Swans Take On Malthouses Blues

Picture: Anthony Reginato/dailytelegraph.com.au
Josh Kennedy will turn out for the Swans on Sunday. Image courtesy of dailytelegraph.com.au/Anthony Reginato
Sydney doesn’t have to stray far from the SCG when it turns out for the first time since lifting the AFL Premiership trophy in September last year. The Swans take on crosstown rival Greater Western Sydney at Blacktown, along with a rejuvenated Carlton with Mick Malthouse now in charge.

Now aged 33, Adam Goodes won’t be making an appearance in either match as the Swans try to squeeze a couple more seasons out of their champion. There are plenty of premiership players in the Bloods’ squad, as well as a couple of sets of brothers; Brandon Jack joins brother Kieren in senior footy, but without the same fanfare as his older sibling, while Xavier Richards may play alongside brother Ted in the Swans’ backline. Fans should get a look at Sydney’s father/son pick from 2011, with Tom Mitchell, son of Swans great Barry, getting his opportunity after battling a knee injury last season.

Expectations are high that Mick Malthouse will bring some long overdue success to Carlton. Brett Ratten’s outfit didn’t start well in the competition last year losing their two short-form matches to Port Adelaide and Adelaide, but Malthouse has picked a relatively strong squad including captaincy candidates Adrian Carrazzo, Marc Murphy, Kade Simpson and Nick Duigan. Big guns Chris Judd and Matthew Kreuzer will have to wait until later in the competition to make their first appearances in 2013.

The big interest in the GWS Giants will be in viewing top draft pick Lachie Whitfield take to the field for the first time in senior footy. Labelled as one of the most complete players to be drafted in recent years, Whitfield will be joined by fellow 2012 picks Lachie Plowman and Aidan Corr. Former Hawk Stephen Gilham makes his debut in Giants colours, while Setanta o’Hailpin makes his comeback from a knee reconstruction. Knee injuries have kept out co-captain Callan Ward, veteran Chad Cornes and exciting young midfielder Dom Tyson.

GWS lost both of its short round robin matches last season, and the new boys will try to break their duck in the first match of the afternoon at Blacktown against Carlton . The Blues lost all five matches in the NAB Cup in 2012 and they’ll be looking to amend that record when they take on Sydney second up, before the Swans and Giants face off in the Sydney derby. 

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