Folau up for Swans' seconds after break - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Folau up for Swans' seconds after break

Rob Forsaith 20/07/2011 06:57:40 PM Comments (0)

Code-hopping Greater Western Sydney star Israel Folau will tackle Sydney's reserves this weekend after enjoying his first major break from the AFL classroom.

Folau has worked hard to learn the intricacies of the game this year. He's transformed his body, dropped 8kg and is starting to feel more comfortable with the Sherrin in hand.

The learning curve he's facing is immeasurably difficult, but the 22-year-old has made football his obsession and laboured tirelessly to make the most of his move.

Detractors and supporters have followed his every kick with interest.

"It's been pretty intense on and off the field for myself - over the last few months," Folau told AAP.

GWS had the bye last weekend and Folau used the time off to visit his brother and niece in Brisbane and, for the first time this season, put a stop to his AFL saturation.

"That's really the first time I've had the chance to get away from footy and just relax," he said.

"It was just good to get away from footy altogether.

"The last few months have gone quickly - but it's only a short bit of time before we go into the AFL next year.

"There's not long to go now until the end of the season, eight weeks to go. From here on in, it's going to be massive."

Some suggest the goalposts have changed for Folau's maiden AFL season next year.

Folau had some early struggles in defence but has recently been enjoying a productive spell up forward, with his latest highlight being a four-goal haul against Brisbane's seconds.

The former NRL flyer is a more confident player in the forward line, but still wary of setting the bar too high for 2012.

"In little ways, it's changed a bit," he said.

"But there's still no rush to get things done quickly. I've just got to keep taking my time and take in as much as I can, and be ready for next year.

"Kicking a few goals over the last couple of weeks has helped me mentally and my confidence has certainly gone up.

"It's a good thing for my footy and I can keep improving each week if I can just keep ticking the boxes."

The Giants will play at the SCG for the first time this Saturday when they meet Sydney's seconds in the AFL curtain-raiser.

The Swans' reserves have won by at least ten goals in the two sides' three previous North East AFL (NEAFL) encounters.

"We like to test ourselves against teams like that (with AFL experience). I guess if we come up with a good result, then we know we've been working hard and we're going in the right direction," Folau said.

There are six more NEAFL rounds before the finals.

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