DET NSW School Sports Unit
063. Sydney’s AFL Team on a Roll
The Swans clash with Collingwood looms as a huge test for Sydney’s AFL team on Saturday at ANZ stadium. A crowd of 60,000 plus would not be at all unexpected. The Red and White will need to step up on Saturday evening against a team that never stops pressuring the opposition.
Sydney sits fourth on the AFL ladder and needs a win to cement their position as they have some very tough opposition on the run home to the finals. The Swans have won six matches in a row and would dearly love to make this seven because in their last encounters against Collingwood they have been defeated.
Some of the players of note on the team list are:
Paul Bevan (St Marys PS) is having a wonderful season. Paul missed most of 2007 and a deal of 2006 with injuries. Paul played in the premiership side in 2005. In 2004 Paul won Sydney’s Rising Star award and was runner up in the AFL Players Association Best First Year Player.
Kieren Jack (West Pennant Hills PS) is the son of Rugby League legend Gary Jack. Kieren plays with huge commitment and a real competitive spirit. Since his debut in 2007 Kieren has delighted Swans fans this year with his tagging and work ethic.
Henry Playfair (Holebrook PS) is a big half centre forward who has been a welcome addition to the side this year.
Brett Kirk (Lavington East PS, Murray HS) is one of Sydney’s co captains. Brett represented Australia in the International Rules Series in 2004. Brett Kirk was the leading tackler in the club and listed second in the AFL in 2007. Brett Kirk was also Best and Fairest player for Sydney in 2007.
Ben Matthews (Lowesdale PS, Corowa HS) gained zone selection for Sydney in 1995 and made his debut in 1997. Ben has played over 190 games for the club and was one of 2005 premiership team.
Craig Bird (Tomaree PS, Tomaree HS) has really started to show his ability having played in the reserves and the senior team this year. Craig joined the swans as a scholarship holder. At the U18 NABAFL Championships in 2006 Craig captained the NSW/ACT team and was named All Australian. In 2007 Craig arrived at the Swans and he wears the famous No 14 guernsey last worn by Paul Kelly.
Nick Davis (Sylvania Heights PS, Sylvania HS) is known for his accurate kicking and is a player with flair. Nick was traded to Sydney in 2002 and he played in the premiership team in 2005. Nick has been battling with form and fitness this year and is at present struggling to work himself back into the senior side.
Sydney has a large following outside of its member ship base so the match on Saturday will gender a great deal of interest in the community. Sydney will be out to avenge their last three losses to Collingwood. Good luck to all of the boys in this encounter.