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Season Review: Cunningham

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Season Review: Hayward

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Swans in the Media - August 11, 2017

Sydney Swans Media  August 11, 2017 10:23 AM

Kennedy out as Swans make no changes
Neil Cordy
Daily Telegraph, August 11

SYDNEY Swans will be without skipper Josh Kennedy and ruckman Sam Naismith again this week after the pair failed to prove their fitness for Saturday’s clash with Fremantle at the SCG.

Naismith was ruled out before training as he continues to struggle with an abdominal strain while Kennedy failed to train at a suitable level to get the all-clear.

It’s the first time Kennedy has missed consecutive games since he arrived at the Swans in 2010.

Longmire has named an unchanged side to take on the Dockers and is backing his star forward Lance Franklin to bounce back after being held to just one goal by Geelong defender Tom Lonergan last week.

“We’re really confident Lance will continue to play a strong part in our team,” Longmire said.

“Sometimes when he’s kicking goals we’re accused of being too Franklin-centric and when he’s not he gets blamed for not playing well.

“We’re happy with our balance last week.” 

AFL would need to fork out $500,000 for ANZ Stadium final
Neil Cordy
Daily Telegraph, August 11

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THE AFL would have to pay up to $500,000 to bring the ANZ Stadium turf up to scratch should the Sydney Swans and GWS Giants meet in the finals.

Despite the huge cost, the game’s governing body has confirmed that an All-Sydney final would not be switched to the SCG.

GWS would host all their home finals games at Spotless Stadium except in the case of meeting their cross-town rivals. ANZ Stadium remains the preferred option if that happens.

While neither Sydney team has yet qualified for the finals, the prospect of them meeting in September is becoming a real possibility. The Giants are second and the Swans sixth.

A win for GWS against the Western Bulldogs on Friday night would cement a spot in the finals.

ANZ Stadium hasn’t been used for an AFL match since the Giants’ 36-point win over the Swans in last year’s qualifying final.

There would be huge costs for turf improvements because the stadium has remained in its rectangular configuration since last year’s one-off match.

An enormous amount of the turf on both wings would need to be completely replaced.

A top-two finish would give the Giants home-field advantage through the finals and help them avoid meeting the Swans at the SCG.

“It’s been made clear our home finals are to be played at Spotless Stadium,” Giants CEO David Matthews said.

“The exception was ANZ Stadium if there is an all-Sydney final. The SCG shouldn’t be considered whatsoever.” 

Longmire backs Buddy
Greg Denham
The Australian, August 11

A quiet two weeks may well cost Lance Franklin the chance to win his fourth John Coleman Medal but less than a month out from the finals, coach John Longmire is not worried about the lapse in form.

From an individual perspective, Franklin may have missed the boat to become the competition’s leading goalkicker over the home-and-away season, but Longmire is backing him to regain his best.

The Coleman medallist in 2008 (with Hawthorn and by kicking 102 goals), 2011 (Hawks with 71 goals) and in 2014 with the Swans (67), has kicked 52 this season but has fallen four off the pace set by Essendon’s Joe Daniher, with West Coast’s Josh Kennedy, the winner of the past two Coleman Medals, sitting on 54 goals.

Franklin has kicked only one goal in each of the past two weeks — against Hawthorn and Geelong — and recorded his two lowest possession tallies for the year. He had 13 touches against Hawthorn at the MCG in round 19 and eight, with just one mark, against Geelong at Simonds Stadium last Friday night.

The last time Franklin had such a poor return was when he was held goalless against Essendon in round 14 in Sydney’s after-the-siren win, but he had 17 disposals and kicked six points, including two late to help seal the nailbiting one-point victory.

“(Tom) Lonergan played well on him last week, you can’t escape that, but we’re really confident that Lance will continue to play a strong part in the team,” Longmire said yesterday.

“It’s not always about kicking goals for him. Certainly when there’s other players kicking goals, like there was last week, it helps spread the load. Sometimes when he’s kicking goals we can be accused of being too Franklin-centric and when he’s not kicking goals you can be accused of him not playing well. We were happy with our balance last week and we’re confident that he’ll be playing pretty good footy.”

