Sydney Swans midfielder James Rowbottom says that he and the Swans are ready for anything and any challenge thrown at the second half of the season.
On a cold Sydney morning where mid-season draft recruit Lachlan McAndrew joined in his first training session with the main group, Rowbottom was upbeat and optimistic that the Swans would be in a position to do whatever needed to be done with little fuss to ensure the season kept rolling.
New South Wales will this weekend become the mini “hub” of Aussie Rules this weekend with 3 of the 6 scheduled games taking place in the state. While the AFL and CEO Gillon McLachlan remains adamant that hubs are a last resort option this season. McLachlan sent a video email to all players and staff detailing the AFL’s plan as the league continues to navigate its way through the most recent Coronavirus outbreak in Victoria.
Speaking to the media ahead of Sydney’s clash with St Kilda, Rowbottom and the Swans are prepared for anything.
“as we did last year, I think everyone just adapts to the situation that you’re presented with” Rowbottom said
“We just want to play footy and do the best that we can for the game. If that happens it happens”
“you prepare for it, [worst case scenario], its certainly in the back of your mind, but in terms of hubs, Gil said that its something that they don’t want to do but obviously, if it happens it happens, but we’re prepared for some longer stints on the road as we are seeing with some other clubs at the moment”
The Swans are firmly entrenched in the top 8 and are in the middle of a run of consecutive games at the SCG. With winnable games against St Kilda and Hawthorn in the lead into the mid-season bye, Rowbottom said that the extended time at home is something that the Swans have to take advantage of.
“We’re going to try make the most of it” Rowbottom said.
“this year compared to last year, I don’t think we’ve won many games at home over the last 12 months and this year we’ve put together some solid performances here”
“try make the most of the home crowd which has been really good for us this year”
The Swans have won 5 out of their 6 games at the SCG this year, reclaiming the advantage of playing at home which had been lost in previous years when they only won just over a handful of games at the venue in the previous 2 seasons.
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The Swans are hopeful to regain ruckman Tom Hickey this week after missing last week’s clash against Carlton, while Sam Naismith continues to edge ever closer to a return to the field after rupturing his ACL last season. Both teammates, Rowbottom can’t wait to see back out on the park.
“He’s sweet to go. He’s a massive part of our team and he will be really valued on the weekend” Rowbottom said.
“He’s been a massive difference to us this year, providing a big boost for us in the midfield”
“He’s getting there [Naismith] he’s putting in all the work and he just puts a smile on everyone’s faces as he goes about his business”
“It’s been a long stint on the sidelines for him but its nice to see him going well”
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