JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.



Wow, Jetta gives Sydney an edge

Date

Robert Walls

Lewis Jetta is bringing a little razzle dazzle to the Swans team.

Lewis Jetta is bringing a little razzle dazzle to the Swans team. Photo: Getty Images

SYDNEY, which is sitting 8-3, is on track to play finals for the 14th time in the past 17 seasons. It's a wonderful record of consistency; one that no other club can boast.

Rodney Eade started the run in 1996 when, in his first season as coach, he lifted the team from 12th into the grand final. Then Paul Roos' record of seven finals series in eight seasons was a super effort. Now, John Longmire has maintained the standard.

The disappointment for Sydney fans is that there is only one premiership - 2005 - for all that September action. Will it be the same again in 2012? Another solid season, but no silverware to show for it?

Last year, the Swans were a solid, hard-working team but lacked flair. They started well, fell away and then hit form running into the finals. They were a team that won a lot of contested ball, dominated the clearances, tackled feverishly and kicked long. But they didn't play on much, didn't handball a lot, averaged only 12 goals a game, and the spread of goalkickers was thin.

To become a top-four club, the Swans desperately needed speed and dare to go with the grunt and grind that serves them so well.

It appears they've found it.

Enter Lewis Jetta. The skinny winger-cum-half-forward from Swan Districts is in his third year at Sydney. But, boy, has he arrived.

In his first season, he became somewhat of a novelty: he just couldn't kick a goal. He set an unwanted record of 19 behinds before he finally kicked truly. Last year, he set another record: he was Sydney's starting substitute five times. Averaging just under nine possessions a game, he was dropped for Sydney's two finals matches. His future was uncertain.

It appears that over summer, Kieren Jack, one of the Swans' hardest trainers, took Jetta under his wing. End result: Jetta developed a big tank and a heap of confidence. He was ready to take the game on. With his speed, class and new-found fitness, he has emerged as the most improved player in the AFL.

Jetta leads the Swans' goalkicking with 27 - 13 ahead of the next best. He is ranked second for overall kicks, and kicks into the forward 50. His scoring assists are also impressive. He is averaging almost 17 disposals a game, defends much better and wins a lot more contested ball. With his explosive run, carry and classy finishing, he has given Sydney a ''wow'' factor.

If the All-Australian team was selected today, he would be in it on a half-forward flank.

Assisting Jetta with dash and delivery is his plucky mentor, Jack. The soon-to-turn 25-year-old has just played his 100th game and has come of age as a footballer.

Roos gave a young Jack run-with roles on the opposition's gun midfielders. He quickly learnt when and where to run. Now he is a gun himself. In 2010, he won the club best and fairest. Last year, he struggled with injuries and couldn't find a spot in the top 10 of the club award. This year, he has risen to another level. He is quick, courageous and skilful. Now he kicks and creates goals. He can run all day and at the stoppages he complements the hardness of Josh Kennedy and Jude Bolton.

A big test for Jetta and Jack will be whether they can handle the tags their good form has ensured will come their way.

Recognising the need for speed, Longmire recruited Tony Armstrong from Adelaide. Players love being traded to the Swans because they inevitably get better.

Now getting senior games, Armstrong provides dash off half-back. With Adam Goodes and Ben McGlynn returning after injury, you sense this Sydney team will be the quickest for years.

It means the coach can switch to a more attacking game plan when needed. Last year, the Swans were ranked last for handballs. Now they are ranked sixth as they move the ball on a lot quicker.

Last year, the Swans averaged 86 points a game. Now, it's 101. The emphasis in the AFL over the past couple of seasons has been to be more offensive. Longmire has read the play and adapted.

Tonight's match at the SCG is a massive one for Sydney. If it beats Geelong, finals are just about assured. Goodes and ruckman Shane Mumford will have time to run into form before September and you would expect key forward Sam Reid to play better in the second half of the season.

If the stars align for Sydney in a season where the premiership is up for grabs, you just never know.

It took the Swans 72 years to win their fourth premiership. It might only take another seven to secure the fifth.

5 comments

  • Still need to convert the inside 50s into points more effectively to convince me that the Swans can go all the way. Mind you, it's always better to be spending more time in your attacking half. Game against the Cats tonight could be a cracker.

    Commenter
    Nincompoop
    Location
    Brewongle Concourse
    Date and time
    June 22, 2012, 8:46AM
    • John Longmire has done a terrific job reinventing the Bloods' game plan and don't all footy fans love it! Paul Roos has to also be given much credit for recruiting players such as Jetta, Rohan, Kennedy, McGlynn, Reid and of course Big Mummy to the club just before his retirement. All bodes well for the once "ugly ducklings" who could go all the way in this very open season. Tonights game could be season defining for both clubs. Go Bloods!

