17/04/2024
Isaac Heeney

Isaac Heeney has been in rare form for Sydney to start the season: Picture Joshua Davis/The Inner Sanctum

“I’ve been on the record as saying he’s got great ability at the moment to know where and when to change it up and he’s got the license to be able to do it, and he’s been doing it really well.

Few players have been enjoying the start to the season Isaac Heeney has had for Sydney, who is in a new role to start 2024.

The 27-year-old has taken to his midfield role like a duck to water and with Taylor Adams, Luke Parker and Callum Mills all unavailable, Heeney has stepped up to lead the engine room for the Swans.

However, as coach John Longmire explains, this was not a role born out of necessity.

“He did all of pre-season in the midfield, so he’s been training there all summer,” he said.

“The plan was to play him a bit more in the midfield this year, and certainly in the first part of the year that’s what he’s been doing and he’s doing it really well.

“He also kicked a goal mid-forward when he went deep, he can go to the goal square and he can take marks in the goal square as well.

“I’ve been on the record as saying he’s got great ability at the moment to know where and when to change it up and he’s got the license to be able to do it, and he’s been doing it really well.

“As I’ve said many times, he’s an All-Australian half-forward so wherever he goes, he’s just a good player.”

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Sydney will be looking to keep its undefeated season intact against Essendon at home on Saturday night, with the Bombers a notoriously tough opponent and also coming off a round one win against Hawthorn.

“They were good – Essendon footy club, they’ve got real depth in their team, they’ve got young midfielders, we saw that last week, their midfield group was really good,” Longmire said.

“[Todd] Goldstein was important for them, [Jake] Stringer’s a super player front of centre for them, so they’ve got some real threats all over the ground.

“They’ve got some recruits, recruits that they needed over the summer months – they were stoked with their win and rightly so, they played really well against the Hawks.

“Hopefully, it’s a big crowd here [at the SCG]. Looking forward to it.”

Sydney takes on Essendon at 7:30pm AEDT Saturday night at the SCG.

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