The Sydney Swans haven’t marked the first official match at the redeveloped Tramway Oval with victory, but exciting prospect Zac Foot has reminded spectators of the club’s great depth of promising young talent.
The Gold Coast Suns’ 23-point quarter-time lead was never seriously threatened as the away side powered to a 35-point win at the Moore Park venue, which reopened in April after a multimillion-dollar upgrade.
But Foot was a stand-out in the 13.18 (96) to 9.7 (61) defeat, gathering 24 touches, six marks and three goals in a versatile showing.
The 18-year-old Swan split his time between a wing, the inside of the midfield and the forward line, injecting powerful outside run, attacking the footy hard and creating scoring opportunities single-handedly.
Sydney development coach Jeremy Laidler praised Foot’s work ethic.
“Zac’s been working really hard throughout the whole year, and his GPS numbers are always through the roof,” Laidler said post-match.
“Today he worked really hard for four quarters and got rewarded with some goals, but it was more the stuff around the footy which was most pleasing.”
Sydney midfielder James Rose was also strong on his way to 30 possessions and a goal, while first-year draftee Sam Wicks finished with 22 disposals and nine tackles.
The match also saw ruckman Darcy Cameron make his first appearance since June 9, with the 24-year-old logging 60-70 minutes of game time on the road back from a quad injury.
The Swans fronted the Suns with four ruckmen in Cameron, Hayden McLean, Michael Knoll and Joel Amartey.
Knoll carried the majority of the ruck duties in a battle with high-quality Gold Coast duo Tom Nicholls and Peter Wright, while Cameron was blooded at the 20-minute mark of the first quarter and divided his time between the ruck and forward line.
Laidler said Saturday’s game would make for an important building block in Cameron’s recovery.
“With missing a little bit of footy you come back with a few cobwebs, but I thought he tried really hard today,” Laidler said.
“He was a little bit rusty, but he will definitely benefit from it.”
While Cameron has recovered from a quad injury, rebounding defender Ryley Stoddart suffered his own on Saturday.
The 19-year-old didn’t finish the game and will be assessed in the coming days.
Laidler thanked the club’s supporters who swarmed to Tramway Oval for a momentous day in Swans history.
“We got a heap of fans out which was really pleasing, and the players got a massive kick out of it,” Laidler said.
“We’ll hopefully put on a better performance next week when there’s hopefully even more fans for the curtain-raiser before the St Kilda game.
“It was really special to play at Tramway Oval for the first time and I mentioned that before the game. It was an honour to play out there. They’ve put a lot of time and effort into getting it done and today ran really smoothly.”
The Swans will return to Tramway Oval next Saturday morning to face the ladder-leading Brisbane Lions, with the match set to precede Sydney's clash with St Kilda at the SCG.
Gold Coast Suns 4.8 9.10 12.4 13.8 (96)
Sydney Swans 1.3 6.3 7.5 9.7 (61)
Goals – Sydney: Z Foot 3, H McLean 2, J Amartey, C Hirst, J Rose, R van Huisstede