Sydney Swans

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Sydney Swans
Sydney Swans Logo.svg
Full nameSydney Swans Limited [1] [2]
Former name(s)South Melbourne Football Club
Swans Football Club
(1982) [3]
Nickname(s)Swans, Bloods, (previously the Blood Stained Angels)
2018 season
After finals7th
Home-and-away season6th
Leading goalkicker Lance Franklin (57 goals)
Bob Skilton Medal Jake Lloyd
Club details
Founded1874 (as South Melbourne Football Club)
Colours     Red      White
Competition Australian Football League
Coach John Longmire
Captain(s) Josh Kennedy
Dane Rampe
Luke Parker
PremiershipsVFL/AFL (5): 1909, 1918, 1933 , 2005, 2012
VFA (5): 1881, 1885, 1888, 1889, 1890
South Melbourne in italics.
Ground(s) Sydney Cricket Ground (capacity: 48,000)
Training ground(s) Sydney Cricket Ground & Moore Park
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Other information
Official website
AFL current event.svg Current season

The Sydney Swans are a professional Australian rules football club which plays in the Australian Football League (AFL). Established in Melbourne as the South Melbourne Football Club in 1874, the Swans relocated to Sydney in 1982, thus making it the first club in the competition to be based outside Victoria.

Australian rules football Contact sport invented in Melbourne

Australian rules football, officially known as Australian football, or simply called Aussie rules, football or footy, is a contact sport played between two teams of eighteen players on an oval-shaped field, often a modified cricket ground. Points are scored by kicking the oval-shaped ball between goal posts or between behind posts.

Australian Football League Australian rules football competition

The Australian Football League (AFL) is the pre-eminent professional competition of Australian rules football. Through the AFL Commission, the AFL also serves as the sport's governing body, and is responsible for controlling the laws of the game. The league was founded as the Victorian Football League (VFL) as a breakaway from the previous Victorian Football Association (VFA), with its inaugural season commencing in 1897. Originally comprising only teams based in the Australian state of Victoria, the competition's name was changed to the Australian Football League for the 1990 season, after expanding to other states throughout the 1980s.

Melbourne City in Victoria, Australia

Melbourne is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Its name refers to an urban agglomeration of 9,992.5 km2 (3,858.1 sq mi), comprising a metropolitan area with 31 municipalities, and is also the common name for its city centre. The city occupies much of the coastline of Port Phillip bay and spreads into the hinterlands towards the Dandenong and Macedon ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. It has a population of approximately 5 million, and its inhabitants are referred to as "Melburnians".


Initially playing in the Victorian Football Association (VFA), the Swans joined seven other clubs in founding the breakaway Victorian Football League (now known as the AFL) in 1896. It won premierships in 1909, 1918 and 1933 before experiencing a 72-year premiership drought—the longest in the competition's history. The club broke the drought in 2005 and won another premiership in 2012.

Victorian Football League

The Victorian Football League (VFL) is the major state-level Australian rules football league in Victoria. The league evolved from the former Victorian Football Association (VFA), and has been known by its current name since 1996. For historical purposes, the present VFL is sometimes referred to as the VFA/VFL, to distinguish it from the present day Australian Football League, which was known until 1990 as the Victorian Football League and is sometimes referred to as the VFL/AFL.

The 1909 VFL Grand Final was an Australian rules football game contested between the Carlton Football Club and South Melbourne Football Club, held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne on 2 October 1909. It was the 12th annual Grand Final of the Victorian Football League, staged to determine the premiers for the 1909 VFL season. The match, attended by 37,759 spectators, was won by South Melbourne by two points, marking that club's first premiership victory.

The 1918 VFL Grand Final was an Australian rules football game contested between the South Melbourne Football Club and Collingwood Football Club, held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne on 7 September 1918. It was the 22nd annual Grand Final of the Victorian Football League, staged to determine the premiers for the 1918 VFL season. The match, attended by 39,262 spectators, was won by South Melbourne by a margin of 5 points, marking that club's second premiership victory.

The club has proven to be one of the most consistent teams in the AFL era, failing to make the finals in only three seasons since 1995, playing the most number of finals matches and winning the second-most matches overall (only behind Geelong) since 2000 and boasting a finals winning record of over 50% in the same time period. [4] [5]

The 1995 Australian Football League season was the 99th season of the elite Australian rules football competition and the 6th under the name 'Australian Football League', having switched from 'Victorian Football League' after 1989.

Geelong Football Club Australian rules football club

The Geelong Football Club, nicknamed the Cats, are a professional Australian rules football club based in the city of Geelong, Australia. The club competes in the Australian Football League (AFL), the highest level of Australian rules football in Australia. The Cats have been the VFL/AFL premiers nine times, with three in the AFL era. The Cats have also won nine McClelland Trophies, a record shared with Essendon.

The Swans' headquarters and training facilities are located at the Sydney Cricket Ground, the club's playing home ground since 1982.

Sydney Cricket Ground stadium in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

The Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) is a sports stadium in Sydney, Australia. It is used for Test, One Day International and Twenty20 cricket, as well as Australian rules football, rugby league football, rugby union, and association football. It is the home ground for the New South Wales Blues cricket team, the Sydney Sixers of the Big Bash League, the Sydney Roosters of the National Rugby League, the NSW Waratahs of Super Rugby and the Sydney Swans Australian Football League club. It is owned and operated by the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust that also manages the Sydney Football Stadium located next door. Until the 44,000 seat Football Stadium opened in 1988, the Sydney Cricket Ground was the major rugby league venue in Sydney.

South Melbourne history

Old South Melbourne Football Club shield. The motto, "Aut vincere aut mori", is Latin for "either to conquer or to die". Smfc.png
Old South Melbourne Football Club shield. The motto, "Aut vincere aut mori", is Latin for "either to conquer or to die".
All that remains of the Swans' old Lake Oval ground, a single grandstand built in 1926 which for many years stood in a state of disrepair Old lake oval grandstand.jpg
All that remains of the Swans' old Lake Oval ground, a single grandstand built in 1926 which for many years stood in a state of disrepair

Origins: 1874–1876

The inauguration date of the club is officially 19 June 1874, and it adopted the name "South Melbourne Football Club" four weeks later, on 15 July. [6] In 1880, South Melbourne amalgamated with the nearby Albert-park Football Club, which had a senior football history dating back to May 1867 (Albert-park had, in fact, been known as South Melbourne during its first year of existence). [7] [8] Following the amalgamation, the club retained the name South Melbourne, and adopted the club's now familiar red and white colours from Albert-park. [9] Nicknamed the "Southerners", the team was more colourfully known as the "Bloods", in reference to the bright red sash on their white jumpers [10] [11] (the sash was replaced with a red "V" in 1932). [12] The colorful epithet the "Bloodstained Angels" was also in use. The club was based at Lake Oval, also home of the South Melbourne Cricket Club.

Albert Park Football Club was a 19th-century Australian rules football club based in the Melbourne suburb of Albert Park. The club was one of main first-rate senior football clubs during the unaffiliated era of Victorian football.

VFA era: 1877–1896

South Melbourne was a junior foundation club of the Victorian Football Association in 1877, and attained senior status in 1879; [13] The South Melbourne amalgamation with neighbouring Albert-park Football Club in 1880, formed a club that became the strongest in metropolitan Melbourne. [14] Over its first decade as an amalgamated club, South Melbourne won five VFA premierships – in 1881, 1885 (undefeated), and three-in-a-row in 1888, 1889 and 1890 – and was runner-up to the provincial Geelong Football Club in 1880, 1883 and 1886.

