Swans wary of Cats side packed with 'serious talent'
LIVING on the edge for the past five months has the Sydney Swans primed for a tilt at that elusive premiership.
The Swans must win three cut-throat finals just to make a third grand final in three years.
But after a 0-6 start to the season, they have become accustomed to playing for their lives, says young midfielder-forward George Hewett.
"I wouldn't say that we're more switched on ... we're obviously switched on all the time,” he said.
"But there's that feeling in the back of your mind knowing that it's pretty much do or die every game.
"Obviously we put ourselves in that position. We had to bring ourselves back out of it.
"I've felt like we've been a bit more focused at training, which has been huge because that's where you get your confidence from when you're not playing footy on game day.”
The Swans are desperate to claim a first flag since 2012, after grand final defeats in 2014 and 2016. But lose tonight in their sudden-death semi-final against Geelong at the MCG and it's all over.
They take great confidence knowing they've beaten the Cats the past three times they've met - two in Geelong and one at the 'G - but the Swans won't underestimate their opponents.
"It's going to take a massive effort because they've obviously got some serious talent,” Hewett said.
Hewett knows only too well, having been assigned a run-with role on Joel Selwood in round 20, before the Cats skipper went down with an ankle injury that is still hampering him.
Hewett is expecting to return to his usual position across half-forward and as the "fourth or fifth” midfielder tonight.
Both Swans captain Josh Kennedy and Cats star Patrick Dangerfield missed that last clash, but the on-ball behemoths will be front and centre tonight.
"So I think it'll be more midfielders head to head,” Hewett said.
Hewett, in his second season and still largely unheralded, will still be a key man. He's ranked third for tackles and clearances at the club this season.
"You play your role and you're going to keep getting a game whatever it is,” said Hewett, yet to be dropped since debuting in round one, 2016.
While Hewett runs out for game No.48, teammate Jarrad McVeigh steps out for his 300th.
"He's just so important for us wherever he is in the team,” Hewett said.
"He's been around for a long time. His voice and direction is - besides Ramps (Dane Rampe) - as good as anyone's that I've come across.”