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NEAFL: Eyes on top spot

Luke McManus  May 18, 2017 6:16 PM

Maibaum up to the task Key defender Jack Maibaum previews our clash against the undefeated Sydney University at Henson Park on Friday night.
Sydney Swans defender Jack Maibaum has stood tall in defence all season.

Sydney Swans defender Jack Maibaum has stood tall in defence all season.

I think we’ve really found our niche and now we really want to take that forward and take it up to Sydney Uni and put our best performance in.

Key defender Jack Maibaum believes the NEAFL Swans are “clicking” as well as they have all season, a timely endorsement ahead of Friday night’s top-of-the-table clash with Sydney University.

Sydney will aim to inflict Sydney Uni’s first loss of the season under lights at Henson Park, the Students winning their first six games to sit one game clear of the Swans in top spot on the ladder.

Having dropped Round 1 against Brisbane, Rhyce Shaw’s men have strung together a consistent brand of football which has yielded some important results including big wins against NT Thunder in Darwin and against the previously undefeated Brisbane at the SCG two weeks ago.

Last weekend, brimming with AFL talent, Sydney stormed past Canberra at Manuka Oval to improve its season record to 5-1 after seven rounds.

As a result, and aligning with their teammates’ recent success at AFL level, there’s a good buzz around the playing group which should bode well for them against their Sydney rivals.

“The boys are pretty confident at the moment, ever since the Northern Territory game, we’ve got this spark about us and there’s something about the way we’re playing which we’re really happy with,” Maibaum said.

“I think we’ve really found our niche and now we really want to take that forward and take it up to Sydney Uni and put our best performance in.”

Maibaum, who’s been handed some big tasks at full-back in recent weeks, is likely to come up against former Swan Xavier Richards in Friday night’s blockbuster.

Richards has managed two games at NEAFL level this season, playing up forward in the same role the 23-year-old held towards the end of his career in red and white.

Maibaum, who gives away 4cm on his opponent, will look to build on some strong recent form and quell the talented tall.

“He played in last year’s (AFL) Grand Final so we know he’s a dangerous player,” Maibaum said.

“All of us in that backline will need to work together to get the job done against him, and the job done against Sydney Uni."

Richards isn't the only former Swan now in blue and yellow, with 2014 draftee and former Academy member Jack Hiscox also running around for the Students.

“They are a good side, undefeated, so we’re going to have to bring it to them,” Maibaum added.

As expected, the NEAFL Swans will be without Kurt Tippett and Gary Rohan after the pair were recalled for Saturday’s clash with the Saints.

The pair kicked four goals each and were among the best in last weekend’s win in Canberra so it was a mere formality the key position player and excitement machine would be immediately called up for senior duties.

Jordan Dawson also misses after being named as the travelling emergency for the AFL side.

Coming back into the NEAFL line-up will be Ollie Florent, Harry Marsh and Shaun Edwards.

First-year Florent was a late omission ahead of last weekend’s AFL clash with North Melbourne, making way for defender Nic Newman in the final 22, after the coaches decided to manage his workload.

With a week’s rest, Florent will slot back in for his first game at the lower level since the NEAFL Swans history-breaking win against NT Thunder.

Marsh, who made way for the returning Dane Rampe after playing back-to-back games at AFL level, will bolster a backline featuring Aliir Aliir, Jeremy Laidler and Michael Talia.

Meanwhile, Edwards returns for his first game since suffering a shoulder injury in the win in Darwin.

NEAFL Round 8 - Swans Swans v Sydney University
Henson Park, Marrickville
7pm kick-off


31.Harry Marsh

21. Jack Maibaum

36. Aliir Aliir*


30. Tyrone Leonardis

32. Michael Talia

38. Colin O’Riordan


54. Luke Skrivanic**

27. Daniel Robinson

11. Jeremy Laidler


1. James Rose

60. Liam Maze**

45. Sam Fisher


50. Sam Wicks**

47. Toby Pink

33. Brandon Jack


17. Darcy Cameron, 42. Robbie Fox, 6. Jordan Foote


13. Oliver Florent*, 19. Shaun Edwards, 50. Jake Brown**, 58. Hamish McDonald**


51. Jared Osborne**, 52. Harry Carr**

Ins & Outs


13. Oliver Florent, 19. Shaun Edwards, 31, Harry Marsh, 50. Jake Brown, 58. Hamish McDonald, 60. Liam Maze


8. Kurt Tippett, 16. Gary Rohan,  34. Jordan Dawson, 46. Sam Murray

* Denotes AFL emergency 
**Denotes QBE Sydney Swans Academy top-up