At the end of the 1896 season, Collingwood and South Melbourne finished equal at the top of the VFA's premiership ladder with records of 14–3–1, requiring a playoff match to determine the season's premiership; this was the first time this had occurred in VFA history. [15] The match took place on 3 October 1896 at the East Melbourne Cricket Ground. Collingwood won the match, six goals to five, in front of an estimated crowd of 12,000. [16]

This grand final would be the last match South Melbourne would play in the VFA, as the following season they would be one of eight founding clubs forming the breakaway Victorian Football League. The other clubs were St Kilda Football Club, Essendon Football Club, Fitzroy Football Club, Melbourne Football Club, Geelong Football Club, Carlton Football Club and Collingwood Football Club.

VFL entry: 1897–1909

South Melbourne was one of the original founding clubs of the Victorian Football League that was formed in 1897.

Premiership success: 1909–1945

The club had early success and won three VFL premierships in 1909, 1918 and 1933. The club was at its most successful in the 1930s, when key recruits from both Victoria and interstate led to a string of appearances in the finals, including four successive grand final appearances from 1933 to 1936, albeit with only one premiership in 1933. The collection of players recruited from interstate in 1932/1933 became known as South Melbourne's "Foreign Legion". [17]

On grand final eve, 1935, as the Swans prepared to take on Collingwood, star full-forward Bob Pratt was clipped by a truck moments after stepping off a tram and subsequently missed the match for South. Ironically, the truck driver was a South Melbourne supporter. [18]

It was during this period that the team became known as the Swans. The nickname, which was suggested by a Herald and Weekly Times artist in 1933, was inspired by the number of Western Australians in the team (the black swan being the state emblem of Western Australia), and was formally adopted by the club before the following season 1934. [19] The name stuck, in part due to the club's association with nearby Albert Park and Lake, also known for its swans (although there are no longer any non-native white swans and only black, indigenous swans in the lake).

After several years with only limited success, South Melbourne next reached the grand final in 1945. The match, played against Carlton, was to become known as "the Bloodbath", courtesy of the brawl that overshadowed the match, with a total of 9 players being reported by the umpires. Carlton won the match by 28 points, and from then on, South Melbourne struggled.

Struggling times: 1946–1981

In the following years, South Melbourne consistently struggled, as their traditional inner-city recruiting district largely emptied as a result of demographic shifts. The club missed the finals in 1946 and continued to fall such that by 1950 they were second-last on the ladder. They nearly made the finals in 1952, but from 1953 to 1969, they never finished higher than eighth on the ladder. By the 1960s it was clear that South Melbourne's financial resources would not be capable of allowing them to compete in the growing market for country and interstate players, and their own local zone was never strong enough to compensate for this. The introduction of country zoning failed to help, as the Riverina Football League proved to be one of the least profitable zones.

Between 1945 and 1981, South Melbourne made the finals only twice: under legendary coach Norm Smith, South Melbourne finished fourth in 1970, but lost the first semi-final; and, in 1977, the club finished fifth under coach Ian Stewart, but lost the elimination final. In that time, they "won" three wooden spoons. Between Round 7, 1972 and Round 13, 1973, the team lost 29 consecutive games. By the end of the 1970s South Melbourne were saddled with massive debts after struggling for such a long period of time.

Sydney history

Early years in Sydney: 1982–1987

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the VFL was strategically interested in seeing a club based in Sydney, as part of a long-term plan to broaden the appeal of the game in Queensland and New South Wales. The league had started moving a few premiership matches to the Sydney Cricket Ground annually since 1979, and in 1981 was preparing to establish an entirely new, 13th VFL club in Sydney after the Fitzroy Lions staved off a proposed relocation to become the Sydney Lions in late 1980. These plans halted when the South Melbourne board, recognising the difficulties it faced with viability and financial stability in Melbourne, made the decision to play all 1982 home games in Sydney. On 29 July 1981, the VFL formally accepted the proposal, and paved the way for the Swans to shift to Sydney in 1982.

The move caused great internal difficulties, as a group of supporters known as Keep South at South campaigned throughout the rest of 1981 to stop the move; and, at an extraordinary general meeting on 22 September, the group democratically took control of the club's board. However, the new board did not have the power to unilaterally stop the move to Sydney: under the VFL constitution, to rescind the decision that had been made on 29 July required a three-quarters majority in a vote of all twelve clubs, and at a meeting on 14 October it failed to obtain this majority. [20] The new board also lacked the support of the players, the vast majority of whom were in favour of a long-term move to Sydney; in early November, after the board promised that it would try to bring the club back to Melbourne in 1983, the players went on strike, seeking to force the new board commit to Sydney in the long term as well as seeking payments that the cash-strapped club owed them from the previous season. [21] The board ended up undermining its own position when it accepted a $400,000 loan from the VFL in late November to stay solvent, under the condition that it commit to Sydney for two years. Finally, in early December, the Keep South at South board resigned and a board in favour of the move to Sydney was installed. [22]

1982 Escort Championships Final GBTotal
Swans 131290
North Melbourne 81058
Venue: Waverley Park Crowd: 20,028

Upon moving, the club played at the Sydney Cricket Ground. In 1982, the club was technically a Melbourne-based club which played all of its home games in Sydney; it dropped the name "South Melbourne" in June 1982, becoming known as simply "the Swans" for the rest of that season. [23] It was not until 1983 that the club formally moved its operations to Sydney and became the Sydney Swans. [22] Its physical "home club" was the "Southern Cross Social Club" at 120a Clovelly Road, Randwick, New South Wales which became bankrupt in 1987; new Sydney Swans Offices were then set up in the Sydney Football Stadium.

Sydney 1980s shield logo Sydney80s.png
Sydney 1980s shield logo

On 31 July 1985, for what was thought to be $6.3 million, Geoffrey Edelsten "bought" the Swans; in reality it was $2.9 million in cash with funding and other payments spread over five years. Edelsten resigned as chairman in less than twelve months, but had already made his mark. He immediately recruited former Geelong coach Tom Hafey. Hafey, in turn, used his knowledge of Geelong's contracts to recruit David Bolton, Bernard Toohey and Greg Williams, who would all form a key part of the Sydney side, at a league-determined total fee of $240,000 (less than the $500,000 Geelong demanded and even the $300,000 Sydney offered). [24] The likes of Gerard Healy, Merv Neagle and Paul Morwood were also poached from other clubs, and failed approaches were made to Simon Madden, Terry Daniher, Andrew Bews and Maurice Rioli. [25]

During the Edelsten years, the Swans were seen by the Sydney public as a flamboyant club, typified by the style of its spearhead, Warwick Capper, his long bright blond mullet and bright pink boots made him unmissable on the field and his pink Lamborghini, penchant for fashion models and eccentricity made him notorious off the field – all somewhat fashionable in the 1980s. During Capper's peak years, the Swans had made successive finals appearances for the first time since relocating. His consistently spectacular aerial exploits earned him consecutive Mark of the Year awards while his goalkicking efforts (amassing 103 goals in 1987) made him runner up in the Coleman Medal two years running. The Swans’ successive finals appearances saw crowds during this time peak at an average of around 25,000 per game. Edelsten also introduced the "Swanettes", becoming the sole such cheerleading group among VFL teams following the disbandment of Carlton's Blue Birds in 1986. The Swanettes did not get much performance time, owing to the short intervals between quarters of play in the VFL and the lack of space in which they might perform while other activities take place on the field. The Swanettes were soon discontinued and no club has had cheerleaders since then.

In 1987, the Swans scored 201 points against the West Coast Eagles and the following week scored 236 points against the Essendon Football Club. Both games were at the SCG. The Swans remain one of only two clubs to have scored consecutive team tallies above 200 points, the only other being Geelong in 1992. [26] However, this was followed by several heavy losses, including defeat by Hawthorn by 99 points in the Qualifying Final and by 76 points against Melbourne in the First Semi-final.

