Nick Blakey

Nick Blakey's career has often soared to new heights in his road to 100 games. Picture: sydneyswans.com.au

Sydney Swans defender Nick Blakey will play game 100 on Saturday night against Adelaide, in what is essentially an elimination final for both clubs.

Blakey has often been a lone constant in the Swans back six for 2023, and coach John Longmire discussed the key attributes that have seen him rise even further this season.

“The Lizard, I’ve known him since he was born, so that makes me feel pretty old,” Longmire laughed.

“We’re very fortunate to have had the Blakey family close to us for a very long time, so it’s been fantastic to see him come right through to what he’s doing now.

“He’s an important part of our team, on and off the field, he’s got great spirit around the place, a real character. Loves being around the boys, [he’s] an important young member of our group.

“What he’s able to do on the ground is important as well, obviously people talk about his run and carry, which is terrific and important for us.

“[But] last week, in particular, he was able to defend and get some intercepts and stop the opposition in its tracks a number of times, so it’s good to see him play his 100th game.”

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Alongside Blakey, the rest of the Sydney defence will have its hands full stopping a rampaging Taylor Walker, who is currently second in the Coleman Medal race with 65 goals.

Longmire took special note of Walker’s strong form and influence that they will need to quell.

“He’s kicked almost 70 goals Tex, so he’s been in probably the best form of his career,” he said.

“It’s going to be a real challenge for whoever plays on him, to make sure that we give him the respect, first of all obviously that he deserves.

“Our players have got a lot of admiration for what he’s able to do- kick a goal from 60, 70 [metres], he can snap it out of the ruck, he can do a lot of things. He’s in great form so it’ll be a challenge for our defence.”

Sydney and Adelaide face off at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night.

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