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Rampe inspires all in address

Rampe's passionate address Co-captain Dane Rampe gave a passionate address ahead of the 2019 season.
It is from this very resilience that we can draw unlimited inspiration. I am forever inspired by our club’s ability to overcome anything and everything that has been thrown at it.
Dane Rampe

From the club’s desperate relocation from South Melbourne to Sydney in 1982 to Callum Sinclair’s career-best season in 2018 as the side’s sole ruckman, Sydney Swans co-captain Dane Rampe has shed light on a host of illustrations of resilience in the red and white’s history. 

Rampe, who in 2019 will lead the Swans alongside Josh Kennedy and Luke Parker in a three-way co-captaincy structure, delivered a rousing address at the club’s Guernsey Presentation and Hall of Fame Induction Dinner on Wednesday night.

More than 550 guests piled in to The Star to witness every Sydney player – including its 10 new faces – receive their guernseys for the season ahead, as well as three Swans greats become Hall of Fame members and three items added to the club's Heritage List.

Rampe took the opportunity to draw the attention of the audience to the resilience delicately woven into the Swans’ fabric.

“It is what drove Bobby Skilton to what he described in his own words as his ‘greatest-ever achievement’, his one and only finals appearance,” Rampe said.

“It is what gave the Swans players strength in the 1980s to try to resuscitate a club on the brink of extinction up north in a new city. It is what helped keep the club united as one throughout arguably our club’s toughest-ever years in 1992 and ’93, the years in which we recorded 26 straight losses – an all-time AFL record.

“This ‘it’ I’m referring to is resilience, and this resilience is what makes our club so very unique. Yes, every club has showcased it at times during their history, but it is what defines ours.”

Bloods Legend Bob Skilton posing for a photo with a statue established in his honour.

Rampe’s journey to Sydney’s panel of co-captains tells a story of resilience itself, with the 28-year-old bouncing back from a string of Draft rejections – and a change of cities in a bid to realise his AFL dream – to claw a spot on the Swans’ rookie list ahead of season 2013.

Rampe has since played 138 AFL games, earned an All Australian blazer and helped the Swans to six straight finals campaigns.

And the star defender encouraged the guests on Wednesday to lift their eyes to the many examples of resilience in the club’s modern history which, like the Swans’ storied past, he believes forms the pillars of the club.

“In just the six years I’ve been at the club we’ve had to experience things that no other club has had to,” Rampe said.

“We’ve had the cost-of-living allowance (COLA) taken from our salary cap, we’ve had a strict trading ban implemented through no fault of our own and, most devastating of all, we’ve had to witness one of our greatest-ever Bloods, a Bloods Legend, and one of our most influential Australians forced into retirement – the great Adam Goodes.

“I use these examples not to complain, or to make us feel hard done by, or even to make us angry – I want to make that absolutely clear. I use these examples to shine a light on what I believe to be our club’s defining characteristic: resilience.”

Rampe continued, bringing to light the admired feats of many of his teammates as they clasped on to their guernseys beside him on the stage with pride.

Sydney Swans great Adam Goodes being accepting into the club's Hall of Fame as a Bloods Legend on Wednesday night.

“Who could forget the aplomb with which Kieren Jack handled himself during the tumultuous week of his 200th game in Geelong and the three Brownlow votes to top it off?” Rampe said.

“Jarrad McVeigh’s 2017 season was thought by some to be his last – but not him, not us. It is two years later and he remains the absolute benchmark of resilience and leadership at our club – and ‘Macca’, I am unbelievably inspired by that.

“I am inspired by Josh Kennedy’s consistently high level of performance – a different type of resilience, but nonetheless powerful.

“Lance Franklin is the most powerful influence in the competition. I am inspired by his ability to carry what I can only imagine to be an incredible weight of expectation year on year on year. 

“I am inspired by the resilience of Callum Sinclair’s 2018 season, one in which he shouldered the entire ruck load and had a career-best year in the process.

“In the NEAFL, Darcy Cameron took his game to a new level, and although rewarded with an AFL debut, I was most inspired by the consistency and quality of his performance despite the disappointment of not playing seniors again last year.

“Colin O’Riordan in his short career has shown resilience that beggars belief.

“Matthew Ling’s first two years have been marred by a frustrating toe injury. He has barely trained, let alone played. The energy and excitement with which he bounces into the club each and every day despite repeated setbacks, shows a resilience that I would not have been capable of at his age.

“It is from this very resilience that we can draw unlimited inspiration. I am forever inspired by our club’s ability to overcome anything and everything that has been thrown at it.”