Kieren Jack has had a tough 2017. Picture: Phil Hillyard/News Corp Australia
Kieren Jack has had a tough 2017. Picture: Phil Hillyard/News Corp Australia

Swans to consider all options to rejuvenate list

THE Sydney Swans have vowed to keep all options open when it comes to rejuvenating their faltering list.

Stars Kieren Jack and Kurt Tippett are under the microscope heading into Thursday night's grand final rematch at the SCG against the Bulldogs as leading ex-players start to pick holes in a roster that is lacking in depth.

Sydney have missed the finals only once in the past 12 years. Their proud dynasty of success is built on an ability to always keep one eye on the future. At the end of this season, chief executive Andrew Ireland has again promised to be as "active" in the marketplace as possible.

Ireland has got behind big names Jack and Tippett, and while the Swans might not be in the business of putting their struggling players under the gun, they are a club that makes no compromises on the hard decisions that must be made for team success.

"I think most players are better when they feel a sense of security around their position at the club,'' Ireland said.

"It doesn't mean their careers will go on forever but we'll look at what we need to do in terms of the list at the end of the year.

"I'm sure that will mean there will be some players that finish with us because that's what happens every year. That's what you have to do to go to the draft.

"We'll look to see if there are players out there in the system who might want to change clubs and we'll look at all the avenues that we've got available to us.

"I'm sure we'll be as active as we can be in terms of trying to build the list, but using all the mechanisms that are available."

 

Kurt Tippett takes part in a Swans training session in Sydney
Kurt Tippett takes part in a Swans training session in Sydney PAUL MILLER

Ireland admits Tippett's form has been disappointing but lamented the effect that injury has had on the progress of the ruckman and Jack.

"Sometimes you read things that guys are playing for their careers and the like,'' he said. "I've always had a view that seldom helps players.

"In retrospect we would have been better to give (Jack) a better break (after a hip injury in pre-season). I think Kieren is going to show he's still got plenty of good footy left in him.

"Kurt would say he hasn't played as well as he would have wanted to. But that said, the first half of last year he was probably as good a ruckman as there was going around in the competition.

"He hurt his knee and came back and got the broken jaw, which made the back half of the season pretty tough for him. All of us would love ... if he could get a good run at it without the injuries.

"But he'd admit, and we're open to the fact that Kurt hasn't played as well as we'd hoped."

Speaking at an event to announce major sponsor Citi has recommitted for another two seasons, Ireland is perhaps less concerned than he once was about the Swans' footprint in Sydney falling away.

However, he's adamant AFL clubs can't afford to be down for long and as the Swans fight a near improbable battle to keep their finals hopes alive, it's inevitable that club powerbrokers must soon turn their attention to the moves they must make to ensure this isn't the end of a great era.

"(For any team) the reality is if you don't perform and you don't perform for an extended period of time, it will have an impact on your business," Ireland said. "Because at the core, you're putting a football team out to play good footy.

"I reckon it's disrespectful a bit to the competition to expect it's going to be (going smoothly) forever. I think it's the most equal competition we've seen for a while."

News Corp Australia


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