Dark times: 1988–1994

The club's form was to slump in the following year.

Losses were in the millions. A group of financial backers including Mike Willessee, Basil Sellers, Peter Weinert and Craig Kimberley purchased the licence and bankrolled the club until 1993, when the AFL stepped in.

Morale at the side plummeted as players were asked to take pay cuts. [27] Legendary coach Tom Hafey was sacked by the club in 1988 after a player-led rebellion at his tough training methods (unusual in the semi-professional days of that era).

Capper was sold to the Brisbane Bears for $400,000 in a desperate attempt to improve the club's finances. Instead, it only led to disastrous on-field performances. Instead of a 100-goal-a-season forward, Sydney's goalkicking was led by Bernard Toohey (usually a defender) with 29 in 1989, then Jim West with 34 in 1990. Players left the club in droves, including Brownlow Medalist Greg Williams, Bernard Toohey and Barry Mitchell. The careers of stars such as Dennis Carroll, David Bolton, Ian Roberts, Tony Morwood and David Murphy wound down, [28] while promising young players like Jamie Lawson, Robert Teal and Paul Bryce had their careers cut short by injury.

Attendances consistently dropped below 10,000 when the team performed poorly between 1990 and 1994. The nadir came with three consecutive wooden spoons in 1992, 1993 and 1994.

The AFL stepped in to save the Swans, offering substantial monetary and management support. The club survived, despite strong rumours in 1992 that it would merge with the Brisbane Bears to form a combined New South Wales/Queensland team, fold altogether, or even move back to South Melbourne.[ citation needed ] With draft and salary cap concessions in the early 1990s and a series of notable recruits, the team became competitive after the early part of the decade.

During this time, the side was largely held together by two inspirational skippers, both from the Wagga Wagga region of country New South Wales, Dennis Carroll and later the courageous captain Paul Kelly.

Desperate to hang on, the club was keen to enlist the biggest names and identities in the AFL, and recruited legendary coach Ron Barassi who helped save the club from extinction while serving them as coach from Round 7, 1993 to 1995. At roughly the same time, Hawthorn legend Dermott Brereton was also recruited, albeit with little on-field impact. On a much brighter side for the Swans, their captain Paul Kelly won the League's highest individual honour, the Brownlow Medal, in 1995.

Tony Lockett and grand final return: 1995–2001

A big coup for the club was recruitment of St Kilda Football Club champion Tony "Plugger" Lockett in 1995. Lockett became a cult figure in Sydney, with an instant impact and along with the Super League war in the dominant rival rugby league football code in Australia, helped the Swans to become a powerhouse Sydney icon.

1995 would be Barassi's last year in charge. The Swans won eight games – as many as they did in the previous three seasons combined – and finished with a percentage of over 100 (in fact, they have managed such consistently ever since). They were also one of only two teams to defeat the all-conquering Carlton side of that year. Swans great Paul Kelly also won the Brownlow Medal that year. Barassi left an improving team, a club in a much better state than he found them.

1996 AFL Home & Away Season WLDTotal%
Sydney Swans165166123.9
Minor Premiers

Former Hawthorn player Rodney Eade took over the reins in 1996 and after a slow start (they lost their first two games of the season), turned the club around into powerful force. The Swans ended the minor round on top of the premiership table with 16 wins, 5 losses, and 1 draw. In the finals, the Swans won one of the most thrilling AFL preliminary finals in history after Plugger Lockett kicked a behind after the siren to win the game. The Swans lost the grand final to North Melbourne, which had been their first appearance in a grand final since 1945. The game was played in front of 93,102 at the MCG.

The Swans then made the finals for four of the next five full years that Rodney Eade was in charge. In 1998 they finished 3rd on the AFL ladder; despite beating St Kilda in their first final the Swans were then beaten by eventual premiers Adelaide in the semi-final at the SCG.

The 1999 season was a largely uneventful year for the club, the only real highlight being Tony Lockett kicking his record-breaking 1300th goal against Collingwood in Round 10. The 1999 season ended with a 69-point mauling at the hands of minor premiers Essendon.

After missing the finals in 2000, the Swans rebounded to finish 7th in 2001, but were beaten by Hawthorn by 55 points in their elimination final at Colonial Stadium.

Rebuilding and finals return: 2002–2004

Former Swans favourite son Paul Roos was appointed caretaker coach midway through the 2002 season, replacing Rodney Eade who was removed after Round 12. Roos won six of the remaining 10 games that year (including the last four of the season) and was installed as the permanent coach from the 2003 season onwards, despite rumors that Sydney had nearly concluded a deal with Terry Wallace.

Roos continued a record as a successful coach with the Swans for the eight full seasons that would follow.

A new home ground in ANZ Stadium (then known as Telstra Stadium) provided increased capacity over the SCG. The Swans' first game played at the Stadium in Round 9, 2002 against Essendon attracted 54,169 spectators. The Sydney Swans v Collingwood match on 23 August 2003 set an attendance record for the largest crowd to watch an AFL game outside of Victoria with an official attendance of 72,393 and was the largest home and away AFL crowd at any stadium for 2003. A preliminary final against the Brisbane Lions in 2003 attracted 71,019 people. The Swans lost all three of those significant matches.

2004 saw an average year for Sydney, however one highlight was when they ended St Kilda's undefeated start to the season in Round 11. The match was notable for Leo Barry's effort in nullifying the impact of St Kilda full-forward and eventual Coleman Medallist Fraser Gehrig, whom Barry restricted to only two possessions for the entire match.

Sydney was able to recruit another St Kilda export in the Lockett mould, Barry Hall. There were obvious parallels to the signing of Lockett (a powerful, tough forward from St Kilda with questions over his discipline and attitude), which left Hall with much to live up to. He flourished in his new surroundings and eventually became a cult figure and club leader in his own right.

As the new century dawned, Sydney implemented a policy of giving up high order draft picks in exchange for players who struggled at other clubs. It was during this era that the Swans picked up the likes of Paul Williams, Barry Hall, Craig Bolton, Darren Jolly, Ted Richards, Peter Everitt, Martin Mattner, Rhyce Shaw, Shane Mumford, Ben McGlynn and Mitch Morton, amongst others, and giving up higher order draft picks meant the Swans missed out on the likes of Daniel Motlop, Nick Dal Santo, James Kelly, Courtenay Dempsey and Sam Lonergan who went to Port Adelaide, St Kilda, Geelong and the latter two to Essendon respectively. This policy is said to have paid off in the Roos era, as they implemented a strict culture of discipline at the club.

Premiership glory: 2005

In 2005, the Swans came under enormous public scrutiny, even from AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou, for their unorthodox, "boring" defense-oriented tactics that included tightly controlling the tempo of the game and starving the opposition of possession (in fact, seven teams that season had their lowest possession total whilst playing against the Swans). Swans coach Paul Roos maintained that playing contested football was the style used by all recent Premiership-winning teams, and felt that it was ironic that the much criticised strategy proved ultimately successful.

Nick Davis! Nick Davis! I don't believe it! I see it, but I don't believe it!

Anthony Hudson's TV call of Nick Davis' fourth and match-winning goal in the semi-final against Geelong on Network Ten [29]

Cox throws it onto the left, one last roll of the dice for the Eagles – Leo Barry, you star!...(Siren in background)...The longest Premiership drought in football history is over! For the first time in 72 years, the Swans are the champions of the AFL!"

