The Swans are confident in their growing reliance on youth this season following the departures of key personnel.

A 'next man up' mentality could be a catalyst in Sydney's journey toward premiership contention, having amassed a top-eight finish last year while their list ranked among the bottom half of the competition for age and experience.

Having lost key pair Jordan Dawson and George Hewett in the off-season, the Swans will see a plethora of young players stake their claim for senior spots in 2022.

The duo's absence will allow Sydney to flex the versatility their list boasts, aiding the development of several emerging players.

"It just gives an opportunity for a whole range of players to play different roles and positions," Swans defender Will Gould told Zero Hanger. 

"While they were big losses, I think that we've got a pretty interchangeable list and flexible list where we can have different players play different roles, moving back and forth and [through the middle].

RELATED: Gould ready to "take the next step" 

"It'll be a good opportunity for younger boys to step up, but I think we'll cover the gaps fine."

While Dawson and Hewett headlined a list of departures at Sydney, the club were able to add Port Adelaide ruckman Peter Ladhams through the trade period.

Ladhams featured on 32 occasions for the South Australian club to show enough nous to satisfy the Swans' ruck and forward needs.

The 24-year-old's addition has lifted the club's healthy competition for ruck spots, with veteran tall Tom Hickey having held first-string ruck duties last year in enjoying a career-best campaign.

Former Eagle Callum Sinclair and athletic pair Joel Amartey and Hayden McLean will continue to contend for key positions spots on John Longmire's magnets board along with Ladhams and Hickey.

"It's always good to have competition," Gould added.

"They're all working very well together. They work closely as well as fighting for spots and bring the best out of each other, they want to help, teach and grow together.

"It's good having a nice group of rucks and the talls [around the ground] in Joel Amartey and Hayden McLean as well. All the big boys are doing well."

The Swans will be without Sam Naismith for 2022 however, with the 29-year-old moved to the club's inactive list this week.

Having played just two games since 2017 and facing several more months in rehab, the club have placed the luckless tall on cotton wool for the year.

The news adds to a frustrating career for Naismith, who has undergone three knee reconstructions across his career.

Despite facing another season on the sidelines, Naismith will continue to work through his recuperation in hope of returning to the Swans' side in the future.

"[It was] very disappointing news for Sam, knowing that he has ruled out for the year is tough but he has been incredibly resilient over past years while rehabbing and I don’t think that will change," Gould said on his roommate.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 04: Sam Naismith of the Swans trains during a Sydney Swans AFL training session at Sydney Cricket Ground on July 4, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

"He’s determined to get back to full fitness and be able to play at the highest level again. Sam’s an incredible person and I’m sure he’ll continue to be positive and work his way through rehab.

"His goal is to get back and play. [Sam] will look take it as slow as possible and not rush through things.

"We get it 110% right before starting playing again, so he's going through al the right rehab. Going through all the right rehab and doing strength testing. He's going really well."

The Swans' list has begun to take shape this pre-season as they look to record successive finals finishes whilst still placing a focus on the development of their younger players.

The Harbour City side were able to add further emerging talent through last November's National Draft, recruiting Angus Sheldrick (Pick 18), Matthew Roberts (24), Corey Warner (40) and Lachie Rankin (58).

The new Sydney quartet have all flocked to New South Wales from other states, with Sheldrick and Warner venturing from Western Australia and Rankin from Victoria.

Like Gould, Roberts heads to the Swans from South Australia after a promising draft year, with all four rookies catching the eye of senior players this pre-season.

"Matty has gone really well," Gould said. "All the young boys really.

"We've got Chad's little brother Corey, another WA boy in Gusy, Ranks from down in Victoria, they've all settled in very, very well.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 28: Matthew Roberts of South Australia in action during the NAB AFL U19 Championships game between Western Australia and South Australia at Mineral Resources Park on August 28, 2021 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

"We went away on the weekend and took all the young boys for a little trip up the coast. That was good fun, and they're just part of the furniture now."

Warner will be the only first-year Swan not to feature in Friday's practice match clash with Greater Western Sydney in Albury, with former Saint Paddy McCartin among those set to pull on the Bloods jumper for the first time.

The Swans will continue their off-season schedule against North Melbourne next week for the AAMI Community Series, before clashing with Greater Western Sydney in the 'Battle of the Bridge' in Round 1 at Accor Stadium on Saturday, March 19.