Bolton to miss pre-season campaign - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bolton to miss pre-season campaign

By Adrian Warren 07/02/2011 05:32:13 PM Comments (0)

Key defender Craig Bolton is the only senior Swan struggling to be ready for the start of the AFL home and away season.

Bolton played the first five rounds in 2010 before succumbing to an Achilles injury, leaving him stranded on 199 matches.

New coach John Longmire said a handful of Sydney's most experienced players wouldn't be fit for the club's opening-round NAB Cup clashes on Saturday week with fledgling clubs Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney.

But Bolton is the only one not slated to return before the round one clash against Melbourne on March 27.

"(Bolton) won't be probably getting any games in before the season starts, he's probably the one that is most delayed out of them at all," Longmire told reporters on Monday.

"At the moment there's Tadhg Kennelly, Lewis Roberts-Thomson and Daniel Bradshaw all probably looking to be in the pre-season competition a bit later on, so we're still hoping to get at least one game into those blokes before the season starts.

"And Shane Mumford is probably a couple of weeks away as well."

The Swans' match committee will decide in the next two weeks whether to retain the co-captaincy system introduced under Longmire's predecessor Paul Roos or revert to the more traditional single leader set-up.

If the Swans decide to revert to a single captain, the honour would almost certainly fall to Adam Goodes, who shared the job last year with Craig Bolton and the retired Brett Kirk.

Midfielder Jude Bolton, whose tally of 257 games for Sydney is second among current players to the 276 logged by Goodes, wasn't fussed about which way Sydney went.

"I've played under systems where we've had one captain and we've also had a number of captains and it's all worked," Jude Bolton said.

"I can see Goodesy being a great stand-alone captain, I can see also a number of other younger guys presenting themselves like Jarrad McVeigh or Ryan O'Keefe."

Bolton, who turns 31 next month, said playing on was a year-to-year proposition, but he was eyeing the 300-game landmark.

"I'll always be judging if I can still compete at the level and keep giving my all each week, but I'm feeling fresh and my body is feeling good," Bolton said, adding it would be strange going into contests without the indomitable Kirk by his side.

"It is going to be weird, it's been a bit of a hole in the midfield out there, but certainly we've got guys stepping up," Bolton said.

"We only have to look at Josh Kennedy last year."

Longmire also mentioned ex-Hawk Kennedy, who finished third in the club's best and fairest in his first season with Sydney.

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