Swans set to send in best for Coly trial

Australian football

THE Swans will face their most important challenge of the pre-season tonight as coach Brandon Mathews prepares to send his best possible side into battle against the Coleambally Blues.

Star recruit Michael Griffiths won't play and veteran full forward Trevor Richards could join him on the sidelines due to availability issues - but apart from them, Mathews is keen to put his premium selection to the test against the Farrer League outfit.

Mathews has warned his players not to get ahead of themselves after a good pre-season, with plenty of hard work ahead of them leading into the start of the new RFL season and Griffith's centenary celebrations on the Anzac Day weekend.

"To be quite honest I just want to see how we go structure-wise," he said.

"Now everyone's had a game and got the cobwebs out, we can concentrate on what we want to do.

"The real work starts now, really, or everything we've done will be for nothing."

Tonight's game in Coleambally will also provide a first real glimpse at how the Swans will set up this year.

After putting in plenty of hours throughout the summer months on improving basic skills and fitness, Mathews said workrate will be key to Griffith's success this year.

"They're fit enough, their skills have improved," he said.

"As far as gameplans go it's still a work in progress, but it'll be quick ball movement and a lot of running.

"When the opposition gets the footy, we want them to know they're going to be under the pump.

"We've all got our shortcomings but that's something that everyone can be good at. You mightn't be the best kick or the fastest, but your pressure can make it a pretty level playing field."

Mathews is close friends with Blues coach Mitch Carroll, and knows the Coly outfit will give the Swans a good run for their money tonight after a recruting spree across the off-season.

"I think they'll be pretty good. I played a bit of footy with Dean Pound down in Lavington and he's an absolute gun," he said.

"But once again, I'm not overly concerned about the score. I'm more concerned with seeing how everyone's going."

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