Swans forward Buddy has a date with grand-final nemesis
Andrew Wu
SMH, August 11 

Lance Franklin is set to face his conqueror from last year's grand final as he aims to snap a quiet run in Sydney's clash with Fremantle on Saturday.

The superstar forward is in line for a seventh All Australian jumper this year but has had his colours lowered in the past fortnight.

An angry Franklin kicked just the one goal against his former club Hawthorn and last week managed a season-low eight possessions against his Geelong nemesis Tom Lonergan.

His likely opponent this week is Joel Hamling, the former Western Bulldogs backman who defied the odds and held a banged up Franklin to one goal in last year's decider.

The Swans are not worried by Franklin's underwhelming two weeks, which came after a four-game stretch where he kicked 14 goals and was influential in the club's rise up the ladder.

"Lonergan played well on him last week, you can't escape that, but we're really confident that Lance will continue to play a strong part in the team," Swans coach John Longmire said on Thursday.

"It's not always about kicking goals for him. Certainly when there's other players kicking goals, like there was last week, it helps spread the load.

"Sometimes when he's kicking goals we can be accused of being too Franklin-centric and when he's not kicking goals you can be accused of him not playing well.

"We were happy with our balance last week and we're confident that he'll be playing pretty good footy." 

AFL confirms commitment to 18 teams
Patrick Smith, Greg Denham
The Australian, August 11

The AFL yesterday confirmed its long-term commitment to an 18-team competition, including two Queensland clubs, as well as international expansion with its new AFLX concept.

The willingness of the AFL to pour millions into the Gold Coast Suns and Greater Western Sydney, the latest expansion teams, was explained yesterday with the league confirming the teams bring a combined $40 million-$60m in revenue. The league said the figure included broadcast money, spon­sor­ship and advertising.

In an exclusive revelation yesterday to The Australian, AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said the presence of the 17th and 18th teams meant an extra game was played every round and the extra fixture provided a huge return to the competition.

“If you include sponsorship and advertising, the figure climbs towards $50m,” McLachlan said, adding that broadcast money was spread throughout the other clubs.

The Suns and Giants have survived where other codes would have been forced to abandon them. Gold Coast joined the competition in 2011 and have won 40 matches from 151 games. They have not made the finals and on Monday night sacked Rodney Eade, their second coach. Eade had replace foundation coach Guy McKenna three years earlier.

GWS, who joined the AFL a year later, sit in second place on the ladder and have won 48 out of 131 games.

The club is coached by Leon Cameron, who took over from establishment coach and four-time premiership coach Kevin Sheedy.

The future and relevance of Gold Coast had been questioned after Eade lost his coaching role but McLachlan reassured The Australian that the money and commitment was there to ensure the club would eventually blossom.

As the league this week firmly underlined their commitment to the 18-team premiership competition, it also revealed it had plans to take its new AFLX game to the world. 

The league said it was considering an international AFLX match between Ireland and Australia before the Irish-Australian international Tests in Adelaide and Perth later this year.

The league had not ruled out the international team being selected from the AFL’s indigenous players.

Tippett can still silence critics with big finish to 2017
Andrew Wu
SMH, August 10

Lance Franklin, Sam Reid and Kurt Tippett: at their best it's a trio that should make any opposition defence sweat – but it's far from set in stone that will be the combination Sydney will take into the finals.

The Swans have an imposing record when all three are up and going, but it has not been a common occurrence in the near four seasons they have been in the red and white.

They have featured in just one September campaign together – in 2014 when the Swans made the grand final – and played just 33 of a possible 93 games together, for 24 wins and nine losses.

As the numbers suggest, it is a formula that works. Franklin's speed and skill, combined with Reid's sticky hands and athleticism, and Tippett's ability to push forward to take big marks. The big if, however, is Tippett.

Barring a late run of injuries, it's unlikely the settled Swans will make many changes in the coming weeks, but the ruck spot is still up for grabs.

It is a three-way battle between project player Sam Naismith, back-up Callum Sinclair and Tippett, comfortably the most accomplished of the three, but who has spent much of the season rotating from the casualty ward to the NEAFL.

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