Stephen Quartermain's TV call of Leo Barry's match- and title-clinching mark on Network Ten [30]

After finishing third during the regular season, the Swans lost the second qualifying final against the West Coast Eagles at Subiaco Oval on 2 September by 10.5 (65) to 10.9 (69). This dropped them into a semi-final against the Geelong Cats at the SCG on 9 September, and the Swans trailed the Cats 31–53 before Nick Davis kicked four consecutive goals, with the last one a matter of seconds before the siren, to win the game for Sydney by 7.14 (56) to 7.11 (53). In the first preliminary final at the MCG on 16 September against St Kilda, the Swans used a seven-goal blitz in 11 minutes of the fourth quarter to overturn an 8-point deficit and overrun the Saints by 15.6 (96) to 9.11 (65).

The Swans faced the Eagles in a rematch in the AFL Grand Final on 24 September 2005, and this time, they prevailed by four points, final score 8.10 (58) to West Coast's 7.12 (54). In the last few minutes, the Sydney defence held strong, with Leo Barry marking the ball just before the siren to stop the Eagles' final desperate shot at goal. The Premiership was the Swans' first in 72 years and their first since being based in Sydney. It was also the fifth Premiership in succession to be won by a team from outside Victoria.

2005 AFL Grand Final GBTotal
Sydney Swans81058
West Coast Eagles 71254
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground Crowd: 91,898

On Friday, 30 September 2005, a ticker tape parade down Sydney's George Street was held in honour of the Swans' achievements, which ended with a rally at Town Hall, where Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore presented the team with the key to the city. The flag of the Swans also flew on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge during the week; the same flag was later given to WA premier Geoff Gallop to fly on top of the state legislature in Perth as part of the friendly wager between Gallop and NSW premier Morris Iemma.

Grand final loss: 2006

As reigning premiers, the Sydney Swans started the 2006 season slowly, losing three of their first four games, including in round one to an Essendon side that would finish near the bottom of the ladder with only three wins and a draw, and finish with the worst defensive record of any side for the season (Sydney, conversely, had the best defensive record of any side). [31]

The 2006 AFL Grand Final was contested between the Sydney Swans and West Coast Eagles at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 30 September 2006. The West Coast Eagles avenged their 2005 Grand Final defeat by beating the Sydney Swans by one point, only the fourth one-point grand final margin in the competition's history.

The rivalry between the Sydney Swans and West Coast Eagles has become one of the great modern rivalries. [32] The six games between the two sides (from the start of the 2005 finals to the first round of 2007 inclusive) were decided by a combined margin of 13 points. Four of those six games were finals, and 2 grand finals.

Finals goal: 2007–2010

Sydney finished the 2007 home and away season in 7th place, and advanced to the finals, where they faced and were defeated by Collingwood by 38 points in the elimination final. It was their earliest exit from the finals since 2001 and was a culmination of a mostly disappointing season, as only victories against lesser teams saw them through to a fifth consecutive finals campaign.

The conclusion of the 2007 trade saw the loss of Adam Schneider and Sean Dempster to St Kilda, the delisting of Simon Phillips, Jonathan Simpkin and Luke Vogels, and the gain of Henry Playfair from Geelong and Martin Mattner from Adelaide.

A Sydney Swans banner honouring Amon Buchanon's 100th game as a player Paul Roos' 500th game as player and coach Sydney banner honouring Amon Buchanon and Paul Roos.jpg
A Sydney Swans banner honouring Amon Buchanon's 100th game as a player Paul Roos' 500th game as player and coach

The Swans spent the middle part of the 2008 season inside the top four, however a late form slump which yielded only three wins in the last nine rounds saw the Swans drop to sixth at the conclusion of the 2008 regular season. Having qualified for the finals for a sixth consecutive season, the Swans defeated North Melbourne in the elimination final before losing to the Western Bulldogs the following week.

2009 saw the club register only eight victories as they failed to reach the finals for the first time since 2002, finishing 12th with a percentage of below 100% for the first time since 1994. Barry Hall, Leo Barry, Jared Crouch, Michael O'Loughlin, Amon Buchanan and Darren Jolly all departed at the conclusion of the season, with Mark Seaby, Daniel Bradshaw and Shane Mumford, among others, joining the club during the trade period.

The 2010 season saw Sydney return to the finals by virtue of a fifth-place finish at the end of the regular season. The club defeated Carlton by five points in the elimination final before losing to the Western Bulldogs in the semi-finals for the second time in three seasons. The loss signalled the end of the Swans coaching career of Paul Roos as well as that of the playing career of Brett Kirk.

John Longmire era: 2011–present

2012 AFL Grand Final GBTotal
Sydney Swans14791
Hawthorn 111581
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground Crowd: 99,683
2014 AFL Grand Final GBTotal
Sydney Swans11874
Hawthorn 2111137
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground Crowd: 99,460
2016 AFL Grand Final GBTotal
Sydney Swans10767
Western Bulldogs 131189
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground Crowd: 99,981

Former North Melbourne premiership-winning forward John Longmire took over as coach of the Swans as part of a succession plan initiated by Paul Roos in 2009 prior to the beginning of the 2011 season. He led the club to a seventh-place finish at the end of the regular season, therefore qualifying for the finals for the 13th time in the past 16 seasons. The Swans defeated St Kilda in an elimination final at Docklands Stadium before losing to Hawthorn in the semi-finals the following week.

It was during the regular season that the Swans caused the upset of the season, defeating the star-studded Geelong Cats on its home ground, Skilled Stadium, where the home tenant had won its past 29 games in succession, and its past two matches at the ground by a combined margin of 336 points, in Round 23. It was the Swans' first win over the Cats since 2006 and its first win at the ground since Round 8, 1999. The Swans were also the only team to defeat the West Coast Eagles at Patersons Stadium during the regular season. The Swans' victory over Geelong was overshadowed by the news that co-captain Jarrad McVeigh's baby daughter had died in the week leading up to the match, forcing him to miss that match.

Sydney Swans players run through the banner before the inaugural Sydney Derby on 24 March 2012. Sydney Swans banner.jpg
Sydney Swans players run through the banner before the inaugural Sydney Derby on 24 March 2012.

The 2012 season began for the Swans with the inaugural Sydney Derby against AFL newcomers Greater Western Sydney. After an even and physical first half, Sydney went on to win by 63 points. Subsequent wins over Fremantle, Port Adelaide, North Melbourne and Hawthorn saw the Swans sit second behind West Coast on percentage after Round 5, but the Swans would proceed to lose three of their next four matches before embarking on a nine-match winning streak between Rounds 10 and 19 inclusive. The Swans eventually finished the regular season in third place after losing three of their final four matches, all against their fellow top-four rivals (Collingwood, Hawthorn and Geelong in Rounds 20, 22 and 23 respectively).

The Swans defeated Adelaide by 29 points in their qualifying final at AAMI Stadium, thus earning a week off and a home preliminary final, where they then defeated Collingwood by 26 points to qualify for their first grand final since 2006, ending an eleven-match losing streak against the Magpies in the process.

In the grand final, the Swans defeated Hawthorn by ten points in front of 99,683 people at the MCG, with Nick Malceski kicking a snap goal with 34 seconds left to seal the Swans' fifth premiership and first since 2005. Ryan O'Keefe was named the Norm Smith Medallist and the Swan's best player in September

The Sydney Swans warm up before a match in 2013. Sydney Swans warming up 2013.jpg
The Sydney Swans warm up before a match in 2013.

