Swallow to use Dogs as measuring stick - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Swallow to use Dogs as measuring stick

Darren Cartwright 23/06/2011 05:08:59 PM Comments (0)

Gold Coast's No.1 draft pick David Swallow says he'll be able to gauge his own and the side's improvement in their first AFL return bout against the Western Bulldogs at Metricon Stadium on Saturday.

The Bulldogs, who downed Gold Coast by 71 points in round three at Etihad Stadium, are the first side the Suns will meet for a second time.

Swallow said the drubbing has served the Suns well and they intend to put their losing experience to the test on Saturday.

"(We learnt) probably how they like to switch back a bit and feed back on the switch, so if we can stop the switch and stop them feeding back hopefully we can stop their run," Swallow said.

"They've got a lot of quality midfielders, (Ryan) Griffen, (Adam) Cooney, (Matthew) Boyd, (Daniel) Cross and a lot of young players starting to contribute so it's definitely going to be a tough week.

"The boys have been improving each week and if we can stop their runners like Griffen and Cooney then maybe we can get a win."

The 2010 No.1 draft pick has been solid without starring in his offsider midfield role to Brownlow medallist Gary Ablett and former Brisbane Lions club champion Michael Rischitelli.

Swallow returns after missing the clash with Hawthorn because of an ankle injury and is grateful his No.1 draft ranking has not brought any undue pressure.

"You always like to play a bit better," Swallow said.

"I've been OK in patches, always like to get a bit more of the footy and contribute a bit more so hopefully I can do that in the second half of the season.

"Not really (I haven't felt any pressure as a No.1 draft pick).

"I've tried to match up on one of the other quality midfielders from the other sides to try and learn and see how they play and it's been a good experience the first 10 games learning off the best players in the competition."

Not only has Swallow soaked up the experience of playing on some of the game's elite midfielders, he's had the best mentor he could possibly wish for in Ablett.

The 18-year-old said his skipper has been the ideal role model on and off the field.

"(It's) his professionalism and the way he goes about his training," Swallow said.

"He's the ultimate professional. He's an absolute freak on the field.

"The way he goes about it in all aspects of his life is outstanding."

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