Swans set for success with star signings
The Swans have recruited very well and along with their prodigious Under 18 talent coming through the ranks are definitely ready to make an impact and are tipped by many to make a statement this season.
Arguably the biggest coup by any club in recent years has been pulled off by the Swans in signing former local junior and state representative player, Evan Duryea. Duryea will join his brother, Fraser, at the club and could well be a league Best and Fairest this season, such is his talent.
Duryea has signed with the club after a stint with glamour club, Southport, in the Queensland AFL competition and boasts an impressive resume. He was a former AFL NSW/ACT Under 18 player where he held down a midfield-forward role admirably. North Coast's most impressive junior was seen in many eyes to be a potential 2006 AFL draftee. He played with the Woolgoolga club in his junior years and is renowned for his disposal efficiency of both feet and hands and is an agile player.
The club is thrilled to pick up Rob Eddy, a key position player from Pennant Hills. Eddy has formed a presence at Swans training and will be integral to the leadership of the side this season.
Shane Adams is another signing capable of playing Seniors this season. He joins the club from Lake Macquarie in the Black Diamond league where he featured in the club's 1st Division and Under 18 Grand Final losing sides last season. He also represented the Northern Heat side in the Under 18 State Trials, and like Matthew Johnson, made the Rising Rams Squad. Expect him to be prominent in ruck-rover and a centre half-forward position.
Young gun, Blake Ford, will also be returning to the club after a year's absence and should find his way into the senior side by the end of the season.
As well as this, captain-coach, Peter Chadwick is looking trim and terrificly placed to run out the season. He admittedly held the side up last year filling a number of positions but now he must have a spring in his step with all the young talent bouncing around at the present time. Dave Colman is another to be training hard according to the club.
The side, however, will be without Josh Croxton and Ben Lee; who were among the Swans' best last season. They will both be relocating to Queensland.
Expect the young players like Matthew Johnson, Zac Bullivant and Hamish Pearce to get more of a run this season in the Seniors as they continue to physically develop and become more accustomed to the rigours of first grade football.
Under 18 coaches, Scott Morgan and Tony Waterfall must also be licking their lips, such is the talent at their disposal.
Last season was hardly a memorable one for the club, after a Grand Final appearance in 2006. In that year, they were very impressive and showed no lack of aggression as they took it right up to the favourites Sawtell in the Grand Final with accurate kicking almost seeing them home.
Hopefully, the scars have cleared since then but it will be easy for the side to forget their poor performance against the Kangaroos in the Elimination Final last year where they were simply outran and outclassed.
Considering their list this season, there are no excuses for another lacklustre performance from such a well-respected club in the competition. Expect the club to entrust a lot more responsibility in their youth, and so they should, as they are the next generation ready to take over the older players that have held on and waited for such new blood to rejuvenate the club.
Greater professionalism and a suitable game plan could well see the Swans perform to the stage where they are capable of a Top 2 position on the ladder.
The Swans' time is now one feels....