Sydney Swans speedster Oliver Florent says the team is buzzing with excitement as the red and white prepares for just its fourth trip to Tasmania in history.
Sydney will board a flight for Hobart ahead of a clash with North Melbourne at Blundstone Arena on Saturday night, a venue at which the Swans have only ever played in Round 3, 2013 and Round 22, 2016.
Florent, who hadn’t yet arrived at the Swans when the club last touched down in Tasmania, says the team is relishing the thought of returning to the southern state.
“We’re very eager to go down to Tasmania,” Florent told SwansTV.
“I’ve personally never been to Tasmania before and I’m looking forward to seeing how the crowd goes down there. All the boys are pumped because it’s something different in our week.”
The Swans lay claim to an unbeaten record in Tasmania having defeated the Kangaroos by 39 points in 2013 and nine points in 2016.
Saturday will see star Sydney on-ballers Josh Kennedy, Luke Parker and Isaac Heeney meet North Melbourne’s Shaun Higgins, Ben Cunnington and Jack Ziebell, who primarily calls the forward line home but is a threatening midfield option.
Sydney won the contested-ball battle for the first time since Round 3 in last Friday’s Round 8 win over Essendon, with Parker gathering 33 disposals and six clearances in an inspirational co-captain’s performance.
Florent said the Swans would again have to fire in the midfield in their pursuit of a second win in a row.
“The midfield battle will be very important to winning the game. All areas of the ground are important, it’ll be a long and contested night for the midfield group and hopefully we’re ready for that,” Florent said.
“The Roos are a great team and we’ve got to respect their pressure. We’ve got to go out and produce exactly what we did on the weekend – there’s no secret to it. We know what gets us the win and if we go away from that it’s shown in the first eight weeks of the season what happens, so we want to win the contested footy and get the win in Tassie."