Full flight: Lewis Jetta might be given more time on the training field. Photo: Sebastian CostanzoLewis Jetta is not considered a certainty to make a senior return against Hawthorn despite a strong comeback in the reserves, as Sydney aim to snap their winless run against the competition’s top four in Friday night’s qualifying final.
The reigning premiers remain concerned at Jetta’s lack of match conditioning and are considering whether to rush him back this week or give him at least another fortnight on the training track before recalling him for their second final.
Jetta has not played in the seniors for three months but he pleased Swans coach John Longmire on the weekend with his offensive and defensive play, amassing 16 possessions, two tackles and a goal from about 55 minutes of game time in the NEAFL.
Jetta will not play any game this week if he misses out on a senior recall as the Swans reserves have a bye after winning their semi-final.
”It was just his first run, it’s a fair way from playing yesterday to an AFL final on Friday night against Hawthorn,” Longmire said. ”Whether we think he’s able to come in and play as a sub we’ll have to work out or do we give him another couple of weeks of training?
”If he doesn’t play this week and he gets another couple of weeks of good solid training under his belt he’d be better prepared for the week after and that’s what we’ll have to sit down and work out.”
Longmire said Nick Smith, Dan Hannebery and Kurt Tippett would all play barring any mishaps at training. Adam Goodes will not face the Hawks but remains in contention to feature later in the Swans’ finals campaign after training strongly on Friday.
”He had a big running session on Friday and ran the best he has since he got injured,” Longmire said. ”He felt really good, ran really well and pulled up afterwards really well. He was really pleased what he did Friday, which is a good sign … We’re going to try and run him more this week with the view of training him next week.”
Lewis Roberts-Thomson did not play on the weekend, and his chance of a recall is likely to depend on injury to another player.
”We didn’t want to be rushed into it yesterday and force him to get an injury just for the sake of playing and getting 30-40 minutes of game time,” Longmire said.
The Swans enter the finals with a double chance but are yet to beat any side ranked in the top four. They have lost twice each to Hawthorn and Geelong and drew against Fremantle. Their record against other finalists is also modest with three wins, against Richmond, Collingwood and Carlton, and a draw from 10 games.
Geelong, with five wins from as many games, have the best record of any finalist against the top four.
Longmire said the club’s long injury list this season, which has not allowed them to field any more than 16 players from last year’s grand final since the bye, was a factor but was confident his team would lift in the finals.
”What we do know is when we bring our hard pressure game we’re competitive, that’s our challenge to do it this week,” Longmire said. ”There’s no doubt we’ll have some players that haven’t played much finals in our team but we also have some players who have played a lot of finals footy in our team. We know the season starts now and that’s what we’re focusing on.”
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.