The Swans' 2013 season was marred by long-term injuries to many of its key players, namely Adam Goodes, Sam Reid, Lewis Jetta, Rhyce Shaw and Lewis Roberts-Thomson, among others; despite this setback, the team were still able to reach the finals for the fifteenth time in 18 seasons, reaching the preliminary finals where they were defeated by Fremantle at Patersons Stadium, its first loss at the venue since 2009. [33] [34]

The 2014 AFL season began with some difficulties for the Swans. Sydney lost their first game against Greater Western Sydney and then to Collingwood before becoming the first non-South Australian team to win at Adelaide Oval defeating Adelaide by 63 points with Lance Franklin and Luke Parker kicking 4 goals each. After a loss to North Melbourne in Round 4, the Swans' won twelve games in a row, including victories against 2013 grand finalists Fremantle and Hawthorn, Geelong by 110 points at the SCG and then ladder leaders Port Adelaide. In Round 17, the Swans defeated Carlton to match a winning streak set three times in club history, the last of which came way back in 1935, [35] and eventually closed out the season with their first minor premiership in 18 years and a club record 17 wins for the season, eclipsing the previous highest of 16, which was achieved on six past occasions in 2012, 1996, 1986, 1945, 1936 and 1935. In 2014 the Swans were minor premiers, and also qualified for the 2014 AFL Grand Final. They defeated Fremantle at home in the first qualifying final in Round one of the finals series and so earned a one-week break. In the first preliminary final the Swans had a convincing win against North Melbourne, which led them to their fourth grand final in 10 years. The 2014 AFL Grand Final was played on Saturday 27 September 2014 in near perfect weather conditions, with Sydney seen as favourites leading up to the match. This was the first time in a finals series that former Hawk player Lance Franklin would play against his former team, one of very few players to have played back to back grand finals for two different teams. The Hawks dominated the game quite early and eventually defeated the Swans 11.8.(74) to 21.11.(137). The 63-point loss was Sydney's biggest ever loss in a grand final and their biggest defeat all season, meaning Hawthorn would become back to back premiers for the second time in their history.

The Swans started the 2015 AFL season well, winning their first three, before losing their next 2 games against Fremantle, where they trailed by as many as 8 goals before half-time, and the Western Bulldogs. They won their next 6 leading into the bye, including home wins against Geelong and North Melbourne, and an upset away win against Hawthorn in the grand final replay. The Swans lost their first game after the bye, their 3rd of the season to Richmond at the SCG, 11.11 (77) to 14.11. (95). The Swans rebounded with unconvincing wins against Port Adelaide and Brisbane Lions, before suffering their heaviest defeat for 17 seasons against the Hawks by 89 points. [36] The following week was no better with a road trip to Perth and another loss, this time to the Eagles by 52 points, the scoreline ultimately flattering the Swans. The Swans bounced back against Adelaide with a convincing win 52-point win, but lost their next game to Geelong at Simmonds stadium; a close affair that Geelong blew apart in the 3rd quarter. The Swans won their final 4 games to secure a top 4 finish, against Collingwood, Greater Western Sydney, St Kilda and Gold Coast.

The Swans faced minor premiers Fremantle in the first qualifying final, their first finals match without Franklin, who had withdrawn from the finals due to illness. [37] Ultimately the Swans would go down in a low scoring affair, effectively kicking themselves out of the game after losing Sam Reid to a hamstring injury midway through the 2nd quarter. [38] The following week the Swans were knocked out of the finals in a one-sided contest against North Melbourne, struggling to score throughout the first half with the game effectively over by half-time. For the first time since 2011, the Swans failed to make a preliminary final.

The Swans' continued period of success, in which it has missed the finals only three times since 1995, has led to some criticism about a salary cap concession which the club receives; the concession is in the form of an additional Cost of Living Allowance (COLA), due to the higher cost of living in Sydney compared with any other Australian city. [39] [40] It was, however, announced in March 2014 that this allowance would be scrapped. [41] The trade ban was fought by the club before the 2015 season and a reprieve was won, with the AFL allowing the club to participate in the 2015 AFL draft. There was a catch however, with the league imposing an edict that the club could only recruit players at or below current average wage of $340,000 (adjusted figures for 2015 was $349,000). [42] During the 2015 season, with the Swans team stretched by aging players and injuries, it had become apparent that the trade restrictions that had prevented the Swans from participating in the 2014 draft, had impacted the list. With the trade period looming, Andrew Pridham lobbied the AFL to lift the trade restrictions, labeling the ban as a restraint of trade. [43] In response to continued discussions between the club and league, as well as lobbying by the AFLPA, [44] the league further relaxed the trade restrictions for the Swans during the 2015 AFL Finals. The AFL changed the sanctions so that the Swans could replace a player that leaves the club as either a free agent, or through trade, with another player on a contract up to $450,000 per year. This allowed the Swans to trade for Callum Sinclair in a swap deal, [45] as well as trade a late pick for out-of-contract defender, Michael Talia from the Western Bulldogs. [46]

The Swans started off the 2016 season with a convincing 80-point round 1 win against Collingwood, with new Swans recruit Michael Talia suffering a long term foot injury. They followed up the next round with a 60-point win against the Blues, with new recruit Callum Sinclair kicking 3 goals. The following week they defeated GWS by 25 points, with Lance Franklin kicking 4 goals. In the following match against the Crows, Isaac Heeney starred with 18 touches and 4 goals in a losing side. Three more wins followed, against West Coast, Brisbane and Essendon respectively before a shock loss to Richmond in round 8 by a solitary point, after a kick after the siren. They bounced back to win against top spot North Melbourne, and the Hawks at the MCG, with Lance Franklin booting 3 goals, including a bomb from 80 metres. After a tight slog against the Suns, the Swans played the Giants once more and were defeated in the club's 100th game. They won their next game by 55 points against the Demons, in a fourth quarter breeze. After a bye in Round 14, the Sydney Swans lost their first game after, again with the last kick of the game, by 4 points. The week after was soured by a family feud involving co-captain Kieren Jack and his parents, after they were reportedly told by him not to come to is 200-game milestone. After the spat, Jack led the Swans to an emphatic upset victory against Geelong, booting 3 goals and gathering 24 possessions in the one-sided 38-point victory at Simonds Stadium. They then travelled back home where they faced Hawthorn and lost their 3rd match of the season by under a goal, as Buddy went goalless for the first time in the season. After an unconvincing win the following week against Carlton, the Swans went on to win their last 5 home and away games by a combined total of 349 points, giving them top spot and a home qualifying final.

Ahead of their first final against cross-town rivals the Giants, the Swans confirmed that they would play all home finals at the SCG except for Sydney Derbies, which would be played at ANZ Stadium. The final would create history, being the first Sydney Derby to be played in a final. It was also the first time that the Giants would make the finals in their fifth year. In a low-scoring first half, the Swans were very competitive, trailing by only 2 points. However, a mark not paid to Isaac Heeney midway through the third quarter turned all the momentum the Giants way, as they kicked away to win by 36 points. The Swans only kicked 2 goals after half-time with Giant Jeremy Cameron outscoring them in the third quarter alone with 3 goals. They were quick to bounce back the following week, thumping the Adelaide Crows by 6 goals, with Franklin and Tom Papley kicking 4 goals a piece, after a blistering 7 goal to 1 quarter. The story was pretty much the same in the preliminary final against the Geelong Cats at the MCG. The Swans kept the Cats goalless for the first quarter, and were never really challenged in their 37-point triumph. It would take them to their third grand final in 5 years, against the Western Bulldogs at the MCG. After leading by a scant 2-point margin at half time, the Bulldogs pulled away towards the end of the fourth quarter to hand Sydney their second grand final loss in three years.

The Swans began the 2017 season with six straight losses, after being upset at home by Port Adelaide in the opening round, they were upset by Collingwood and Carlton, and suffered defeats to the Western Bulldogs, Greater Western Sydney (who won their first game at the SCG) and West Coast Eagles (in Perth). However, they managed to win 13 of their last 15, losing both their games to Hawthorn by 1 goal. Some of their best wins include against the reigning premiers the Bulldogs, GWS, and comeback wins against Richmond and Essendon. After becoming the first grand-finalist to lose their first six games, they have become the first team to reach the finals after starting the season 0–6. They would comprehensively defeat Essendon in their first final, before slumping to an ugly defeat against Geelong, ending their season.

