Belief high for Swans ahead of Crows AFLW finals clash
Joanna Guelas |
Driven by “why not us?” grit, Sydney believe they have a shot at stalling the Adelaide AFLW juggernaut.
Bolstered by a thrilling 17-point elimination-final triumph over Gold Coast, the Swans continue their fairytale season on Saturday with a trip to Norwood Oval for a semi-final against the Crows.
The odds are stacked against Sydney in their first-ever clash against the three-time premiership side, but Adelaide would be silly to underestimate the in-form second-year team.
Out-tackling the Suns 105-66 to snatch victory last time out, the Swans run hot into this weekend boasting four consecutive wins while the Crows try to regroup from their two-point loss to the Brisbane Lions.
“I feel the group now knows what’s required,” Sydney coach Scott Gowans said on Tuesday.
“We speak about it all the time – we’re having fun at the moment.
“It’s not like it’s a chore, like we’re digging holes in the middle of a road somewhere.
“We’re actually doing a fun thing and we just take the momentum and we just go with it.
“They’re (Adelaide) the best at grabbing momentum and squashing you like a bug, but we’re super excited and can’t wait to get over there.”
The Swans’ astute off-season recruitment has paid immediate dividends, helping to transform the team from their winless debut season.
Co-captain and former Collingwood star Chloe Molloy has consistently lifted the red and white to victory, with a total of 66 score involvements and 17 goals in the regular season.
Powerhouse midfielder Laura Gardiner has shone since leaving Geelong, averaging 29 disposals a game, while former Carlton player and co-captain Lucy McEvoy has been a brick wall in defence.
But it’s the team’s off-field connection that Gowans credits as the spark behind this year’s success.
“It’s more the off-field that’s created the on-field,” he said.
“It’s very much a big family – a few of them don’t even bother asking to come to dinner. They just turn up and walk in.
“Because a lot of them are living away from home, you’re forced to have your friends your connections at the club and that really fast tracks your learning and your development.
“Those bonds that you form and the ability to learn together – it’s undervalued.”
Sydney will be without prolific goalkicker Bec Privitelli after the club confirmed on Tuesday the forward had suffered a Lisfranc injury.
Privitelli limped off in the first term against the Suns with an ankle injury after kicking the Swans’ first goal.AAP