The Sydney Swans 10-Game Report Card for 2024 reads 9 wins, average points for 103.0, average points against 66.6, percentage 154.7 and ladder position, first.

In any school it’s five-star gold … the club’s best scenario at this point of time since 1945. Easily.

In three of the five ‘subjects’ the Swans have posted 90-year bests. In a fourth it’s their second-best in that time. And in the fifth they are still best in the League this year.

‘Principal’ John Longmire will be very satisfied as, for the first time since 1945, the Swans have won nine of their first 10 games and sit on top of the ladder. Their percentage of 154.7 is the best in that time, and their average points conceded of 66.6 is second-best.

And their average points for of 103.0, 14th best for the club in the last 90 years, makes them the only side averaging more than 100 points per game this year. Next best are Geelong (95.4), Bulldogs (93.2) and GWS (92.5).


Remembering that South Melbourne did not play in the abbreviated four-team competition of 1916 during World War I, only once in 127 years of VFL/AFL participation have the Swans won their first 10 games.

That was in 1932 when, in an 18-game home-and-away season, they lost games 11-13-14-16-18 to finish 4th on the ladder and were eliminated in the first week of the finals.

Four times before this year they’ve won nine of their first 10 – in 1909, when they won their first premiership, in 1935-36, when they were minor premiers only to lose the grand final to Collingwood, and 1945, when they were minor premiers but lost the grand final to Carlton.

This is the seventh time overall the Swans have been top of the ladder after 10 games. The others were in 1909, 1918-19, 1932, 1935 and 1945.

This season’s 10-game percentage of 154.7, built of big wins over Hawthorn (76 points), Gold Coast (53 points), Carlton (52 points) and Fremantle (48 points), four wins between 22 and 33 points, and a five-point loss to Richmond, is third-best at the equivalent point of time for the Swans all-time.

It is marginally below the 155.8% of 1911, when they were 7-1-2 at the time and finished second on an 18-game home-and-away ladder at 13-1-4 but were eliminated in the first week of the finals.

But the 2024 percentage is dwarfed by the equivalent figure of 1909, when the old South Melbourne were 9-1 and the 10-game percentage was 198.9. They’d averaged just 71.8 points per game but held the opposition to 36.1 points per game.

It was 153.7 after 10 games in the competition’s first season in 1897, but otherwise they’ve topped 140% at this point of the season only five more times – 140.2 in 1918, when they won their second flag, 142.5 in 1919, and three times during the Sydney era – 141.7 in 2012, 140.4 in 2015 and 143.8 in 2016.

The highest full-season percentage in club history is 168.9% in 1909, from 157.0 in 1912, with three years in the Sydney era completing the top five – 151.2 in 2016, 142.9 in 2014 and 140.6 in 2012.

Critical to the club’s outstanding start this year as they celebrate 150 years is the spread of the Sydney goals – and the goal-kicking contribution from the midfield.

Through 10 games they have only one of 14 players in the AFL with 20 goals – Will Hayward (20).

But among 31 players with 15 goals they have six – Hayward (20), Logan McDonald (18), Joel Amartey (17), Isaac Heeney (16), Tom Papley (15), and Chad Warner (15). Plus Hayden McLean (11).

Geelong (4) and Carlton (3) are the only other clubs with more than two players with 15-plus.

Important, too, has been a high player availability. Sixteen Sydney players have played every game – and it was 17 until Matt Roberts was ‘managed’ on Friday night.

The average of the other 17 clubs is 11.1, with Fremantle (15), Melbourne (14), Brisbane (13) and Hawthorn (13) next best down to an injury-ravaged Richmond (6).

Similarly, the Swans have used only 27 players. The average of the other 17 clubs is 32.9, with GWS (29) is the only other club below 30, with Richmond (38) at the other end of the scale.


The other eye-catching number on the Swans stats sheet on Friday night was the ‘16’ next to James Rowbottom in the tackles column.

It is a career-best for the Sydney tackling machine, who leads the League in tackles this year, and equal third-best in club history since tackle counts were first kept in 1987.

Jude Bolton holds the club record at 19 against West Coast at Subiaco in 2011, while Luke Parker had 17 against Melbourne at the SCG in 2016 and Callum Mills 16 against the Bulldogs at the SCG in 2022.

In full club statistics since 1987 Bolton, a 325-game veteran, leads the club in all-time tackles with 1490 from 283-gamer Parker (1436) and 277-gamer Josh Kennedy (1433). Rowbottom, who has played only 103 games, is already up to 11th at 654.

Among 19 players credited with more than 500 tackles Rowbottom heads the average tackles at 6.35 per game from Brett Kirk (5.30) and Kennedy (5.17).

Isaac Heeney (744 at 4.00 tackles per game) is 10th in aggregate tackles and 8th in averages, with Callum Mills (579 at 3.74 tackles per game) 15th overall, Harry Cunningham (575 at 2.96) 16th and Dane Rampe (539 at 2.28) 18th.