It may be challenging to be optimistic about the season ahead when you team is still hunting its first win of the season six rounds in. But optimistic was the demeanour of Sydney Swans chairman Andrew Pridham in his pre-match address on Sunday.
Pridham told guests at the Chairman’s function that while the club’s list is young and the team has been unlucky with injuries, the Swans are no strangers to overcoming adversity.
“Our professionalism, experience, commitment and enthusiasm will see us get through this and come out the other end better, bigger and stronger. I have the utmost confidence in our players, coaches and support staff,” he said.
Pridham implored Swans faithful to “maintain perspective” even though the team’s performances to date had been “well below” the club’s expectations.
“I think that it is important to judge ourselves not on short term outcomes measured in weeks or even months, but rather long term outcomes, measured by many years of consistency and improvement,” Pridham said.
“We do not make excuses. We asked to be judged on our actions not our words.
“No club knows overcoming adversity more than the Swans. We came to Sydney in 1982 almost broke, and unwanted, with fewer than 3000 members. Today we have some 57,000 members, more than one million fans, amazing corporate partners led by QBE and a strong balance sheet.
We have an incredibly deep and strong base of true believers who have stuck with this club through thick and thin. A number of who are in the room today: Names like O’Halloran, Charles, Patton, McLinden, McMahon, Ralph, Warburton, Herring, Langton, Hardy, Ellis and Fairfax and of course John Mangos, Adam Spencer, Tony Squires and John Paul Young
“In 2005, we played in our first premiership in 72 years and since then we’ve made the AFL finals every year except 2009.
“So, while we have been playing well below our expectations and capability, we also know that effort brings success. We will improve.”
The comments came ahead of Sydney’s 54-point win over Brisbane in a physical Round 7 encounter at the SCG. Some 25,619 fans turned out to cheer on the red and white – with the Swans’ chairman among those enjoying a rousing rendition of the club song after the final siren.
“The whole club was really pleased with how the team responded today,” Pridham said of the win.
“The crowd was magnificent and it demonstrated what loyal and committed members and supporters we have.”