      Commenter
      Sid Arthur
      Location
      old stand at the Lake Oval
      Date and time
      June 22, 2012, 9:51AM
      • Wallsy, nice to see you recognizing and acknowledging the Swans as a viable finals chance for a change. In the past you have been nothing but critical of the team, coaches and their style of play. You getting on the bandwagon now? Not sure there's room for you.

        Commenter
        Kate
        Location
        South of Sydney
        Date and time
        June 22, 2012, 11:33AM
        • Hi Robert, I mostly agree with this analysis, Lewis Jetta has become an excellent AFL player and has provided another dimension to the Swans. I disagree slightly with your analysis that he is the most improved player in the AFL, almost every team has 1 or 2 players that have greatly improved. My pick for most improved is Patrick Dangerfield, his strength, pace, toughness and skill is amazing to watch and is a large contributor to Adelaide's improved position this year!!!!

          Commenter
          SimonTigey
          Location
          Adelaide
          Date and time
          June 22, 2012, 2:46PM
          • Go the jetstar

            Commenter
            Mark
            Date and time
            June 22, 2012, 3:20PM
            Comments are now closed

            Related Coverage

            HuffPost Australia

            AFL 2016

            Round 1
            Thu, 24 MarTimes shown AEDT
            RIC vs CAR 19:20MCG
            Sat, 26 MarTimes shown AEDT
            MEL vs GWS 13:40MCG
            GCF vs ESS 16:35MS
            NTH vs ADE 19:25ES
            SYD vs COL 19:25ANZ
            Sun, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
            WBU vs FRE 13:10ES
            PTA vs STK 15:20Adelaide Oval
            WCE vs BRI 19:40Domain Stadium
            Mon, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
            GEE vs HAW 15:20MCG
            View All Fixtures
            Round 2
            Fri, 01 AprTimes shown AEDT
            COL vs RIC 19:50MCG
            Sat, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
            ADE vs PTA 13:45Adelaide Oval
            ESS vs MEL 14:10MCG
            BRI vs NTH 16:35G
            STK vs WBU 19:25ES
            FRE vs GCF 19:40Domain Stadium
            Sun, 03 AprTimes shown AEST
            GWS vs GEE 13:10SO
            HAW vs WCE 15:20MCG
            CAR vs SYD 16:40ES
            View All Fixtures
            Round 3
            Fri, 08 AprTimes shown AEST
            PTA vs ESS 19:50Adelaide Oval
            Sat, 09 AprTimes shown AEST
            STK vs COL 13:45MCG
            RIC vs ADE 14:10ES
            SYD vs GWS 16:35SCG
            GCF vs CAR 19:25MS
            WCE vs FRE 19:40Domain Stadium
            Sun, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
            NTH vs MEL 13:10BA
            WBU vs HAW 15:20ES
            GEE vs BRI 16:40SS
            View All Fixtures
            Round 4
            Fri, 15 AprTimes shown AEST
            WCE vs RIC 20:10Domain Stadium
            Sat, 16 AprTimes shown AEST
            ESS vs GEE 13:45MCG
            HAW vs STK 14:10AS
            BRI vs GCF 16:35G
            CAR vs WBU 19:25ES
            ADE vs SYD 19:40Adelaide Oval
            Sun, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
            GWS vs PTA 13:10SO
            COL vs MEL 15:20MCG
            NTH vs FRE 16:40ES
            View All Fixtures
            Round 5
            Fri, 22 AprTimes shown AEST
            HAW vs ADE 19:50MCG
            Sat, 23 AprTimes shown AEST
            SYD vs WCE 13:40SCG
            GCF vs NTH 16:35MS
            WBU vs BRI 19:25ES
            PTA vs GEE 19:40Adelaide Oval
            Sun, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
            STK vs GWS 13:10ES
            FRE vs CAR 16:10Domain Stadium
            MEL vs RIC 19:10MCG
            Mon, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
            COL vs ESS 15:20MCG
            View All Fixtures
            Round 6
            Fri, 29 AprTimes shown AEST
            NTH vs WBU 19:50ES
            Sat, 30 AprTimes shown AEST
            MEL vs STK 13:45ES
            ADE vs FRE 14:10Adelaide Oval
            GWS vs HAW 16:35Spotless Stadium
            RIC vs PTA 19:25MCG
            GEE vs GCF 19:25SS
            Sun, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
            BRI vs SYD 13:10G
            CAR vs ESS 15:20MCG
            WCE vs COL 16:40Domain Stadium
            View All Fixtures
            Round 7