The Swans had an indifferent 2018, compounded by their struggles at home, losing 5 out of 11 games at the SCG. A lean patch of form which included upset losses to Gold Coast (for the first time ever) and Essendon (for the first time since 2011) had them looking likely to miss finals altogether. However three out of four wins in the last four rounds was enough to see them into their ninth consecutive finals series, where they were comprehensively beaten by GWS in the Elimination Final.

Club identity


The jumper is white with a red back and a red yoke with a silhouette of the Sydney Opera House at the point of the yoke. The Opera House design was first used at the start of the 1987 season, replacing the traditional red "V" on white design. Until 1991, the back of the jumper was white with the yoke only extending to the back of the shoulders and each side of the jumper had a red vertical stripe. The current predominantly red design appeared at the start of the 1992 season. The club's major sponsor is QBE Insurance. In 2004 the club added the initials 'SMFC' in white lettering at the back of the collar to honour the club's past as South Melbourne Football Club. The move was welcomed by Melbourne-based fans. The clash guernsey is a predominantly white version of the home guernsey similar to the original Opera House guernsey design, including a white back, but it is rarely used, since the two Queensland clubs (the Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast Suns) and cross town rivals GWS Giants are the only clubs with which there is a clash. [47]

ISC have manufactured the Swans' apparel since 2010, replacing long-time sponsor Puma. [48]

Uniform evolution

Since the club was called "South Melbourne", the team has worn different designs with the traditional red and white colors, as follows: [49]

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1907-11 & 13-31
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The club song is known as Cheer, Cheer The Red and The White' and is to the tune of the Victory March , the fight song of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in South Bend, Indiana, USA, which was written by University of Notre Dame graduates and brothers Rev. Michael J. Shea and John F. Shea. In 1961, the school and other musical houses granted South Melbourne a copyright to adapt the Victory March into the new club song, which replaced an adaptation of Springtime in the Rockies by Gene Autry. [50] Port Adelaide also has used the Victory March as the basis for their club song since 1971, though their senior team changed their club song to their current original Power To Win after their entry into the AFL.

George Gershwin's Swanee (1919) was used by the club in marketing promotions during the late 1990s.[ citation needed ]


Syd 'Swannie' Skilton, Sydney Swans Mascot Manor mascot Swans mascot.jpg
Syd 'Swannie' Skilton, Sydney Swans Mascot Manor mascot

The Sydney Swans' mascot for the AFL's Mascot Manor is Syd 'Swannie' Skilton.

He is named after Swans legend Bob Skilton. The actual mascot at Sydney's home games is, however, still known as Cyggy (as in cygnet).

Home ground

Since the 2016 AFL season, the Swans have played all their home games at the Sydney Cricket Ground, a 48,000 capacity venue located in inner-east Sydney. The venue has been home to Swans home games since the club's relocation to Sydney in 1982. [51] In the years 2002–2015, the Swans played between three and four home matches per season and most home finals matches at Stadium Australia (commercially known as ANZ Stadium), an 80,000 capacity stadium located in the west of the city. During the first five years at the ground average crowds were high, but issues with the surface as well as fan and player disengagement resulted in the club ending its association with the venue. [52]

Supporter base

Sydney Swans supporters Sydney swans supporters at the 2006 afl grand final.jpg
Sydney Swans supporters

The Sydney Swans have built a strong following in the city they've called home since moving from South Melbourne. Attendances and memberships grew dramatically during the Lockett era, helped out by the Super League War plaguing Rugby League. The Swans continue to have a strong supporter base in Victoria with attendances for Swans games in Melbourne being much higher than other non-Victorian teams.

Legend:    Premiers    Grand Finalist    Finals    Wooden spoon

YearMembersFinishing position²Average Home crowd

¹following finals matches


Greater Western Sydney

The introduction of the GWS Giants to the AFL in 2012 resulted in the formation of the Sydney Derby. The Swans compete against their cross-city rivals twice every season. The best performed player from every derby match is awarded the Brett Kirk Medal.

West Coast Eagles

Barry Hall and Darren Glass Barry Hall.jpg
Barry Hall and Darren Glass

The Swans developed a famous modern rivalry against the Perth-based West Coast Eagles between 2005 and 2007, when six consecutive games between the two teams, including two qualifying finals and two grand finals, were decided by less than a goal. The rivalry was highlighted by Sydney's four-point win against West Coast in the 2005 Grand Final, and West Coast's one-point win against Sydney in the 2006 Grand Final.


The Sydney and Hawthorn rivalry has been more recent, they have played in two grand finals (2012 and 2014). The Swans beat Hawthorn in 2012 by 10 points to claim their fifth premiership. The rivalry grew in 2013, when Hawthorn forward Lance Franklin transferred to the Swans as a free agent on a nine-year, $10 million deal. In 2014, the Swans finished minor premiers and were favourites to win the grand final, however Hawthorn beat Sydney by 63 points. Both teams have had close games since their grand final matches, in 2017 the Hawks beat Sydney twice (both by six points).

VFL and AFL premierships


Defeated in grand finals

Players and staff

Current squad

Sydney Swans
Senior listRookie listCoaching staff

Head coach

Assistant coaches

  • (c) Captain(s)
  • (vc) Vice captain(s)
  • (B) Category B rookie
  • italics - Inactive player list
  • Cruz Roja.svg Long-term injury
  • (ret.) Retired

Updated: 6 May 2019
Source(s): Playing list, Coaching staff


Reserves team

The Swans currently field a reserves team in the North East Australian Football League. Previously a reserves team was first created for South Melbourne in 1919 and continued to compete in the Victorian reserves competition until 1999 despite the team relocating to Sydney in 1982. The team enjoyed little success in the Victorian competition; it was the only reserves team never to win a premiership, and its best performances were losing grand finals in 1927, 1956 and 1980. In 2000 the Swans entered a reserves team in the Sydney AFL competition but withdrew prior to the finals series because the club felt the difference in standard was too greatly in favour of the Swans. Between 2001 and 2002 the Swans affiliated themselves with the Port Melbourne Football Club in the VFL while also starting a new stand-alone team named the Redbacks in the Sydney AFL competition. Little success resulted and the Swans entered a stand-alone reserves team in the AFL Canberra competition in 2003 which resulted in four consecutive premierships between 2005 and 2008. In 2011 the Swans reserves team joined the North East Australian Football League with the rest of the AFL Canberra competition and now have regular matches against AFL reserve teams from the Brisbane Lions, Gold Coast Suns and GWS Giants. The team plays home games at the Sydney Cricket Ground and will often play as a curtain raiser to senior AFL games.

In 2011 the Swans reserves finished the home and away season with the Eastern Conference minor premiership. In the Eastern Conference grand final Ainslie caused a major upset when they defeated the Swans by 52 points. The team suffered the same fate in 2012 when Queanbeyan defeated them by 30 points in the Eastern Conference grand final. The Swans reserves would then go on to play in three losing NEAFL grand finals in 2013, 2014 and 2016 respectively.

a Competed as South Melbourne.

