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Bevo in brief: R1 pre-game

Press Conference | Luke Beveridge (Rd1) With the first game of the season tomorrow night, senior coach Luke Beveridge spoke with the media to preview the Swans v Bulldogs clash

Bevo in brief: R1 pre-game
Missed Bevo’s pre-game press conference? Here are some of the key bits…

JLT Community Series + Expectations for 2019…

“I understand it – we’ve lost to Gold Coast, we’ve lost to St Kilda in the JLT. I don’t think that really reflects our capabilities. I’d like to think that halfway through the year, we’re not in those bottom half a dozen or so that you speak about, and we’re firmly in the mix and higher up the ladder.”

Tim English…

“He’s a young man who’s still got a significant amount of development in him. As has been written and reported, he’s put on a fair bit of weight and he’s progressing into a mature AFL footballer. It will be a test for him, against (Callum) Sinclair who’s a pretty strong young man now and is reasonably experienced. There’s a lot of promise there. It’s a borderline selection between him and Jacko Trengove, Tim gets it this week and hopefully he plays really well.”

Tall v small…

“Our 22 on paper looks probably a little bit undersized compared to Sydney’s, so there will be some challenges. There’s always some vulnerabilities every time you run out, but the boys have prepared extremely well… We’re well rehearsed and really well prepared, and I believe we’ll really test the Swans out on Saturday night.”

Aaron Naughton…

“If you get to know Aaron, he wants to take on the world. You put an opportunity in front of him, and all you see is a twinkle in his eye. I know it will continue to be talked about and debated. As you saw in Ballarat, he kicked three goals and we didn’t play well. The promise of what they could look like when we’re all gelling as a team… everything about him says he could be a prolific key forward.”

“The thing at the moment is, are we robbing Peter to pay Paul? Do we need him back? We want to develop a winning forward structure, we think him and Josh Schache will work well together – and add to that Lloydy, Tory, Billy Gowers, and you’ve got to remember Marcus Bontempelli’s six foot four-and-a-half and 97 kilos. He’s a key position player in his own right playing in the midfield.”

Would you wear a ‘Thor-inspired’ polo?

“If there was, I’d wear it – as a kid, I loved Thor.”

Bailey Smith…

“I just asked him what the overriding emotion was, excitement or nervousness. He said probably excitement, but I think he was unsure. As far as an 18-year-old goes, he’s a very strong and mature 18-year-old who seems like he’s totally ready physically for the game already.

“We haven’t played him for four quarters in the two JLT games, we’ve just really given him a lick and a sniff of it. We’ve seen enough to want to get him started straight away. We’re projecting and thinking what we’ll look like with him playing his best footy, and we’re excited by what that will be.”

Avenues to goal?

If you have a look at the personnel who will be playing in our forward line, we’ve got plenty of capable goalkickers. In the most recent outings against Gold Coast and the Saints, it hasn’t necessarily been our forwards (at fault).”

“I’ve been happy enough with the patterns and how they’ve worked together, it’s just our overall ball use has been pretty marginal – we need an improvement on that. We think we’ll find it.

“If you look through our 22, the vast majority of our players are very good kicks, so we’ll look to see that come out. If we use the footy well and have a good balance with not putting ourselves under pressure and finding teammates in space, I’m sure we’ll kick a good score.”

Tom Liberatore…

Libba’s had some big challenges, as you know – coming off the second reco, and some of the fallout after success.”

“How he’s come back and applied himself and the way he looks and the impact he’s having in the dressing room, we’re rapt with the fact that we’ve got him, that he’s up and going and what his game might look like on Saturday night and how we might challenge Sydney in the clinches.

“He’s always helped his teammates walk a bit taller, and I’ve got no doubt that’ll really help tomorrow night.”

Replacing Dale Morris…

There’s a couple of key position players knocking on the door.”

“The obvious and probably more systematic thing to do would be to replace Dale (Morris) with a key defender, but I think they look a bit bigger on paper than they actually will be as far as their forward line goes.

“It might be whoever blinks first.”

Thoughts on the guernsey?

“There’s a bit of novelty about it with Marvel Stadium… the boys are looking forward to wearing the jumpers, we think they look pretty good actually. Especially when they’re all together and running around out there. Hopefully some of those superpowers that Thor has come out in the way we play… we’ll see what happens.”