            Fri, 06 MayTimes shown AEST
            RIC vs HAW 19:50MCG
            Sat, 07 MayTimes shown AEST
            COL vs CAR 13:45MCG
            GEE vs WCE 14:10SS
            SYD vs ESS 16:35ANZ
            GCF vs MEL 17:10MS
            WBU vs ADE 19:40ES
            FRE vs GWS 20:10Domain Stadium
            Sun, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
            STK vs NTH 15:20ES
            PTA vs BRI 16:40Adelaide Oval
            View All Fixtures
            Round 8
            Fri, 13 MayTimes shown AEST
            ADE vs GEE 19:50Adelaide Oval
            Sat, 14 MayTimes shown AEST
            ESS vs NTH 13:45ES
            HAW vs FRE 14:10AS
            GWS vs GCF 16:35Spotless Stadium
            BRI vs COL 19:25G
            RIC vs SYD 19:25MCG
            Sun, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
            CAR vs PTA 13:10ES
            MEL vs WBU 15:20MCG
            WCE vs STK 16:40Domain Stadium
            View All Fixtures
            Round 9
            Fri, 20 MayTimes shown AEST
            HAW vs SYD 19:50MCG
            Sat, 21 MayTimes shown AEST
            COL vs GEE 13:45MCG
            GCF vs ADE 14:10MS
            PTA vs WCE 16:35Adelaide Oval
            NTH vs CAR 19:25ES
            FRE vs RIC 19:40Domain Stadium
            Sun, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
            MEL vs BRI 13:10MCG
            GWS vs WBU 15:20Spotless Stadium
            STK vs ESS 16:40ES
            View All Fixtures
            Round 10
            Fri, 27 MayTimes shown AEST
            SYD vs NTH 19:50SCG
            Sat, 28 MayTimes shown AEST
            BRI vs HAW 13:45G
            MEL vs PTA 14:10TIO Traeger Park
            STK vs FRE 16:35ES
            ESS vs RIC 19:25MCG
            ADE vs GWS 19:40Adelaide Oval
            Sun, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
            CAR vs GEE 13:10ES
            COL vs WBU 15:20MCG
            WCE vs GCF 16:40Domain Stadium
            View All Fixtures
            Round 11
            Fri, 03 JunTimes shown AEST
            NTH vs RIC 19:50BA
            Sat, 04 JunTimes shown AEST
            HAW vs MEL 13:45MCG
            CAR vs BRI 14:10ES
            GEE vs GWS 16:35SS
            GCF vs SYD 19:25MS
            FRE vs ESS 19:40Domain Stadium
            Sun, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
            COL vs PTA 13:10MCG
            WBU vs WCE 15:20ES
            ADE vs STK 16:40Adelaide Oval
            View All Fixtures
            Round 12
            Fri, 10 JunTimes shown AEST
            ESS vs HAW 19:50ES
            Sat, 11 JunTimes shown AEST
            PTA vs WBU 13:40Adelaide Oval
            BRI vs FRE 16:35G
            GEE vs NTH 19:25ES
            WCE vs ADE 19:40Domain Stadium
            Sun, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
            STK vs CAR 13:10ES
            RIC vs GCF 15:20MCG
            GWS vs SYD 16:40Spotless Stadium
            Mon, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
            MEL vs COL 15:20MCG
            View All Fixtures
            Round 13
            Fri, 17 JunTimes shown AEST
            NTH vs HAW 19:50ES
            Sat, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
            BRI vs WCE 13:40G
            FRE vs PTA 16:35Domain Stadium
            WBU vs GEE 19:25ES
            Sun, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
            SYD vs MEL 13:10SCG
            ESS vs GWS 16:40ES
            View All Fixtures
            Round 14
            Thu, 23 JunTimes shown AEST
            ADE vs NTH 19:50Adelaide Oval
            Fri, 24 JunTimes shown AEST
            COL vs FRE 19:50MCG
            Sat, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
            RIC vs BRI 13:40MCG
            GWS vs CAR 16:35Spotless Stadium
            STK vs GEE 19:25ES
            Sun, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
            HAW vs GCF 15:20AS
            View All Fixtures
            Round 15
            Thu, 30 JunTimes shown AEST
            WCE vs ESS 20:10Domain Stadium
            Fri, 01 JulTimes shown AEST
            PTA vs RIC 19:50Adelaide Oval
            Sat, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
            GCF vs STK 13:40MS
            SYD vs WBU 16:35SCG
            CAR vs COL 19:25MCG
            Sun, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
            MEL vs ADE 15:20MCG
            View All Fixtures
            Round 16
            Thu, 07 JulTimes shown AEST
