Sydney Swans assistant coach Jarrad McVeigh believes he’s armed with an appealing fleet of midfielders as he enters into life with a whistle.
The 2012 premiership co-captain moved swiftly into coaching after rounding out a glittering 325-match career in Round 23, taking control of Sydney’s midfield contingent alongside Tadhg Kennelly.
McVeigh is excited about the make-up of the club’s midfield brigade on the countdown to the 2020 season.
“We’ve got a really good balance, I think. And with the draft coming up as well, we’ve got a high pick, so there’s a chance we land a good young midfielder,” McVeigh told SwansTV.
“To work with Joey (Josh Kennedy) and Parks (Luke Parker) and George Hewett on a different level will be fantastic.
“We then want to get a good mix of those young boys coming through the midfield. I look forward to working with those younger players like Ollie Florent and also Nick Blakey, who might run through the midfield this year. To work with those guys will be fantastic.”
Co-captain Kennedy is on track to play his 250th AFL game against Carlton at the SCG in Round 4 next year, while he was also a member of the 2012 premiership team, is a three-time Bob Skilton medallist and is a triple All Australian.
Co-captain Parker is likely to celebrate his 200th senior match as Sydney meets GWS at the SCG in Round 5, while he also won a flag with the Swans in 2012, is a dual Club Champion and is an All Australian representative.
Hewett, who rubber-stamped his soaring rise as a midfielder with a runner-up finish in this year’s Club Champion voting, is expected to join the 100-game club as Sydney faces North Melbourne at the SCG in Round 7.
And names like Florent, Blakey, Isaac Heeney, Jordan Dawson and James Rowbottom are promising to enjoy excellent careers of their own.
McVeigh was a teammate of every one of those players in the twilight years of his career, and while he’s now spending much more time behind a desk than kicking a footy, he says he’s enjoyed his early days as a coach.
“The transition has been good,” McVeigh said.
“I’ve got a lot of guys around to help me. There’s a lot more computer work than I’m used to and I’m watching a lot more vision and in a lot more meetings. But it’s been great to continually learn.
“I’m fortunate that I’m going to be here for a fair while more. I’m going to get to work with some great people and learn off a lot of great mentors I had during my playing career. I look forward to the challenge.”