Ins: Lance Franklin from Hawthorn, Jeremy Laidler from Carlton.
Outs: Shane Mumford to GWS, Jessie White to Collingwood, Andrejas Everitt to Carlton, Jude Bolton (retired).
2013 Record – 4th on ladder – 20 points – 15 wins, 6 losses, 1 draw).
Positive: 1st in tackles, 2nd in handballs, 2nd in points conceded.
Negative: 15th in disposals conceded, 14th in marks conceded, 12th in kicks conceded.
The Swans lost all 6 games last season against other top 4 sides including by 37 points against Hawthorn in round 7, 44 points by Geelong in round 22 and by 54 points to the Hawks in the qualifying final.
They won all 12 matches against teams that did not make the finals so it’s abundantly clear where they need to improve.
In Buddy Franklin they have made the biggest signing of all and Swans fans will be hoping that he can combine effectively with Kurt Tippett up front. Franklin formed a lethal pairing with a similar type of player to Tippett in Jarryd Roughead at Hawthorn so there’s no apparent reason why this combination won’t work. Where the very talented Sam Reid fits into the equation is not yet clear.
A closer look at Buddy’s stats over the past 3 seasons could give a slight worry to Swans fans.
His stats for handballs were down from an average of 6.9 in 2011 to 5.5 in 2013, disposals were down from 18.2 to 15.7 and most importantly his goals were down from an average 3.7 per game to 2.9 in 2013.
On the face of it these are not the sort of progressive numbers I’d be looking for when talking about 9 year contracts.
The retirement of Jude Bolton would hit most teams hard but with Kieran Jack, Jarrad McVeigh, Ryan O’Keefe and Daniel Hannebury in their midfield they should not suffer too much.
Mike Pyke will be shouldering most of the rucking responsibilities with the departure of Shane Mumford to GWS while the fitness and form of 30+ stars Adam Goodes and Teddy Richards will also be key. The thought of a fit and in form Adam Goodes linking up with Buddy Franklin is a mouth watering one for Swans fans and neutrals alike.
The Swans’ draw has them facing Hawthorn home and away with SGC clashes against Fremantle in round 4 and Geelong in round 11. These matches will decide the top 2 fate of the Swans.
Buddy brings not only his ego to the party but a set of regressive stats to go with it. He won’t gel with Tippett and they could struggle to even make the finals let alone win the flag. $8 to finish out of the top 8 with SPORTSBET