In Jude Bolton’s case, you can take the man out of the Sydney Swans but you’ll struggle to take the Sydney Swans out of the man.
Bolton’s media commitments have forced him to take a neutral stance nowadays but it didn’t stop the latest member of the Club’s Hall of Fame from casting his eye over the season ahead and providing his take.
The 37-year-old, who played 325 games over 15 seasons in red and white, believes the Swans are in capable hands ahead of 2017.
There’s a strong mix of talented youngsters who’ll be guided, he says, by a strong core in what is an important season for the football club.
“We’ve got such an incredible list which is about to embark on the 2017 season, led by Josh Kennedy, our new captain,” Bolton said backstage at The Star Events Centre on Tuesday night.
“It’s always the opportunity (I’m looking forward to). I was down there obviously for Grand Final day and you can never begrudge the Bulldogs, they were incredible.
“It’s tough to pick yourself up from a Grand Final loss. I’ve been in that situation before with our 2006 team, it’s really hard, but you bond together and you make something of it.
“I know these leaders drive the Club so hard and that’s what makes the Club such a special place. They work hard, fans can turn up to the game knowing what they’re going to get. They know they’re getting 100 percent effort, 100 percent of the time.
“You look at Ollie Florent and Will Hayward, they’ll get an opportunity this year. Darcy (Cameron) as well. It’s an exciting time for the footy club.”
Bolton’s renowned grin was ear-to-ear throughout the backstage interview, evidently elated at being the 65th member inducted into the Sydney Swans Hall of Fame.
He was honoured alongside the late Peter Burns who was elevated to Bloods Legends status on a night in which nine of his 2005 Premiership teammates were awarded Life Memberships.
“I’m just overwhelmed,” Bolton added. “This club means so much to me and to be bestowed an honour which is held in such high regard … I’m blown away to be honest, it’s such an honour and something I’ll always cherish.”
Bolton will again take to the microphone for his respective media gigs this weekend for the AFL’s opening round which, for the Sydney Swans, kicks off on Saturday afternoon against Port Adelaide.