Swan has 'no excuses' for finals series - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Swan has 'no excuses' for finals series

03/09/2010 05:20:44 PM Comments (0)

Brownlow Medal favourite Dane Swan is back to full fitness and has set himself for a big finals campaign.

Tipped to win a third consecutive Copeland Trophy at Collingwood and possibly his first Brownlow, the star midfielder has until recently been struggling to get through the club's weekly training schedule.

Swan's declaration he's ready to fire gives the AFL's minor premiers an extra boost on the eve of their qualifying final against the fourth-placed Western Bulldogs at the MCG on Saturday night.

As the Bulldogs try to cover for the loss of Adam Cooney and Dale Morris and with doubts over the fitness of Ryan Griffen and skipper Brad Johnson, Collingwood's mood this week has been "jovial", Swan says.

"My body's probably the best it has felt for six or eight weeks," Swan said at Collingwood's training session on Friday.

"I didn't do a lot of training over the last month and I've finally been able to get out on the track and train properly.

"So I've been doing everything for the last two or three weeks."

Swan had only 17 possessions in Collingwood's loss to Geelong in the 2009 preliminary final.

It later emerged Swan had internal bleeding in his glutes and hips and had decided to carry the injury through the finals series and just do his best.

"I haven't got any problems at all this year so I've got no excuse to not perform in the finals," Swan said.

Preliminary finalists in two of the past three years and semi-finalists in 2008, Swan says the Magpies are an improved unit in 2010.

"We're very confident. We finished on top for a reason," the 26-year-old said.

"The younger fellas are probably a bit more mature and they've got that 50 or 60 or 70 games experience which makes them a lot better and the improvement in guys like Jarryd (Blair), `Macaf' (Brent Macaffer).

"Then you've got (ex-Saint) Luke Ball and (former Sydney ruckman) Darren Jolly coming into the side which has really made a huge improvement for us as well.

"We're a lot better prepared than what we have been over the last few years."

Swan has brushed off tags from opposition teams all season with his enormous work-rate, gathering 30 possessions or more in a record 11 consecutive games to end the regular season.

The tattooed tough guy isn't bothered by media hype over his Brownlow chances and Collingwood's hopes of their first flag since 1990.

"There's not much you do about it, other people writing about individual awards," Swan shrugged.

"It doesn't enter your head while you've got a finals campaign to focus on.

"Playing at Collingwood, there's always huge pressure to perform week in week out with all the media focused on us and the however many fans we have.

"As a group we're not worried about that."

Midfielder/forward Alan Didak trained strongly on Friday and will play after missing last week's loss to Hawthorn with a bruised shoulder.

Swan says the Magpies don't share the popular view that the Bulldogs will struggle to be competitive over four quarters.

"Probably two out of their best side aren't playing," Swan said.

"I'm not sure they've got heaps of injuries.

"But we'd be confident no matter who was playing."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news