Dennis-Lane shines early for Swans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dennis-Lane shines early for Swans

Will Knight 11/02/2011 08:38:17 PM Comments (0)

Sydney small forward Trent Dennis-Lane replicated his good AFL pre-season form of last year when he booted seven goals in an intra-club match on Friday.

The 22-year-old bagged five goals in the same fixture in 2010 and played in the club's only NAB Cup match to suggest he was ready for a breakthrough season after being picked up at No.55 in the 2009 national draft.

However, an early-season knee injury hampered his progress and his highly-anticipated AFL debut didn't eventuate until round 14.

The Subiaco junior thrived at the top level, finishing the season with 18 goals from eight games, including an eye-catching four majors against Carlton in the elimination final at ANZ Stadium.

His chase and tackle on Dennis Armfield in the final quarter in the lead-up to his fourth goal sealed victory for the Swans and confirmed his billing as a dynamic and resourceful talent.

Dennis-Lane, who is of Burmese descent, said he worked hard over the summer to add a bit more size to his 75kg frame and improve his leg power to aid his bursts of speed in the forward pocket.

"A big goal was to get stronger, and I've done a number of PB's in the gym, and put on about three or four kilograms."

Dennis-Lane is the only player on the Swans' list not to have missed a session since training started last November.

"That was one of my goals for this pre-season so I'm really pleased to have ticked that off," he said.

But he believes that he still has plenty of work to do to impress coach John Longmire, especially given the AFL's rule change in 2011 aimed at curbing the number of rotations during matches.

"I know that with the rule changes this year, there's one less on the (interchange) bench and that extra substitute.

"I'm pretty much just a forward pocket player, so I need to push my selection pretty hard.

"Hopefully I can carry my form through the NAB Cup and then hopefully get a start in round one.

"It was a great experience playing in the finals last year, and to know that I can mix it at that level obviously gives you a lot of confidence."

In another good sign for Longmire, the first two goals during the trial - played across three 20-minute stanzas - were kicked by Jed Lamb and Luke Parker, the Swans' first two draft picks in 2010.

Longmire said reigning best-and-fairest winner Kieren Jack and 2010 AFL Rising Star winner Dan Hannebery, who didn't take part in Friday's trial, were likely to line up in the first NAB Cup game.

The Swans play Greater Western Sydney and Gold Coast at Blacktown Olympic Park on February 19.

Veteran defender Craig Bolton, who has not played since round five last year due to an achilles problem, Tadhg Kennelly, Lewis Roberts-Thomson, Ryan O'Keefe and Shane Mumford also didn't play in the trial but all did some running and ball-work sessions on the sidelines.

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