee soreness, there was no point in making an early call on them," Roos said.

"They both probably could've played but we don't want to lose them for two or three or four weeks.

"(Bradshaw) makes a big difference and you could see that. Jesse had probably his worst game."

Roos, who is in the twilight of his coaching career before he hands over to John Longmire at season's end, knows his team lacks the talent of the AFL's elite teams.

All seven of Sydney's wins have come against sides currently outside the top eight.

Having missed the finals last season, Roos believes the Swans have taken a step forward this year and have hope for the future through the likes of Gary Rohan, Lewis Jetta, Daniel Hannebery, Nick Smith and White.

But he has no illusions about where Sydney currently sit and believes a spot in the top eight at season's end would be an accomplishment.

"We've done a really good job to rebuild the list over a really short space of time, but we're certainly not at the level of St Kilda and Geelong and the Bulldogs and Collingwood," he said.

"If it's a one-off (loss to the top teams), you've got to say it's a bit unlucky but four times - that's just a reality of where we're at as a footy club.

"Even getting from where we were last year to (potentially) making the finals is a step forward.

"To compete against Collingwood, St Kilda, the Bulldogs is a huge step.

"As it stands now there's a clear difference between where we sit as a team and where Collingwood sits as a team.

"They're more talented, more experienced, more seasoned and hardened and more ready to play in big games than what we are."

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