Sydney Swans co-captain Jarrad McVeigh doesn’t feel the tag of ‘reigning premiers’ will result in any added pressure on his team this year.
With the NAB Cup under a month away and as the 2013 home-and-away season draws closer, McVeigh said he was adamant his team’s success in 2012 would have no bearing on the club’s approach to the new season.
“Personally I don’t think it will bring too much extra pressure and we’ll go about our business as we normally do and stick to the things that we know and the things we can control,” McVeigh told SwansTV.
“We can’t control the outside talk or speculation, but we know our game plan and we believe in our game plan and if we stick to that then we believe we can win.”
While the Swans successful 2012 finals campaign meant the group returned to the track later than other clubs, McVeigh said it was clear his team mates had returned in great condition and were eager to achieve success again this year.
“It’s good to get back into training and the games aren’t too far away so the boys are excited,” he said.
“We started training fairly late but we’ve really ramped things up in the last few weeks and the boys have come back in good condition.
“Our match practice will start firing up (this) week and then we can get back into the games.”
McVeigh has led by example this pre-season and has posted impressive results in the club’s 3km time trials, where he has notched up multiple top-five finishes.
The 27-year-old said he was hopeful his pre-season could set him up for another successful year with the club.
“I’ve stayed injury free and I’m running some good times,” he said.
“Hopefully that continues up until all the games because if you have a good pre-season it generally leads into a good year.”
McVeigh said Dan Hannebery and Alex Johnson, who finished in first and second place respectively in the club’s most recent 3km time trial, as well as veterans Ryan O’Keefe and Jude Bolton, had returned to the club in peak condition.
“There are a lot of guys who are training really well. I think Alex Johnson has had a really good pre-season, as well as the older guys like Jude (Bolton) and Ryan O’Keefe, (they) are training really well,” he said.
“A lot of the young guys like Jetts (Lewis Jetta) has continued his good form on and Dan Hannebery and those types of guys.”
McVeigh also highlighted the improvement of the club’s up-and-coming players, including young defender Jordan Lockyer, who missed the majority of the season last year through injury.
“Jordan Lockyer, who had a really injury interrupted season last year, is really running well and training well,” he said.
“All the new guys are going well … hopefully we get to see them in the NAB Cup and throughout the season.”