THEIR famed ''Bloods'' culture is rated a benchmark in Australian sport, and Canberra coach David Furner hopes to tap into the secrets behind the Sydney Swans' successful blueprint when he visits the AFL premiers this month.
Unheralded by most experts before last season, the Swans' trademark grit and unshakeable belief in their principles was a major pillar behind bringing a second flag to the Harbour City.
Always keen to learn from colleagues in other sports, Furner plans to visit Swans headquarters on January 21 to gauge some of the ingredients behind their strong on- and off-field systems.
''Culture is a massive one, they've shown that in the past and it's one they've been able to sustain and believe in,'' Furner said on Thursday. ''You can also pick up things when you go along and see how they train. The discussions would include travel and what they do on their long road trips, we want to make sure we're doing all the right things with recovery.
''The Swans are very similar to us in terms of we're the only rugby league team here, they're one of only two AFL teams in Sydney, what are the advantages there? There's always improvement [to be made], and that's what I'm looking at.''
Raiders prop David Shillington said the club had made a concerted effort to finetune its culture, and said they would continue to do so before the new season.
''Obviously the Swans have been doing it really well for a long period of time, they've got that 'Blood Brothers' thing going, and it's very well known they've got a great culture there,'' he said. ''It was definitely something we were trying to improve last year, to get that winning and working hard culture.
''I think we came a long way last year but we've still got a bit to go. We should keep our foot on the pedal and keep driving that.''
One of the NRL's youngest teams, the Raiders brought in leadership coach Sam Patterson to mentor the club's second-tier leaders including Jarrod Croker, Josh McCrone and Shaun Fensom.
While there were a couple of off-field incidents, including the standing down of Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson for one match for alcohol misdemeanours, Shillington said the club was on the right track. ''People will make mistakes, but if we create the right culture of doing the right thing, training hard and ripping in on the playing field, the club will be better as a whole.''