the ugly sound of booing during AFL matches
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The Sydney Swans AFL team made the finals in 2023. This was an achievement, as for much of the season injuries and form conspired to make this look unlikely. In a hope that AI might have some answers, I asked AI about the Sydney Swans and their season. So, John Longmire, if you get the chance to read this, may there be something of use in what Chat GPT had to say on the matter. Personally, I was a bit impressed, as the copy was not mere waffle on the topic but had a few pertinent points to make. Of course, my question contained the necessary qualifications to hone a reasonable answer.

Swans Shellacking By Cats Is Déjà Vu

Questioning Chat GPT Regarding The Sydney Swans

“The Sydney Swans’ journey through the 2023 AFL season has been characterized by a mix of achievements and challenges on the statistical front. To position themselves for a shot at the premiership, the team needs to strategically address key areas for improvement while capitalizing on their existing strengths.

One notable strength of the Sydney Swans has been their defensive prowess. Throughout the season, their backline has consistently demonstrated a strong ability to intercept opposition plays, showcasing exceptional reading of the game and accurate disposal. This defensive foundation provides them with a solid platform to build upon. To maximize this advantage, the team should focus on maintaining defensive discipline, minimizing turnovers, and efficiently transitioning the ball from the backline to the midfield.

However, a closer look at their statistics reveals potential vulnerabilities. One area that requires attention is their midfield performance. While the Swans’ midfielders have shown flashes of brilliance, their consistency in winning contested possessions and clearances has been lacking. This hampers their ability to gain control of the game’s tempo and dictate play. Strengthening the midfield will be crucial for gaining an edge in close matches, as it allows for better supply to the forward line and restricts opponents’ scoring opportunities.

Additionally, the forward line has been somewhat inconsistent in converting opportunities into goals. The team must address this by refining their forward structures, improving accuracy in front of goal, and enhancing synergy between the midfielders and forwards. Developing a deeper pool of scoring options will make them less predictable and increase their overall offensive potency.”

  • (Chat GPT, 26th August 2023)
silver iMac with keyboard and trackpad inside room
I asked AI about the Sydney Swans

Swans Lose To Melbourne at SCG Round 24

Picking this post up following the Swan’s defeat in round 24 at the hands of Melbourne. Once again, Sydney could only stand up for 3 quarters. In those quarters they were mighty in many regards. Luke Parker was giving it his all. Errol Gulden was fantastic with 2 goals and 42 disposals. Chad Warner was at it all day. Callum Mills played one of his best games in 2023. James Rowbottom was mighty. However, the forward line let the team down in front of goals with a lack of composure. Isaac Heeney tried hard but was under enormous pressure all day.

It was the old story, if you don’t take your chances and score maximum points it makes winning tough games unlikely.

high-angle photo of round stadium at nighttime

More AI Advice For Team Sydney Swans

“To enhance their premiership prospects, the Swans need to invest in player development and tactical flexibility. Building depth across all lines ensures they can weather injuries and fatigue that inevitably occur over the course of a demanding season. Moreover, having players who can seamlessly adapt to different positions and roles adds a layer of unpredictability to their gameplay, making them harder to strategize against.

Team cohesion and leadership are intangible yet pivotal aspects of a successful campaign. The Swans should continue nurturing a positive team culture, fostering camaraderie among players, and empowering emerging leaders to take charge both on and off the field. Strong leadership bolsters morale during tough times and galvanizes the team towards a common goal.

Lastly, the coaching staff’s ability to adapt to varying match situations is paramount. Swift tactical adjustments during games can be the difference-maker, particularly against strong opposition. Analyzing opponents’ strengths and weaknesses, as well as analyzing game data to identify patterns, will enable the coaching staff to formulate effective strategies that exploit opponents’ vulnerabilities.

In summary, the Sydney Swans have the foundation to contend for the premiership in the 2023 AFL season, but they need to address their midfield consistency, forward line accuracy, and cultivate tactical flexibility. Strengthening these aspects, coupled with a resilient team culture, adaptable leadership, and astute coaching, can propel them to the pinnacle of success. It’s the holistic approach that integrates statistical analysis with strategic planning and intangible factors that will ultimately position the Swans as formidable premiership contenders.”

Chat GPT
  • (Chat GPT, 26th August 2023)
a sports stadium with a field and a field with a crowd of people with Melbourne Cricket Ground in the background

Swans Vs Melbourne: Useful Takeaways From The Match

It was better a performance at centre bounces by the Swans in terms of winning the ball by the midfield. Well, for 3 quarters it was anyway. Bigger bodies in Petracca and Viney won out in the end in that last quarter all over the ground. How did Bailey Frisch kick 5 goals and who was on him in that last quarter? It was a poor defensive performance by the Swans in this key regard. Tom McCartin and Dane Rampey gave their all and tried hard all day. Unfortunately, Harry Cunningham made a few poor disposal errors during the game, but he never gave up. Robbie Fox was good and gave his 110%. The Swans lack size and muscle in defence and around the ball.

There were questionably umpiring decisions which went against the Swans in front of goals for Melbourne. The inconsistency around dropping the ball when the ball is knocked out in the tackle is galling. Razor Ray made several decisions against the Swans and did not penalise Melbourne players for exactly the same thing. It spoils the game, in my opinion.

Are the Swans fit enough? Is this the issue in their going missing in last quarters? Is it physical fitness issues or mental concentration and application problems over the journey? Melbourne hounded them out of the game in the final quarter and Adelaide thrashed them in the last quarter the week before. There have been around half a dozen or more examples of losing last quarters where Swans players go missing in the contest.


