The opportunity for the QBE Sydney Swans Academy to perform in front of the Swans’ recruiters was one of many positives to emerge from Friday’s win against Brisbane Lions Academy, according to head coach Michael O’Loughlin.
O’Loughlin praised the squad’s efforts which resulted in a 55-point win at Coffs Harbour’s International Stadium, the match serving as a curtain-raiser to the Swans’ NAB Challenge opener against the Lions.
A strong start and an even stronger second half, which restricted the Lions Academy to just one goal after the major break, were the catalysts behind the 13.3 (81) to 3.8 (26) victory.
Dylan Sanderson finished with four goals while Tim Coenen, Nathan Cooper, Ned Reinhard were named among the Swans’ best players.
“It was a great win,” O’Loughlin said. “To go up to Coffs Harbour and play a curtain raiser it’s exciting times for the young guys.
“Like every coach you love a win so to have a good hit out and come away with the points was fantastic.
“We’ll go through video and we’ll produce that back to the boys - we don’t have that long with them out on the training track so to be able to show them footage, like an AFL player does with his coach and his club during the review process, is going to be a great experience for the guys.”
The experience of travelling and preparing like their AFL heroes was also “invaluable” experience for the players, O’Loughlin said.
With senior coach John Longmire and the Swans’ recruiting staff looking on it was also a great chance for players to stamp their early season credentials.
“We do all this work over pre-season and a lot of our kids play a second sport so to produce out on the oval in front of John Longmire and a few of our recruiters was really good,” he said.
“It gave them a little taste…I think the guys enjoyed getting on the bus, the plane and really experiencing what footy’s about in the AFL.”