By Roy Horgan
This coming Saturday at RMIT the Swannies will be looking for some revenge against good friends and close rivals the Eagles after being absolutely belted last year in Phnom Penh, as well as suffering a close loss to them at home. The Eagles always tour over here with a strong squad and, after last year’s results, the Eagles will be extremely confident.
It’s a new season though and the 2 months hiatus from footy looks to have really rejuvenated the Swannies. All the boys are coming back from the break pumped up for a big year. New coach “Rocket” has got the squad looking primed for this first match of the season: numbers at training have been stellar, as too the intensity and attitude throughout some new drills and the compulsory #scratchie. A couple of very handy off-season recruits have also added to the strength of our lineup.
What Can We Expect??
As always, the games against the Eagles are hotly contested and fast paced and I expect this weekend to be no different. Cambodia are hard at it on the inside and with the pace on the outside of their local Khmer boys they’re able to constantly apply pressure on their opponents and cause turnovers and score from them. However, I see the Swannies having a real advantage down back with an experienced, tough and skillful backline that will look to set up attacking plays to drive us forward. Billy, Nath and Gus will be crucial back there with their ball winning ability and sublime foot skills.
Seany Millner will be leading us in the midfield alongside ruck man Jimmy B and new comer Micka should slot in there nicely. They’ll have their work cut out for them against the Eagles midfielders though, and it should be a hell of a battle! Up forward the Swans will be going for a different look forward line with plenty of pace and attacking flair which could really trouble their opponents if the supply from further up the field is good.
What’s New for 2018?
As usual at the start of a new season there are a few blokes that catch the eye. I’m expecting big things from these 3 fellas this weekend…
“Rocket” Rod White…
New coach Rocket is constantly a star out on town rocking the most heinous pair of silver disco shoes you’ll ever see. Good thing his coaching skills are a hell of a lot better than his dress sense as he’s been leading the boys at training with a great intensity and structure. Has the full respect of the playing group and you can see the boys already really starting to gel on and off the track because of it.
Micka “The Player” Matthews…
In between hitting on his Vietnamese language teachers (I’ve heard he gets a different teacher each week), Micka’s been tearing it up during trainings and has been one of the best performers at the Elephant post-training beering (and Tequila) sessions. New to the Swannies this year, Micka has yet to miss a training session and his hard-at-it attitude, silky kicking skills and loud voice around the packs has been a very welcome addition to the squad.
Vinh “The Pocket Rocket” Quang Le
After a very solid end to last season, Vinh #2 has continued to improve and is looking set for a ripper season. He had an awesome game against the Eagles last year at RMIT, and little Vinh will be looking to replicate that performance and get amongst the goal kickers yet again. With plenty of pace and a tonne of courage we’re all looking forward to seeing Vinh crumbing off the packs up forward.