Kane Cornes wonders whether the Sydney Swans are flying under the radar heading into 2024.
After being knocked out in the first week of last year’s finals series, the Swans were active in the off-season by adding Brodie Grundy, Taylor Adams, James Jordon and Joel Hamling.
It’s clear that John Longmire’s Sydney wanted to add experience to their younger list and the aforementioned quartet certainly brings that with a combined 556 games under their belt.
The only area of concern for Cornes is their defence, but he believes the acquisition of Hamling, a premiership defender in his own right, would add great depth to the likes of Tom McCartin and Dane Rampe.
“I was looking at Sydney’s best 22 and are they flying under the radar a little bit? Because they are stacked,” Cornes said on SEN Breakfast.
“The one area of concern would be their key defenders, but Joel Hamling comes in and he’s your C-Grade backup defender and in an ideal world he’s not in your best 22, but he’s probably going to have to hold up because they’ve got Dane Rampe and Tom McCartin, and Nick Blakey can play a little bit taller as he did at stages last year.
“Everything else, particularly the midfield and small forwards, look out!”
With Lance Franklin announcing his retirement, the Swans will need a number of their young talls to take that next step and Cornes believes it’s time for Logan McDonald to shine after 44 senior games across three seasons.
“If Logan McDonald can take that next leap with no Buddy Franklin and being in his shadow then the Swans are as good a chance as any,” Cornes added.
McDonald booted 32 goals in 2023, second only to Tom Papley’s 37.
The Swans will kick off the 2024 AFL season with an Opening Round clash against Melbourne at the SCG on March 7.