Too many lightweight players unable to make their physical presence count when it really matters. Jake Lloyd has been a great player for a longtime and yet lacks size and power in key defensive contests. Dylan Stephens is an outside wingman but must put his head over the ball more.

a person holding a cell phone in front of a computer screen

Chat GPT Recommendations For Sydney Swans AFL Team To Win CB Ball

“To enhance the Sydney Swans’ midfield performance and win more ball from center bounces, several strategic and tactical adjustments can be considered:

Positioning and Timing: Proper positioning is crucial for winning center bounce contests. Midfielders should focus on getting to the right spots at the right time. This involves reading the ruckman’s taps and anticipating where the ball will land. Quick reactions and a strong sense of timing are essential.

Ruckman-Midfielder Connection: Developing a strong understanding between the ruckman and midfielders is vital. Ruckmen should communicate their intentions to midfielders, indicating where they plan to tap the ball. Midfielders can then position themselves accordingly to take advantage of these taps.

Variation in Ruck Taps: Ruckmen should vary their tap directions and techniques to keep opposition midfielders guessing. A mix of short, long, and taps to advantage can disrupt the opposition’s setup and create opportunities for the Swans’ midfielders to exploit.

Contested Ball Focus: Winning center bounces often comes down to contested ball situations. Midfielders should be prepared for physical contests and focus on their body positioning to gain an advantage over their opponents. Good use of the body and positioning can help them gain first possession.

Teamwork and Communication: Effective communication among midfielders is essential. They should signal their intentions to each other, such as calling for the ball or directing teammates to certain areas. This teamwork ensures they’re supporting each other and spreading the opposition’s focus.

Quick Ball Movement: Once the ball is won, swift and clean ball movement is key. Midfielders should look to move the ball into space before the opposition’s defense can set up. Quick ball movement can catch opponents off guard and create scoring opportunities.

Second Efforts: Center bounces are often chaotic, and the ball can spill to ground quickly. Midfielders who follow up their initial contest with second efforts can win crucial ground balls and maintain possession for their team.

Chat GPT

Skill Development: Improving skills like clean pickups, effective handballs, and accurate disposal under pressure is fundamental. Midfielders should train to perform these skills consistently, allowing them to make the most of their possessions.

Adaptability: Different opponents and conditions require adaptability in tactics. The midfielders should be prepared to adjust their strategies based on the opposition’s setup and how the game is unfolding.

Analyzing Opponents: Prior to matches, thorough analysis of opponents’ center bounce setups and tactics can provide insights into potential weaknesses to exploit. The midfielders can work on countering these setups effectively.

Fitness and Endurance: Center bounces are physically demanding, requiring high levels of fitness and endurance. The midfielders should be well-conditioned to maintain their performance throughout the match, especially during crucial moments like center bounces.

Simulated Practice: Simulating center bounce scenarios during training sessions can help midfielders refine their techniques, practice contested situations, and develop their decision-making under pressure.

By implementing these strategies and emphasizing skill development, communication, and teamwork, the Sydney Swans’ midfielders can significantly enhance their ability to win more ball from center bounces. This increased midfield dominance will contribute to better overall team performance and set them on a path towards success in the AFL season.”

black and white robot toy on red wooden table
Who will be the next Buddy?

Yes, some of the above is pretty bloody obvious stuff but the Swans do need to consistently win more ball from centre bounces and stoppages.

Second efforts demand greater fitness, flexibility, and strength. I think that the side could focus more on second efforts at stoppages.

Goal kicking is a reflection of mental strength. Confidence breeds composure under pressure. In my observations I see a lack of belief in oneself contributing to misses in front of goal. My advice, fake it until you make it – Isaac Heeney.  Heeney is a beautiful kick of the footy but mental scar tissue from misses make him vulnerable to the pressure. Make your intention more powerful than anything else. Take a leaf out of Toby Greene’s book.

All the Swan’s forward line must bite the bullet and make their intention unbreakable. Winning games of footy depends upon kicking straight. Winning the ball is one thing but kicking straight is the crowning achievement and one without the other is a waste of time.

Go Swans!

Robert Sudha Hamilton has been following the Swans since the bad old days when Gary Buckenara and, then, Barassi coached the team.

A Letter To Members From Sydney Swans Coach John Longmire

Dear members and fans,

Hasn’t 2023 been one hell of a ride.

After a slow start and some personnel issues in the first half of the year we like to think we have played a bit better in the second half of the year.

This year we have seen the retirement of one of the best ever in Lance Franklin and the evolution of some of our young guns.

But now, it’s all about our finals journey.

Our defeat to Melbourne has us finishing the season in eighth position, it’s a terrific achievement in such a tight competition to be playing finals once again. Our 18th finals series in 21 years.

We have earnt the right to have another crack in September, and we all want you, the members and fans to get on board, when we take on Carlton in our first final.

We hope you can join us in full voice at the MCG.

Elimination Final
Carlon V Sydney Swans
Friday, September 8. 7:50pm

It’s time for the Swans to GO AGAIN … embrace the challenge of another finals campaign and crack in.

Swans footy is tough and unrelenting, and that’s the way we’ll approach our first final.

To you, our passionate members and fans, who were this year part of our all-time membership record of 62,000 members, you have once again ridden the wave with us this year and for that we thank you.

Go Swans.

John Longmire
Senior Coach, Sydney Swans

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