As part of a club-by-club series, we look at Paul Roos’ valiant attempts to avoid the dreaded bottoming out.
Live selections: 6, 14, 38, 54, 55, 81
Rookie promotion selections: 90 (Kristin Thornton)
The bloodless handover of the Swans coaching job from Paul Roos to John Longmire may not have got nearly as much press as the Collingwood power transfer, but it will probably have more impact on club fortunes than the Malthouse-to-Buckley succession. Not to be outdone by Richmond’s player turnover rate of 14 this offseason, the Swans have had six retirements, three trade-outs and six delistings for a total of 15, only two of which were not from the senior list. Four trade-ins and one rookie elevation leaves six draft picks and more room on the rookie list, even with four rookie retentions.
Despite all this turmoil, some parts of the depth charts remain relatively calm. The backline loses Leo Barry, though his 2009 contribution wasn’t great, as well as Jared Crouch, but regains Tadhg Kennelly from his Gaelic holiday. The midfield is also relatively unscathed, with Amon Buchanan and Josh P. Kennedy.
The major overhauls are to the ruck division, where Darren Jolly is to be replaced by a tandem of Mark Seaby and Shane Mumford, and the forward line, which has had a Barry Hall-sized bomb put under it. The Swan forward structure in future, after some dalliances with Ed Barlow, is likely to solidify around Adam Goodes as permanent centre half forward with Jesse White at full-forward, with Lewis Johnston groomed to climb up the depth chart past the decidedly average Heath Grundy and aforementioned Barlow. Ryan O’Keefe has long since moved up the ground to be a permanent midfielder, so the smaller forward duties will be shared between Patrick Veszpremi, who had a slightly disappointing 2009 but should do better in his third year, along with Jarred Moore and perhaps some zero-gamers.
Much will depend from a fantasy perspective on who the Swans pick at #6. Emma Quayle, Matt Burgan and the BigFooty crew all have someone different. One good option for fantasy would be Gary Rohan, a ready-made replacement for Michael O’Loughlin who could score in the Mitch Robinson range. The Swans would be hoping Ben Cunnington drops past Fremantle at #4 and North Melbourne at #5, and fantasy coaches would enjoy it too if he is classified as a forward.