All Swans will fans remember the drought-breaking premiership of 2005; there was the famous Leo Barry mark and the heart-stopping grand final win over West Coast.

But how many remember Round 9 of the same season, and the unlikely hero who stood tall when his team needed him most?

It was such a rare moment that it heads the “Remember When ...” flashback this week for Round 9.

Forgotten by most, the Swans were 10th on the 16-team AFL ladder after Round 8 with a 4-4 record and wins over teams that sat 11th, 12th, 13th and 15th. And they were 1-3 at home. It was a dire time as West Coast sat unbeaten two games plus percentage clear on top.

In Round 9 Sydney were the ‘away’ side on a Sunday afternoon at the SCG against the Western Bulldogs, who were just ahead of them on percentage in their first season under ex-Swans coach Rodney Eade, making his first visit ‘home’.

When the Swans led by 21 points at three-quarter time after scores were level at halftime all looked rosy, but when Lindsay Gilbee, Brad Johnson and Mitch Hahn kicked the first three goals of the final term for the Dogs, the lead was a point.

Sydney could not afford to drop another game at the SCG to a side outside the top eight. But who was going to get them home?

Ordinarily if you looked down the playing list, you’d say it would have to be Barry Hall or Michael O’Loughlin, who between them had kicked 697 AFL goals. Or perhaps Matthew Nicks, Jared Crouch or Leo Barry, who were the other three 150-game players. Maybe 2003 Brownlow Medallist Adam Goodes or Brett Kirk, who was on his way to the 2005 Bob Skilton Medal.

No, the hero came at the very bottom of the games list and the team list. It was a 21-year-old Luke Vogels wearing jumper #38 in just his third AFL game who kicked two late goals to secure a win that Paul Roos so desperately needed. And he didn’t even realise he was doing it.

Not far short of time-on in the final quarter, Vogels, a 194cm key forward, grabbed a mark deep in the pocket. Cool as you like, he spun around his opponent, charged towards goal, took a bounce and drilled it to give his side some breathing space.

Three minutes later, with the game still precariously placed, Vogels took a strong overhead mark in front of goal and nailed it too. Job done. Sydney prevailed 13.11 (89) to 10.16 (76).

It was a dream come true for a player who, at selection on the Thursday night, was a borderline inclusion. He’d been part of a winning side in Rounds 7-8 after the club’s 2-4 start, but coach Roos admitted later he had considered leaving him out for fear that the Swans would be too tall.

Vogels could have been playing with the Reserves against Tuggeranong in the ACT League. And if you’d offered him even that 12 months earlier, he would have been delighted.

A product of the Geelong Falcons, where he played with Luke Hodge, Gary Ablett Jr and Jimmy Bartel in 2001, he looked like he had missed the AFL boat when overlooked in the draft.

He’d played three years of country football with Terang-Mortlake in the Hampden League of western Victoria, winning a flag and the League Medal in 2004 to earn a spot on the Swans list via pick #28 in the rookie draft of that year. But only when Stephen Doyle suffered a season-ending injury in Round 1 did he become eligible for AFL selection.

Speaking after the game, Vogels said it was all a bit of a shock. "At the time I didn't think they were game-winning goals. I thought we were up by enough, so it's still a bit hard to believe,” he said.

“Was it only a point (Sydney were in front) when I kicked that?” he asked. “I didn't know that. I thought it was more."

While Vogels was the man of the moment, O’Loughlin was the match-winner. He kicked five goals – four in the third term as the Swans took charge – and picked up three Brownlow votes. And in a pointer to how much football has changed, Kirk and Jude Bolton, with 22 and 21 possessions respectively, took the minor votes. They were the only Sydney players to top 20 possessions.

Vogels played the next two games before missing a fortnight with an ankle problem. After four weeks in the Reserves, he returned to the senior side in Round 18. And there he stayed right through to the first final, when the Swans were beaten by West Coast by four points after they’d won their last four home-and-away games to finish third on the ladder.

The following week Vogels was omitted for first-year player Paul Bevan, who had spent 10 weeks in the Reserves. It was the only change Roos would make through the entire finals series, with the same 22 that beat Geelong and St Kilda in the second and third final going all the way through to the grand final against West Coast.

Vogels, an emergency for the semi-final and preliminary before he was overlooked even for that small consolation on grand final day, would play three games in 2006 and another three in 2007 before being de-listed. But still he had his moment of glory in Round 9, 2005.

Overall, in the Swans’ 40-year history in Sydney, they have enjoyed a 23-17 Round 9 record overall – 13-9 at home. Barry Mitchell’s 40 possessions in a big loss to Richmond at the MCG in 1990 has been the highest Round 9 disposal count in that time, while Tony Lockett twice kicked 11 goals at the SCG in Round 9 against Brisbane in 1996 and Hawthorn in 1998.

Other Round 9 highlights through this period include:

1986 – 300 wins for Tommy

Pretty much every year from 1965, when Moorabbin Oval had become the headquarters of St Kilda, the Swans would trek down to what was cruelly called ‘the mud heap’ to play the Saints. By the time it was shut down as an AFL venue in 1992 the club had endured a 9-1-14 record there.

