MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 11: Ben Ronke of the Swans (second from left) celebrates his fifth goal with teammates during the 2018 AFL round eight match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Sydney Swans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 11, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

After crashing out in the first round of the finals in 2018, Sydney mustered just eight wins last season and ultimately missed out on September action.

This lead to ending the Swans impressive streak of making the finals for nine years in a row, while producing one premiership and three grand final appearances during that span.

So how can the Swans get back to playing finals again?

A number of things would need to go their way, such as a limited amount of injuries and suspensions. But the chances of the Swans getting back to being a finalist lies on the shoulders of three key players.

Tom McCartin 

McCartin showed plenty of promising signs during the 2019 season. But in order to take the next step, he needs to consistently hit the scoreboard and be more damaging to help take the pressure off Buddy Franklin.

Likewise, if he is used down back, he needs to help take the pressure off Aliir Aliir, their only really reliable key defender.

After not finishing in the top 10 of the Swans best and fairest last year after playing 19 games, McCartin must make major strides in 2020 to help Sydney rise back to the top.

Ben Ronke 

Ronke’s 2019 season looked to be the year where he’d take a big step forward in his career, coming off a brilliant 2018.

After making his debut in round 6, 2018, Ronke kicked 24 goals and averaged 13 disposals a game from his 18 games. However, those numbers dropped dramatically last year, as he kicked only nine goals from 13 games while averaging 10 disposals.

Ronke must provide that spark we know he can up forward and help support the likes of Tom Papley and Will Hayward. If he can get back to kicking big bags of goals, it will go a long way in helping the Swans win more games in 2020.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 28: Ben Ronke of the Swans celebrates a goal during the 2018 AFL round15 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Sydney Swans at Etihad Stadium on June 28, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Sam Naismith 

After being drafted in 2013, Naismith’s young career has been interrupted by injuries, limiting the ruckman to just 28 senior games. However, in those 28 games, Naismith has shown how damaging he can be as a big man and how valuable his support could be to Callum Sinclair.

Sinclair has been forced to take the sole ruck reigns over the last two years with Naismith sidelined, which had left Sydney being heavily disadvantaged when competing against teams with two rucks.

Now with the evolution of the game and how valuable having two ruckman has become, the tandem of Naismith and Sinclair could give Sydney a major boost. The club will be praying that the pair can remain healthy.