            PTA vs HAW 19:50Adelaide Oval
            Fri, 08 JulTimes shown AEST
            GEE vs SYD 19:50SS
            Sat, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
            GWS vs COL 13:40Spotless Stadium
            GCF vs BRI 16:35MS
            WBU vs RIC 19:25ES
            MEL vs FRE 19:40TIO
            Sun, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
            CAR vs ADE 13:10MCG
            WCE vs NTH 15:20Domain Stadium
            ESS vs STK 16:40ES
            View All Fixtures
            Round 17
            Thu, 14 JulTimes shown AEST
            SYD vs HAW 19:20SCG
            Fri, 15 JulTimes shown AEST
            FRE vs GEE 20:10Domain Stadium
            Sat, 16 JulTimes shown AEST
            RIC vs ESS 13:40MCG
            NTH vs PTA 16:35ES
            WBU vs GCF 19:25CAZ
            ADE vs COL 19:40Adelaide Oval
            Sun, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
            CAR vs WCE 13:10MCG
            STK vs MEL 15:20ES
            BRI vs GWS 16:40G
            View All Fixtures
            Round 18
            Fri, 22 JulTimes shown AEST
            COL vs NTH 19:50ES
            Sat, 23 JulTimes shown AEST
            SYD vs CAR 13:45ANZ
            GCF vs FRE 14:10MS
            WCE vs MEL 16:35Domain Stadium
            WBU vs STK 19:25ES
            GEE vs ADE 19:25SS
            Sun, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
            ESS vs BRI 13:10ES
            HAW vs RIC 15:20MCG
            PTA vs GWS 16:40Adelaide Oval
            View All Fixtures
            Round 19
            Fri, 29 JulTimes shown AEST
            GEE vs WBU 19:50SS
            Sat, 30 JulTimes shown AEST
            GWS vs RIC 13:45SO
            HAW vs CAR 14:10AS
            COL vs WCE 16:35MCG
            BRI vs PTA 19:25G
            NTH vs STK 19:25ES
            Sun, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
            MEL vs GCF 13:10MCG
            FRE vs SYD 15:20Domain Stadium
            ADE vs ESS 16:40Adelaide Oval
            View All Fixtures
            Round 20
            Fri, 05 AugTimes shown AEST
            RIC vs COL 19:50MCG
            Sat, 06 AugTimes shown AEST
            SYD vs PTA 13:45SCG
            MEL vs HAW 14:10MCG
            GCF vs GWS 16:35MS
            WBU vs NTH 19:25ES
            ADE vs BRI 19:40Adelaide Oval
            Sun, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
            CAR vs STK 13:10MCG
            GEE vs ESS 15:20ES
            FRE vs WCE 16:40Domain Stadium
            View All Fixtures
            Round 21
            Fri, 12 AugTimes shown AEST
            WBU vs COL 19:50ES
            Sat, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
            BRI vs CAR 13:45G
            HAW vs NTH 14:10MCG
            GWS vs WCE 16:35Spotless Stadium
            STK vs SYD 19:25ES
            PTA vs MEL 19:40Adelaide Oval
            Sun, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
            ESS vs GCF 13:10ES
            RIC vs GEE 15:20MCG
            FRE vs ADE 16:40Domain Stadium
            View All Fixtures
            Round 22
            Fri, 19 AugTimes shown AEST
            WCE vs HAW 20:10Domain Stadium
            Sat, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
            NTH vs SYD 13:45BA
            RIC vs STK 14:10MCG
            GWS vs FRE 16:35Spotless Stadium
            COL vs GCF 19:25ES
            PTA vs ADE 19:40Adelaide Oval
            Sun, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
            CAR vs MEL 13:10MCG
            BRI vs GEE 15:20G
            ESS vs WBU 16:40ES
            View All Fixtures
            Round 23
            Sat, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
            HAW vs COL 12:00MCG
            STK vs BRI 12:00ES
            ESS vs CAR 12:00MCG
            GCF vs PTA 12:00MS
            SYD vs RIC 12:00SCG
            NTH vs GWS 12:00ES
            GEE vs MEL 12:00SS
            ADE vs WCE 12:30Adelaide Oval
            FRE vs WBU 14:00Domain Stadium
            View All Fixtures
            AFL 2015
            Overall standings
            Team P W L D % Pts
            Adelaide Crows 0 0 0 0 - 0
            Brisbane Lions 0 0 0 0 - 0
            Carlton 0 0 0 0 - 0
            Collingwood 0 0 0 0 - 0
            Essendon 0 0 0 0 - 0
            Fremantle 0 0 0 0 - 0
            Geelong Cats 0 0 0 0 - 0
            Gold Coast Suns 0 0 0 0 - 0
            View all
             

            Follow Us on Facebook

            Featured advertisers