Goodes replaceable, says Swans veteran
As one of just four players left from Sydney's 2005 AFL premiership side, Lewis Roberts-Thomson knows as well as anyone the importance of influential skipper Adam Goodes.
So when Roberts-Thomson expresses confidence the Swans can manage without their best performer, it carries a certain amount of weight.
And while that will be the party line coming out of the SCG over the next six weeks while Goodes nurses a torn quad, Roberts-Thomson believes there's good reasoning behind the optimism.
"Goodesy is a really hard player to replace, but this year we've seen the emergence of a number of guys who have stepped up and taken a fair bit of responsibility," Roberts-Thomson said on Tuesday.
"Lewie Jetta, Lukey Parker, players like Josh Kennedy, Kieren Jack and Benny McGlynn, across the board they're all fantastic players and on their day they can be pretty special.
"I think one of the strengths of our side is that everyone contributes and we all work together to push the boat in the right direction."
The Swans' MCG clash with Richmond on Saturday will be the sides' first meeting since the Tigers thumped Sydney by 43 points in round 21 last year.
It was one of the Swans' lowest points in 2011, but Roberts-Thomson says the match is unlikely to be raised this week.
"We haven't spoken about what happened last year," he said.
"We love playing on the MCG, I don't think our record (80 wins from 204 games) suggests that.
"The challenge is the Tigers this week and we have to really be on our game ... they certainly have improved."
Goodes has missed only seven games through suspension and injury over the past 13 seasons but Roberts-Thomson feels the Swans are ready to shine without the dual Brownlow medallist.
"Goodesy's a fantastic player and no doubt is going to be a loss to the side but when you look at the form our reserves are in - there's any number of players who can step in and fill the gap there," the 28-year-old said.
"Goodesy missed a game two weeks ago against North Melbourne and there are a number of players in the reserves who stepped up and were able to fill that role that he played.
"I think that's the great thing about this side - there's a fair bit of depth.
"There's a real evenness in terms of contribution.
"It does (give you confidence). Another one we forget is Mark Seaby, who's come in for Shane Mumford and performed fantastically."
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