Brodie Grundy at Sydney training. Picture: Joshua Davis

Brodie Grundy at Sydney training. Picture: Joshua Davis

How will Sydney's experience impact their 2024 season?

The Swans, who made a last minute dash into the finals to finish off their 2023 campaign, have a benefit that not every team vying for the premiership can boast – a list full of Grand Final experience.

Despite falling to as low as 15th in round 17 last season, they had what it took to claw their way back up the ladder – a trend which their sidelined captain Callum Mills hopes to see continue in 2024. 

“We’ve got really exciting footy in us and a brand that we really think can push to the end of the season,” he said.

Reflecting on that fateful 2022 Grand Final appearance, Mills said they’ll use their learnings to propel themselves forward this year. 

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It was not too long ago that his side were responsible for the finals exit of Collingwood – the team that went on to secure the premiership in 2023.

It shows that Sydney isn’t far off the mark, and with it’s off-season acquisitions, many have it tipped to push for the last Saturday in September once again.

“I think you take a lot away from [the loss] and as hard as it is, it’s the reality and you’ve got to learn to go again,” Mills said. 

“I think we have genuine belief with that and that’s probably the most important thing, now it’s just about getting the season started and being able to prove what we can do.”

This off-season has seen many changes for Mills’ side, and whilst one of those has been learning to function without him for a while on-field, another has been the experienced new recruits impacting a young Swans outfit. 

“It’s awesome, I think they’ve got different experiences,” he said.

“They’ve all had different journeys through the AFL and to be able to draw that out of them is really exciting because it’s a different perspective.”

This point of difference is poignant in particular to the Swans as they boast a large number of players, including Mills, who are products of the Swans Academy. 

Adding an extra layer of on-field, off-field, pathway and life experience will only assist in growing the Swans’ abilities in every capacity – Mills believes this alone might be enough to elevate Sydney to the next level.

“I think it is just the balance to our youth – we’ve got a really great young group that are exciting, as I mentioned before, and to be able to sprinkle it with a bit of experience so to say is really nice,” he said.

“I think it’ll really compliment what we’re trying to do as a club and as a team.”

Sydney’s campaign will begin against Melbourne in tonight’s season opener, with the AFL Season officially commencing at 6:30pm at the SCG.

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