Swans Name Three Debutants for Friday’s Grand Final
The Sydney Swans have been forced to pick three debutants for Friday’s Grand Final after suffering a massive injury crisis. Will Hayward, Nic Newman and Robbie Fox will face a real baptism of fire when the Swans face off against the Western Bulldogs in a Grand Final rematch at the Etihad Stadium on Friday night.
To make matters worse, the three young guns will make their debut against a team playing on home soil on a night when they are planning to unfurl their first flag in over 61 years. The youngest of the group is Will Howard at just 18-years-old. Both Newman and Fox have a little more football experience behind them age 24 and 23 respectively.
When asked about the challenge that awaits him, Newman said that if he isn’t ready now, he never will be. Newman firmly believes that his time in the VFL and NEAFL has prepared him for the upcoming game. Speaking to the press, Newman said that he has played some good footy in the past two years and thinks that all three players are ready for Friday’s game.
According to reports, Swans coach John Longmire picked Newman because he knew his mother was about to embark on an extended European holiday. Newman was on the cusp of selection in 2016 and was rated at the best on ground in the NEAFL Grand Final. Robbie Fox has also paid his dues playing for the Burnie Dockers in Tasmania. He clocked time playing for Aberfeldie in Essendon as well as District League before getting a chance to compete in the VFL.
Fox and Hayward Provide the Pace
Fox told reporters that he was feeling nervous but exited. He said that he was keen to get out and focus on winning. He watched the Swans lose last week and wanted to get stuck in. Fox would most likely play a similar role to Tom Papely up in the forwards line. The Tasmanian has an extremely quick pace and a mature physical presence that should be able to withstand the pressure of the Bulldogs.
Will Hayward is another lightning quick player who has shown excellent form in the JLT series. Before the JLT series, Hayward represented North Adelaide in the SANFL under-18 competition. Speaking about his upcoming match, Hayward says he is on cloud nine. Once he gets on the field though, he feels that he will be able to get into the zone and focus on playing footy.
The Swans have been plagued with injures even before Dane Rampe broke his arm. What this means is that 8 out of the 22 players who played Port Adelaide had less than 31 games under their belt. This Friday, the number will increase to 9 with Aliir Aliir in reserves and Dean Towers dropped from the team.