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We’re for Sydney

Published: September 15 2018 – 10:29AM

Across the city, the Sydney Swans celebrate winning the AFL championships with pride and celebration. Heading to a “standing ovation”, fans line the streets as the “Sydney eight” fly out of the stadium, before thousands more cheer them on down Darling Street.

It was “Sydney” that dominated the debate during the final season of the five-year grand final grudge match between the Swans and Geelong.

“I came to this game to win, and to celebrate,” arch-rival John Longmire said.

That desire was evident when Joel Selwood told the camera “Sydney for me” – something he had made known on numerous occasions.

The swans are five premierships shy of the maroon end of the finish line.

There have been mixed feelings in Sydney about this idea of what the game is about. I might have disagreed with the chant at the SCG. It isn’t what I intended and I don’t think it was a positive thing to say.

There are clubs with strong standing in their community that will never be associated with the blues. Because of their breed, they grow up on it, love it and aspire to win and play in the best club in the world.

The idea of a “Sydney” club has been so ingrained in our country that it’s not needed anymore. So do teams from even broader divides of race and religion that might not want to see Sydney capture a world prize – like, say, football’s Rugby World Cup – but can’t do without it anyway.

The Swans are the club of “all boats”. Not just from the west. They’re the national force in AFLW, their partnership with the AFL to play a major role in the league won’t be forgotten.

A team that’s the most comprehensive and successful of any of the major sides in their zone but few are aware they’ve won a premiership. That’s a turning point in the history of the game and, with Geelong showing incredible belief they can’t afford a repeat of last year’s incident, they could win the premiership by a point or more.

That being said, the 12-year gap from Geelong’s final appearance is massive. More than the losses, Geelong also has the disappointing footnote of being 0-12 that confirms it’s not finished yet. Without those subsequent loss to Collingwood when the Cats lost nine of their final 10 games, they’d get an incredible 18 points, which would be two more than they secured against the Swans.

Can they beat the Swans and not only win the premiership but return to the elite for a record-breaking 18th time?

The right idea isn’t about achieving the goal. That idea is about celebrating it and getting the pursuit of victory under way.

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