Swans veteran Jarrad McVeigh has lauded the performances of two of Sydney’s young guns in the 10-point loss to the Adelaide Crows at the SCG on Friday.
Midfielders Zak Jones and Isaac Heeney stood tall on a disappointing night for the Swans in a 12.13 (85) to 10.15 (75) loss.
Jones collected 27 disposals and a goal and Heeney finished with 19 touches and a goal of his own.
Jones’ performance was particularly impressive considering the early stages of his season have been hampered by injury.
McVeigh said Jones’ 2018 campaign was looking on the up.
“It was good to see him back,” McVeigh said.
“He just needs a bit of continuity now. He needs to get some training under his belt and string together a few months of good footy.
“He’s been in and out with a few different things but the signs were all pointing in the right direction for him tonight.”
Jones was involved in Sydney’s opening-round victory over West Coast but missed the second and third rounds against Port Adelaide and GWS due to tightness in the calf.
He returned against the Western Bulldogs last week and in a commendable display against Adelaide on Friday came to the fore in trademark Jones style in the first quarter.
The 23-year-old collected a Heeney handball on the 50m arc midway through the first term, palmed off Crows defender Luke Brown and sent a banana cartwheeling through for the Swans’ first goal of the game.
Heeney was another of the side’s best and McVeigh says his versatility brings plenty to the side.
“Moving into the midfield is something he has added to his game which fantastic,” McVeigh said.
“We always knew he was a midfielder but obviously his marking ability is fantastic as well and he’s always an option up forward for us.”
McVeigh said the Swans let themselves down at the contest and in front of goal.
“Around the ball we were comprehensively beaten,” McVeigh said.
“It’s something we pride ourselves on – being clean and hard around the footy and we got beaten in those areas tonight unfortunately.
“They also caused a lot of turnovers throughout the night but when you get opportunities in front of goal you’ve got to nail the goals. We’ve been really good in our conversion this year but unfortunately tonight it wasn’t to be.
“We still had a chance not playing good footy but that’s the way AFL footy is – you’ve got to come to compete every week and be ready to go.”