Errol Gulden

Could Errol Gulden be the spark that secures finals for Sydney? Picture @sydneyswans on X

After a best-on-ground performance that saw him awarded the Brett Kirk Medal in the Sydney Derby, Errol Gulden’s stock has reached new heights in the AFL.

Gulden had 32 disposals and kicked two goals to help the Swans get over the GWS Giants and keep them in the finals hunt.

But feats of individual brilliance, such as the goal that saw him earn his second consecutive weekly nomination for Goal of the Year, are just scratching the surface, as coach John Longmire explains.

“He works really hard at his game,” Longmire said.

“We showed some vision, not of him kicking any goals, but of him working so hard off the ball, and playing his role really well and being down in defence.

“He’s got a great attribute in that space, as far as [being] a two-way runner. He works just as hard in defence as in attack, and that’s what makes him a very good player.

“He works really hard at his game; you have to kick him off the track most days. He’s got a good head on his shoulders.”

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The win keeps the Swans in touch going into Round 22, but they face a potential banana peel in the Gold Coast Suns, who have beaten them three out of the last four times the two sides have faced off at the SCG, and Longmire is well aware of the challenge his side faces.

“The Suns are a really strong contested ball team, they’re fantastic around clearances [and] they’ve got a dominant ruckman,” he said.

“With a dominant ruck, and [Matt] Rowell, [Noah] Anderson, [and] Touk Miller to come back in, they’re really good players, and we’ll have to be really strong around the footy in the midfield, there’s no doubt that’ll be a big battle.

“The way they’re so strong in [the] contest and so strong in clearance means that we’ll have to be at our best to try and combat that and give our forwards a chance.

“We feel like we can score if we get in front of the ball, get it in our forward line enough, but we’ve gotta be strong at the contest. That will be our challenge.

“It’s going to be a real challenge, their best footy is really good, [and] we hope our best footy is good enough.”

Sydney hosts Gold Coast at the SCG on Saturday afternoon.

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