Swan’s history-making season in jeopardy
AFL: The Yeppoon Swans’ shot at a national record is in limbo with start of the 2020 AFL Capricornia season postponed.
The five-time premiership winners were 11 victories shy of claiming the record of the most consecutive wins in AFL history.
The mantle is held by South Australian team Heathfield-Aldgate, which had 88 straight wins in the 1970s.
There are few who doubted the record was the Swans for the taking but they could be denied this year by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Swans coach Mark Wallin said it was hard to know if they would get their chance with the competition postponed until May 31.
It is unsure how the remainder of the season will play out but with the current draw the Swans will play eight fixtures and then two finals which would put them on level pegging with Heathfield-Aldgate.
“No only really knows what they’re suggesting we’ll play if and when and the competition resumes,” Wallin said.
“We might have enough games to get the record, providing we win them all, but there’s a chance it will have to be put on the backburner.”
Wallin’s first reaction to the season postponement was “disbelief”.
“It was pretty hard to fathom but, like everybody else, we didn’t realise the seriousness of it all until now,” he said.
“We’re gutted. It’s a pretty hollow feeling at the moment because we’d done so much work.
“We’d had two practice matches and done really well in both of them.
“The boys were up and about and were so looking forward to the clash against Boyne Island first up which we thought would be a ripper.
“Now we’ve basically got another pre-season ahead of us. It’s weeks before we possibly start playing again.”
The Swans were clearly primed for another big year, scoring a 103-point win over the North Mackay Saints to secure their third consecutive CQ Challenge Cup last month.
They also recruited some leading interstate talent in Victoria trio Jordie Taylor, Christian Burgess and Josh McKee.
Wallin said the players would now have to take it on themselves to stay motivated.
“I’ve left the ball in their court and, to their credit, they are trying to keep themselves fit which is good for when we do get that green light.
“They have worked really, really hard over the pre-season so I’m sure they want to maintain that.
“But a lot depends on how this develops over the next month and just what they’re able to do.
“The thing is everybody’s going to be in the same boat.”