But in Round 9, 1986 it was a happy visit. The Swans won a slug-fest in the wet 6.11 (47) to 5.8 (38) to record two significant entries in the record books.

It is still the lowest winning score posted by the Swans during the Sydney era, and the win saw Swans coach Tommy Hafey become just the second coach in AFL history to coach 300 wins. 

Tom Hafey, 1986

With Hafey wearing red and white for just the seven time in his 461st game overall, the Swans were held scoreless in the final quarter but hung on largely due to the efforts of Gerard Healy, who had 26 possessions and kicked a goal to earn one Brownlow Medal vote.

Greg Williams had 35 possessions for the Swans as St Kilda favourite son Danny Frawley was judged best afield after he held Warwick Capper to just three kicks and no score after he had kicked 10 goals the week before and had 43 goals in the first nine games of the season.

The win saw Hafey join Jock McHale in coaching ranks’ 300-Win Club, 51 years after the Collingwood legend had become the foundation member. Only four coaches have joined them – Allan Jeans in 1987, David Parkin and Kevin Sheedy three weeks apart in 2000, and Mick Malthouse in 2006.

2004 - Jude’s 100th game winner

Jude Bolton became the 101st player to register 100 games for the Swans in Round 9, 2004 – and did it in unforgettable fashion when he kicked the match-winning goal three minutes from full-time.

Jude Bolton

The Swans had lost four games on the trot to sit a precarious 10th on the ladder at 3-5, with coach Paul Roos suggesting pre-match he’d “run around the oval nude” if he knew it would guarantee a win over Hawthorn at the SCG.

When Sydney led by 21 points at three-quarter time Roos looked safe, but when the Hawks kicked three in eight minutes to start the final term, he might have started to feel a little tense. Even more so when Rick Ladson put the visitors in front with 13 minutes still to play.

It was a dour struggle, end-to-end stuff between the 50m arcs, with each side posting just one score in the tightest of finishes.

First, the Swans’ Amon Buchanan, in his 10th game, gathered a loose ball on centre wing and took off. He had one bounce and gave it by hand to the running Bolton, who ran inside 50m and banged it home to put the home side back in front.

But in an excruciatingly long 180 seconds Hawthorn had not one but two chances. First, Chance Bateman sprayed a running shot across the face of goal and out of bounds. And then, with 13 seconds on the clock, skipper Shane Crawford was awarded a free kick 50m out near the boundary.

He was right on his range, but it fell just short. All the Swans had to do was punch it through, but later-to-be-Swan Peter Everitt had other ideas.

Much to the horror of the home fans, ‘Spida’ claimed a juggling mark right on the goal line. Only when the umpire ruled his second grab was over the line had the Swans won 11.14 (80) to 12.7 (79). Brett Kirk, the Swans leading possession-winner with 21, earned two Brownlow votes.

2013 – A monster Friday night MCG crowd

Friday night games at the MCG have been rare for Sydney over the past 40 years, which makes them even more special when they come around. Like in Round 9, 2013 against Collingwood.

It was the Swans (4th) coming off a draw against Fremantle against the Pies (8th) who were ‘up’ after a close win over previously unbeaten ladder-leaders Geelong. Two teams bound for the finals. John Longmire in his third season at the helm against a second-year coach Nathan Buckley. Two coaches set for a long rivalry.

A monster crowd of 65,306 turned out to watch – the fifth biggest crowd for a non-final in Swans history. And while the black and white may have prevailed over the fence, the red and white were supreme out in the middle in a memorable Sydney win.

Collingwood kicked the first two goals inside six minutes before Sydney, with Dane Rampe playing his 7th game, got eight of the next nine. They led by 29 points at halftime won easing down 15.12 (102) to 8.7 (55).

Adam Goodes was the star with 30 possessions and three goals for three Brownlow Medal votes, while Dan Hannebery (31), Nick Malceski (30) and Jarrad McVeigh (30) also won plenty of the ball.

Sam Reid, in his 55th game for the Swans, enjoyed a personal ‘win’ over brother Ben, in his 82nd game for the Magpies. It was the second of what would be six meetings for the Reid brothers and squared the ledger at 1-1 before Ben would eventually finish 4-2 up when he retired.

2018 – A double century for a favourite son

Nick Smith celebrates 200 games

In 126 years and 2500 games the Swans have celebrated a 200th game 33 times. And in Round 9, 2018 it was Nick Smith who reached the milestone.

Sydney was hosting Fremantle at the SCG. Smith from Scotch College and the Oakleigh Chargers who had begun his career on Sydney's rookie list had honed his craft and become the Swans' ever-reliable backman. He was a private figure, content to do the grunt work as a no-frills back pocket. And set a League record for most games without a Brownlow vote. Yet for Swans fan, Smith was and remains one of the club's favourite sons who gave everything ever time he ran out in the red and white.

The Swans celebrated Smith's milestone in appropriate fashion with a 17.9 (111) to Fremantle’s 7.10 (52) win in what was Tom McCartin’s second AFL game. Smith gathered 21 possessions in the win.