Honour roll

YearPosnCoachCaptainBest & FairestLeading goalkicker (goals)
1932 Johnny Leonard Johnny Leonard Bill Faul Bob Pratt (71)
19331 Jack Bissett Jack Bissett Harry Clarke Bob Pratt (109)
19342Jack BissettJack Bissett Terry Brain Bob Pratt (150)
19352Jack BissettJack Bissett Ron Hillis Bob Pratt (103)
19362Jack BissettJack Bissett Herbie Matthews Bob Pratt (64)
19379 Roy Cazaly Laurie Nash Herbie MatthewsLaurie Nash (37)
193812Roy CazalyHerbie Matthews Len Thomas Roy Moore (34)
193912Herbie MatthewsHerbie MatthewsHerbie MatthewsBob Pratt (72)
194010Herbie MatthewsHerbie MatthewsHerbie Matthews Lou Reiffel (33)
19418 Joe Kelly Herbie Matthews Reg Ritchie Jack Graham (33)
19423Joe KellyHerbie Matthews Jim Cleary Lindsay White (80)
19438Joe KellyHerbie MatthewsHerbie Matthews Charlie Culph (35)
19447Joe KellyHerbie MatthewsJim Cleary Ron Hartridge (31)
19452William AdamsHerbie MatthewsJack GrahamLaurie Nash (56)
19467William AdamsJack Graham Bill Williams Harry Mears (32)
19478William AdamsJack GrahamBill WilliamsBill Williams (38)
194810William Adams, Jack Hale Jack Graham Ron Clegg Jack Graham (32)
194910Jack Hale Bert Lucas Ron Clegg Dick Jones (27)
195011 Gordon Lane Gordon Lane Bill Williams Gordon Lane (47)
19518Gordon LaneGordon LaneRon CleggBill Williams (41)
19525Gordon LaneGordon Lane Keith Schaefer Gordon Lane (33)
19538Laurie NashRon Clegg Jim Taylor Ian Gillett (34)
195410Herbie MatthewsRon Clegg Eddie Lane Eddie Lane (28)
195510Herbie Matthews Bill Gunn Ian GillettEddie Lane (36)
19569Herbie MatthewsIan Gillett Jim Dorgan Bill Gunn (28)
195710Herbie MatthewsRon CleggJim Taylor Fred Goldsmith (43)
19589Ron CleggRon Clegg Bob Skilton Max Oaten (34)
19599Ron CleggRon CleggBob SkiltonBob Skilton (60)
19608Bill FaulRon Clegg Frank Johnson Max Oaten (39)
196111Bill FaulBob SkiltonBob Skilton Brian McGowan (38)
196212 Noel McMahen Bob SkiltonBob SkiltonBob Skilton (36)
196311Noel McMahenBob SkiltonBob SkiltonBob Skilton (36)
196411Noel McMahenBob SkiltonBob Skilton Max Papley (25)
19658Bob SkiltonBob SkiltonBob Skilton Bob Kingston (48)
19668Bob SkiltonBob SkiltonMax Papley Austin Robertson, Jr. (60)
19679 Alan Miller Bob SkiltonBob Skilton John Sudholz (35)
19689Alan MillerBob SkiltonBob SkiltonJohn Sudholz (36)
19699 Norm Smith Bob Skilton Peter Bedford John Sudholz (35)
19704Norm SmithBob SkiltonPeter BedfordJohn Sudholz (62)
197112Norm SmithBob SkiltonPeter BedfordPeter Bedford (44)
197211Norm Smith John Rantall Russell Cook Peter Bedford (28)
197312 Graeme John Peter BedfordPeter BedfordPeter Bedford (52)
19749Graeme JohnPeter Bedford Norm Goss, Jr. Norm Goss, Jr. (37)
197512Graeme JohnPeter BedfordPeter Bedford Graham Teasdale (38)
19768 Ian Stewart Peter Bedford Rick Quade Robert Dean (37)
19775Ian StewartRick QuadeGraham TeasdaleGraham Teasdale (38)
19788 Des Tuddenham Rick Quade John Murphy John Murphy (31)
197910Ian StewartRick Quade Barry Round Tony Morwood (56)
19806Ian StewartBarry Round David Ackerly John Roberts (67)
19819Ian StewartBarry RoundBarry RoundJohn Roberts (51)
198217Rick QuadeBarry RoundDavid AckerlyTony Morwood (45)
198311Rick QuadeBarry Round Mark Browning Craig Braddy (48)
198410Rick Quade,

Bob Hammond

Barry Round,

Mark Browning

Bernie Evans Warwick Capper (39)
198510 John Northey Mark Browning Stephen Wright Warwick Capper (45)
19864 Tom Hafey Dennis Carroll Gerard Healy Warwick Capper (92)
19874Tom HafeyDennis CarrollGerard HealyWarwick Capper (103)
19887Tom HafeyDennis CarrollGerard Healy Barry Mitchell (35)
19897 Col Kinnear Dennis Carroll Mark Bayes Bernard Toohey (27)
199013Col KinnearDennis CarrollStephen Wright Jim West (34)
199112Col KinnearDennis CarrollBarry Mitchell Jason Love (52)
199215 Gary Buckenara Dennis Carroll Paul Kelly Simon Minton-Connell (60)
199315Gary Buckenara, Brett Scott, Ron Barassi Paul KellyPaul KellySimon Minton-Connell (41)
199415Ron BarassiPaul Kelly Daryn Creswell Simon Minton-Connell (68)
199512Ron BarassiPaul Kelly Tony Lockett Tony Lockett (110)
19962 Rodney Eade Paul KellyPaul KellyTony Lockett (121)
19977Rodney EadePaul KellyPaul KellyTony Lockett (37)
19985Rodney EadePaul Kelly Michael O'Loughlin Tony Lockett (109)
19998Rodney EadePaul Kelly Wayne Schwass Tony Lockett (82)
200010Rodney EadePaul Kelly Andrew Schauble Michael O'Loughlin (53)
20017Rodney EadePaul Kelly Paul Williams Michael O'Loughlin (35)
200211Rodney Eade, Paul Roos Paul KellyPaul Williams Barry Hall (55)
20034Paul Roos Stuart Maxfield Adam Goodes Barry Hall (64)
20045Paul RoosStuart MaxfieldBarry HallBarry Hall (74)
20051Paul RoosStuart Maxfield² Brett Kirk Barry Hall (80)
20062Paul RoosBarry Hall, Brett Kirk and Leo BarryAdam GoodesBarry Hall (78)
20077Paul RoosBarry Hall, Brett Kirk and Leo BarryBrett KirkBarry Hall (44)
20086Paul RoosBrett Kirk, Leo Barry and Craig Bolton Jarrad McVeigh Barry Hall (41)
200912Paul RoosBrett Kirk, Adam Goodes and Craig BoltonRyan O'KeefeAdam Goodes (38)
20105Paul RoosBrett Kirk, Adam Goodes and Craig Bolton Kieren Jack Adam Goodes (44)
20116 John Longmire Adam Goodes and Jarrad McVeigh [53] Adam GoodesAdam Goodes (41)
20121John LongmireAdam Goodes and Jarrad McVeigh Josh Kennedy Lewis Jetta (45)
20134John LongmireKieren Jack and Jarrad McVeighJarrad McVeigh Kurt Tippett (35)
20142John LongmireKieren Jack and Jarrad McVeighLuke Parker Lance Franklin (79)
20155John LongmireKieren Jack and Jarrad McVeighJosh KennedyLance Franklin (47)
20162John LongmireKieren Jack and Jarrad McVeighJosh KennedyLance Franklin (81)
20175John LongmireJosh KennedyLuke ParkerLance Franklin (73)

1: Relocated to Sydney
²: Six rounds into the 2005 season, Stuart Maxfield ended his playing career due to chronic injury. Six players rotated as captain throughout the rest of the season: Brett Kirk (Rounds 7, 8, 19 and 20), Leo Barry (Rounds 9, 10, 21 and 22), Barry Hall (Rounds 11, 12 and the entire finals series), Ben Mathews (Rounds 13 and 14), Adam Goodes (Rounds 15 and 16) and Jude Bolton (Rounds 17 and 18).

Team records

As of 2018, the Sydney Swans have not lost a premiership match by more than 100 points since Round 10, 1998. [56]

Individual awards

Best and Fairest

See Bob Skilton Medal

Brownlow Medal winners

Despite its historical lack of success, South Melbourne/Sydney has provided more Brownlow Medal winners (14) than any other club.

