The Sydney Swans have finished their pre-season training and Community Camp with a heavily contested intraclub match at C.Ex Coffs Harbour Stadium, which saw a host of players impress in the gruelling heat on Wednesday.
It was a brutally absorbing affair that saw their tackle pressure come to the fore, while their ball movement also shined despite fatigue quickly set in amongst both teams.
Brodie Grundy wasted little time with some imposing early touches in the ruck, while Sam Wicks and Angus Sheldrick found plenty of the ball in the opening half and made their presence known.
New draftee Will Green also starred with some classy individual efforts from start to finish, while stars Tom Papley, Isaac Heeney, and Nick Blakey also showed their customary flare at various stages.
The squad finished the game with some scenario-based drills that saw both sides maintain a calm temperament with the ball although they were heavily under duress in the hot conditions.
Assistant coach Dean Cox lauded the performance as the players continue to craft their trade as the official pre-season match against the Brisbane Lions draws near.
“It went really well. [It was an] opportunity to get some match simulation in to continue building our pre-season program,” Cox said.
“The boys get four days off now – we had an opportunity to practice some things and everyone got through well.
“One thing we want to try and do is play players in certain positions, we’ve got some new players on our list that need to still build some chemistry with the other players.
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“We had some opportunity to play some ‘game-state’ late in the game as well, so we we always want to make sure we’re ready for the start of the season.”
Forwards Hayden McLean and Joel Amartey got their names on the scoresheet after slotting goals from 50m respectively – a fitting reward for both players as they enjoy strong pre-seasons to date.
Fellow draftee Patrick Snell, who arrived at the club alongside Green, Caiden Cleary, and Indhi Kirk in the 2023 AFL Draft, proved why he is one to keep an eye on in the near-future after producing some competitive one-on-one efforts in match play on Wednesday.
While many proved their case for a spot against the Melbourne Demons in Opening Round, Cox highlighted Matty Roberts as one who starred throughout the three-day camp.
The Swans will face the Lions in an official practice match fixture at Blacktown International Sports Park on Thursday, 29 February.
“They have been one of the benchmark teams in the competition for a long time,” Cox said.
“They’re really experienced and they’re a hard and contested team with very dangerous forwards.
“We still have to continue to focus on what we need to do leading into that game, and still got to iron out some things.
“We’re really looking forward to (facing) the opposition in a few weeks’ time.”