The Sydney Swans have been a dominant force for many years. During both the Roos and Longmire eras, the Swans have found themselves in 6 grand finals in the last 20 years. It is a rare season indeed where they are not contending deep into finals. They join Hawthorn as the most successful clubs of the modern era in terms of their vast period of dominance.
But underneath all this lies a sense of unfulfillment perhaps, as Sydney have only netted 2 flags out of the aforementioned 6 Grand Final appearances. The burning pain of losing Grand Finals has been a burden this club knows only too well. The difficulty for Sydney lies in the fact that they cannot “bottom out” as other clubs have done after a sustained period of success. The Swans cant afford it, and neither can the AFL, with the club based in the heart of league land, as well as the rise of GWS in recent years.
Other clubs can certainly take a leaf out of the Swans book, with the way they have rebuilt the club after most of the 2012 premiership players have moved on, while still managing to anchor themselves in the top 4. The Sydney Swans have surrounded young talent with veteran players and strong leadership to produce results. A simple plan, but how effective has it been over the years. If the Swans are to bury the demons of lost Grand Finals in 2017, then only one win matters, that’s winning on the last day of the season. Minor premierships and huge percentages mean little in the grand scheme of things.
It will be to interesting to see if they can get over the bitter disappointment of last year, and go one better for the flag. I’ve got them in the Top 2, but they dont tend to perform on the big stage the way Hawthorn has in the past.