South Melbourne


Norm Smith Medal winners

The Norm Smith Medal is awarded to the player judged best-on-ground in the AFL Grand Final:

Leigh Matthews Trophy winners

Coleman Medal winners

AFL Rising Star winners

Mark of the Year winners

Australian Football Hall of Fame inductees

Team of the Century

Sydney announced its team of the century on 8 August 2003:

Sydney Swans Team of the Century
B: John Rantall John Heriot Vic Belcher
HB: Bill Faul Ron Clegg Dennis Carroll
C: David Murphy Greg Williams Herbie Matthews
HF: Tony Morwood Laurie Nash Gerard Healy
F: Bob Pratt Tony Lockett Paul Kelly (Vice-Captain)
Foll: Barry Round Peter Bedford Bob Skilton (Captain)
Int: Bill Williams Stephen Wright Daryn Cresswell
Fred Goldsmith Mark Bayes Harry Clarke, Mark Tandy
Coach: Jack Bissett





Supported charities

Media coverage


The Sydney Swans receive regular exposure from Sydney's two major daily newspapers, The Daily Telegraph, the Sydney Morning Herald and their respective counterpart publications, The Sunday Telegraph and The Sun-Herald. Articles about the Swans can occasionally be found in local community newspapers, free magazines and Sydney street press publications.


The Sydney Swans are sponsored by radio station Triple M which broadcasts all of its games, including finals, live. Occasionally, 702 ABC Sydney may cover Swans matches if they are played on a Saturday afternoon, regardless of where they are playing. If they play in Sydney during that time schedule, appropriately 702 ABC Sydney will cover the match. Matches played at other times and days are broadcast on the ABC NewsRadio station's analogue AM/FM frequencies for listeners in Sydney, Newcastle, the NSW Central Coast and Canberra. Most Swans matches can be heard by listeners in the Riverina region of N.S.W. via the ABC RiverinaWagga Wagga (2RVR) service, on the 675 AM frequency. Match coverage can be heard anywhere in the world via live streaming at the official AFL website or by downloading the AFL app for smartphones such as the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy.


From 2002 to 2011 Network Ten would televise all Swans games played in Melbourne and outside of N.S.W. live, but on a half-hour delay when played in Sydney for Sydney viewers and via affiliated stations in N.S.W and Canberra. In past and recent years the Seven Network would broadcast Swans games to viewers in Sydney and most of N.S.W. and Canberra via the Prime TV network (now branded as Prime7). Matches were telecast either live, on a 30–90-minute delayed broadcast or late-night replay. Commencing 2002 all their games were broadcast live or on same day delay by Subscription television provider Foxtel across Australia on either the Fox Footy Channel or Fox Sports channels.

From 2012 to 2016, the AFL commenced a new broadcast deal requiring the Seven Network and their affiliate station Prime7 to broadcast all Sydney Swans (and Greater Western Sydney Giants) games live to viewers in Sydney and most of regional New South Wales and Canberra. These games are screened on the 7mate channel in these regions. Foxtel also signed a new broadcast deal for the 2012 – 2016 seasons which included screening all AFL matches (including all Swans games) live across Australia on their Fox Sports and Fox Footy channels.

See also

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The 2006 AFL Grand Final was an Australian rules football game contested between the Sydney Swans and West Coast Eagles, held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne on 30 September 2006. It was the 110th annual grand final of the Australian Football League, staged to determine the premiers for the 2006 AFL season. The match, attended by 97,431 spectators, was won by West Coast by a margin of one point, marking that club's third premiership victory.

Ross Lyon Australian rules footballer and coach

Ross Lyon is an Australian rules football coach and former player. He is the current senior coach of the Fremantle Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL), having previously coached the St Kilda Football Club between 2007 and 2011. He played for Fitzroy and the Brisbane Bears between 1985 and 1995.

The 1986 Victorian Football League season was the 90th season of the elite Australian rules football competition.

The 1985 Victorian Football League season was the 89th season of the elite Australian rules football competition. This season commenced in March 1985 and concluded on 28 September 1985 with Essendon winning their second consecutive premiership in a third consecutive Grand Final against Hawthorn.

1997 AFL Grand Final grand final of the 1997 Australian Football League season

The 1997 AFL Grand Final was an Australian rules football game contested between the Adelaide Football Club and the St Kilda Football Club, held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne on 27 September 1997. It was the 101st annual grand final of the Australian Football League, staged to determine the premiers for the 1997 AFL season. The match, attended by 99,645 spectators, was won by Adelaide by a margin of 31 points, marking that club's first premiership victory.

The 1982 Victorian Football League season was the 86th season of the elite Australian rules football competition. This season commenced on 20 March 1982 and concluded on 25 September 1982 with Carlton defeating Richmond in the Grand Final to win its second consecutive premiership.

The 1977 Victorian Football League season was the 81st season of the elite Australian rules football competition.

The 2001 Ansett Australia Cup was contested by all sixteen clubs of the Australian Football League prior to the beginning of the AFLs 2001 season. It ran for five weeks in February and March 2001. The competition took a round-robin format to provide all teams with at least 3 practice games to prepare for the 2001 regular season, with all clubs divided into four groups of four, and the group winners qualifying for the knockout semi finals. Group A comprised the defending premiers Essendon, Port Adelaide, Geelong and Sydney. Group B featured Kangaroos, Collingwood, West Coast and St Kilda. Group C featured Brisbane Lions, Carlton, Western Bulldogs and Adelaide while finally Group D comprised Hawthorn, Richmond, Fremantle and Melbourne.

The Australian Football League's 2008 Finals Series determined the top eight final positions of the 2008 AFL season. It began on the weekend of 5 September 2008 and ended with the 112th AFL Grand Final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 27 September 2008. The Hawthorn Hawks were crowned the 2008 AFL Premiers, beating the Geelong Cats by 26 points in front of a crowd of 100,012.

The St Kilda Football Club, nicknamed The Saints, is an Australian rules football club, based in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The club plays in the Australian Football League (AFL), the highest league in the country.

The Australian Football League is the top professional Australian rules football league in the world. The league consists of eighteen teams: nine based in the city of Melbourne, one from regional Victoria, and eight based in other Australian states. The reason for this unbalanced geographic distribution lies in the history of the league, which was based solely within Victoria from the time it was established in 1897, until the time the league expanded through the addition of clubs from interstate to the existing teams starting in the 1980s; until this expansion, the league was known as the Victorian Football League.

The Geelong Football Club, nicknamed The Cats, is a professional Australian rules football club based in the city of Geelong, Australia and playing in the Australian Football League (AFL). The Cats have been the VFL/AFL premiers nine times, with three in the AFL era. They have also won nine McClelland Trophies, a record shared with Essendon.

The 2016 season was the Hawthorn Football Club's 92nd season in the Australian Football League and 115th overall, the 17th season playing home games at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the 16th season playing home games at Aurora Stadium, the 12th season under head coach Alastair Clarkson, and the 6th season with Luke Hodge as club captain. Hawthorn entered the season as the three-time defending AFL premiers, having won back-to-back-to-back AFL premierships.

2016 AFL finals series

The 2016 Australian Football League finals series was the 120th annual edition of the VFL/AFL final series, the Australian rules football tournament staged to determine the winner of the 2016 AFL Premiership Season. The series ran over four weekends in September and October 2016, culminating with the 2016 AFL Grand Final, between the Sydney Swans and the Western Bulldogs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 1 October 2016. The Western Bulldogs defeated the Sydney Swans by 22 points to end a 62-year premiership drought, becoming the first team in AFL history to win the premiership from seventh place.


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