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Swans in the media - June 12, 2018

Fundraiser leads ‘Horse’ to water

Jason Phelan

The Daily Telegraph, June 12

They came, they slid, they froze.

Eighteen AFL coaches plunged into an ice-filled pool at the MCG in support of Neale Daniher's Big Freeze 4 ahead of the Queen's Birthday Monday clash between Melbourne and Collingwood.

Demons coach Simon Goodwin, dressed as a snow skier, led the charge and four-time Hawthorn premiership coach Alastair Clarkson was last down the slide.

Clarkson poked fun at his recent spat with Sydney counterpart John Longmire over blocking tactics by defenders and his meeting over coffee with AFL boss Gillon McLachlan about the issue.

He dressed up as the Swans coach, complete with rubber horse mask in reference to Longmire's nickname.

"There's been a bit of argy bargy going on between myself and the big Horse Longmire," Clarkson told Channel Seven, smiling broadly.

"It's actually been a pretty big day ... I came down and had a cup of coffee with Gill.

"This is a great day that has gone from strength to strength ... what a great cause and what a great man."

Parker confident Swans can still go to another level

Neil Cordy

The Daily Telegraph, June 11

LUKE Parker has a warning for the rest of the AFL — the Swans are winning but are yet to hit their straps.

They handed out a 71-point belting to St Kilda at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night but with just one win this year the Saints aren’t a measuring stick for the business end of the season. West Coast is.

Parker and Sydney will need to be at their very best when they take on the ladder-leading Eagles at the SCG this Friday night.

The heavyweight clash echoes their great rivalry which peaked in 2005 and 2006 when the teams split premierships amid a staggering six-game run (including four finals) in which every match was decided by less than a goal.

The Swans inflicted the Eagles’ only defeat this year when Lance Franklin booted eight in the first AFL match at Optus Stadium.

Parker noted West Coast has improved since then and the Eagles will provide the perfect test as the Swans head to a mid-season break the following round.

“You want to test yourselves against the best,” Parker told The Daily Telegraph.

“At the moment they are the team playing the best and their ladder position shows it. We’ve strung a few together, so it’s a great time to play a team that’s well up the ladder and playing some really good football.

“It will be a great challenge and hopefully a good win will lead us into the bye with confidence and set us up for the back half of the season.”

Silky Swans show class in big win over sorry Saints

Andrew Wu

SMH, June 10

For a team that came into this round with an 8-3 record, Sydney has barely featured in the premiership conversation. 

Sure, the Swans have claimed some scalps but they had not turned heads like West Coast, Richmond or new kids on the block Melbourne.

Until now.

The Swans of 2018 have by no means lacked substance but nor had they found a level to separate them from the peloton.

That all changed in the space of half an hour against St Kilda when they ran rings around the halo-less Saints, kicking the first nine goals of the game.

The Saints have stood strong behind coach Alan Richardson but quarters like these are hard to forget. A few more of them, and careers can be ended. 

The Swans will get a better gauge of their progress in their next two games when they take on the Eagles and reigning premiers the Tigers either side of the bye.

Flair and flamboyance have not been attributes associated with the Swans, whose reputation has been built on grunt and defence, but they showed when they get their parts all in synch they can be as easy to the eye as the glamour teams of the competition.

Sydney's 71-point win was built on the dominance of their midfield. Josh Kennedy, Isaac Heeney and Luke Parker supreme in close, which allowed the game to be played on the Swans' terms.

Their forward line, which has lacked potency at times, operated like clockwork in the first half. Lance Franklin bagged four but a feature of Sydney's attack was the ability of their midfield run into space where there should not have been any, and be hit up with precise kicks. 

Callum Sinclair, in the midst of a career-best season, was again influential, eclipsing Tom Hickey with three goals.

Not even the placement of extra numbers behind the ball was able to stop the Swans' charge. If anything, it hurt the Saints when they went forward, where they lacked the skill or smarts to find a path to goal.

By half time, they had 14 goals on the board – not bad seeing they had averaged 13 a game – and the four points in the bag.

Longmire challenges rising Swans to soar like Eagles

Andrew Wu

SMH, June 10

Sydney coach John Longmire has described West Coast as the best team in the competition leading into their mouth-watering clash at the SCG on Friday.

The Swans posted their biggest win of the season by crushing St Kilda but it's their next two matches  against the top of the ladder Eagles and reigning premiers Richmond that will provide a more accurate gauge of their premiership credentials.

Longmire's men head into the second half of the season well placed at 9-3 in the top four. There was plenty to like with their effort on the weekend in which they kicked their biggest score of the season, albeit against a team that has not won since round one.

In a year that has seen plenty of Friday night fizzers, the Swans' clash with the Eagles is shaping as one of the more significant matches in the home and away season. Many had thought the Eagles would tumble out of the eight this year but they have surprised even themselves to be on top of the ladder after 12 rounds. They have won 10 on the trot since their only  this year in round one against the Swans, who were inspired by an eight-goal bag from Lance Franklin. The Eagles will be refreshed after a week off, compared to the Swans coming off a six-day break, but have lost key target Jack Darling, who some believe to be the best forward in the game this year.

"They're the best team in the competition. We need to get everything right this week, make sure our prep is absolutely spot on," Longmire said.

"We enjoy that challenge, but we know it will be a real challenge."

Sinclair turns Swans weakness into strength

Andrew Wu

SMH, June 8

If Sydney's season had played out as planned, it's not unreasonable to suggest Callum Sinclair would be hard pressed to get a game every week.

But so well has he played, the man who started last year as the Swans' number three ruckman may well be the player the club can least afford to lose if they are to head deep into September.

Sinclair does not have the match-winning power of Lance Franklin or the star quality of ball magnets Josh Kennedy and Luke Parker but it's arguable his absence would be felt the most, simply because there is no ready-made replacement.

Sam Naismith's season is over, Kurt Tippett has retired and the next in line, Darcy Cameron, has not played at senior level.

Assistant coach Dean Cox chuckles at the idea Sinclair could be a bigger loss than "the bloke wearing 23" but deep down he knows how tough life will be for the Swans without him.

"You can't rely on one particular player over a long period," Cox said.

"But he's really important."