Whilst the general consensus is that the Swans will eventually come good with their promising crop of youngsters, there is no shying away from the fact that they had a subpar 2020.
After a fourth-bottom finish in 2019, the Swans could not improve and instead slipped to a 16th-placed conclusion to this season.
Putting aside some injuries as well as an overall lack of experience, the Swans had some horrible performances, perhaps the worst coming against the Blues where they surrendered a seven-goal lead to lose the game in the final minutes.
The young Swans kicked five unanswered second quarter goals to take the four points in Cairns against the Demons, who were in the race for a finals spot.
A 39-point lead midway through the second term should have been enough for Sydney to handle, but somehow they managed to throw it away.
This loss exposed the inexperience of the team as a whole, and coach John Longmire would have been left absolutely livid that his side dished up a second-half performance as poor as they did.
Luke Parker: Parker was consistently at the heart of everything good that the Swans did. The courageous 28-year-old was unlucky not to get a gig in the All-Australian squad and finished second in the club’s B&F. However, he finished top ten in contested possessions in the competition, displaying his incredible work around the ball.
James Rowbottom: The 2018 draftee looked in fantastic stead throughout season 2020. His clean use of the ball coupled with his effective work around the stoppage has made him a standout youngster for the club. The 20-year-old played 16 matches this year, averaging 14.8 disposals per match and 3.6 tackles.
NEEDS TO LIFT
Sam Gray: After the 28-year-old moved over from the Power at the end of last season, the forward only featured in seven matches in season 2020, kicking just the one goal and averaging 10.7 disposals. Considering he averaged 23 goals across his previous three seasons at the Power, it seems Gray needs to give more if he wants to help the Swan’s cause.
INS AND OUTS
Tom Hickey (WCE)
Pick 31 (Melbourne)
Pick 34 (WCE)
Pick 43 (Melbourne)
Pick 60 (WCE)
Aliir Aliir (Port Adelaide)
Pick 58 (Port Adelaide)
Pick 62 (Port Adelaide)
Future second round (Port Adelaide)
Future third round (WCE)
Michael Knoll (delisted)
Jack Maibaum (delisted)
Harry Reynolds (delisted)
Brady Rowles (delisted)
Ryley Stoddart (delisted)
2021 CRYSTAL BALL
Now that the Swans have effectively bottomed out, the only way from here should be up.
If youngsters like Ollie Florent, Nick Blakey and James Rowbottom keep on their upwards trajectory, it is likely we will see the Swans sniffing around the low teens in ladder position.