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No role change for eager Reid

Luke McManus  February 2, 2018 1:31 PM

AFL 2017 Round 23 - Sydney v Carlton

Sam Reid is often used as a swingman, called on to provide cover for the defence when the run of play is going against Sydney.

When teams start getting on top of you, you really want to, especially in today's footy, stop that momentum quickly as possible.

All signs are pointing to Sydney Swans swingman Sam Reid remaining just that in season 2018, with the key tall highlighting the importance of having multi-dimensional players to help the team's cope with the ebbs and flows of contests.

Reid's role as a swingman — a player who can play in multiple positions on demand — was on full display last season when the traditional key forward would be called upon to switch roles.

Often, when opposition teams had momentum and strung together consecutive forward entries or were on a scoring run, the 26-year-old would leave his post in the forward line to be the extra man behind the football and help out the defence.

Longmire's "signature move," according to Gerard Healy and Dwayne Russell, doesn't look like changing any time soon.

"I think it's a good move to be able to halt that momentum," Reid said.

"When teams start getting on top of you, you really want to, especially in today's footy, stop that momentum quickly as possible. One or two goals can turn into three goals, four goals, five goals before you go 'Geez, what's happened?'

"I guess that probably happened to us in the final last year (v Geelong) and we weren't able to halt the momentum and that's what can happen, they can blow you away."

Sometimes the swingman's role can extend further, like stepping in to contest stoppages or the centre bounces particularly when injury strikes or if teams run the gauntlet with the one specialist ruckman.

Reid, while not traditionally known as a bustling ruckman, has "found himself there at times before" and wouldn't object if called upon to the fill void again.

But as that role of the traditional ruckman continues to evolve, Reid believes there’s room to be creative.

"I think we're lucky that we've got guys who can (ruck), not just me," Reid added.

"Dean Towers, he'd be only about 6'1" or 6'2", so he's not overly tall but if you get those athletic and powerful guys, like Dean is, a number of guys can play that position.

“It obviously worked well for the Tigers last year with the one ruckman, so no doubt that will change in the future.”

Speaking of futures, Reid’s immediate outlook seems bright having bounced back fully from his injury-cruelled 2016 with a full season and uninterrupted pre-season of which he’s ticked off every session so far and is “tracking well.”