After steering the Swans to their first Riverina League finals appearance in a decade, Griffith director of coaching Adrian Pavese wants more from his side in 2017.
“Absolutely, just making finals isn’t good enough now, we want to make finals and go deep,” Pavese said.
“The goal year one was to re-establish and get back into the hunt, one [finals] game isn’t enough.
“We want to get a couple good games of finals footy in and see how we work it out from there.”
It all starts this Saturday at the Exies Oval when the Swans take on rivals Leeton-Whitton.
Pavese isn’t daunted by taking on last year’s grand finalists but instead felt it was the perfect way to start the season.
“It’s probably ideal for us to be playing Leeton at this time of year,” Pavese said.
“No disrespect to Turvey Park, we played Turvey last year [first-up] who were having some issues, but Saturday night, we get to play a side that’s tipped to be the premiers.
“It will give us an early indication on how we're tracking.”
The Swans have had minimal losses with Alex Birch and Nathan Richards the key outs from the 2016 squad.
To counteract the losses, Griffith went on the offensive with its recruitment with Brent Arho, Luke Shannon, Heath Northey, Ash Verhagen, Richard Malone and Jacob Barrington to run out in the red and white in 2017.
The return of Shannon to the club along with Toby Blissett – who returned in 2016 – sees the first grade squad dominated by locals which excited Pavese the most.
“Not only we’ve brought players back, we’ve brought players back that are former local juniors,” Pavese said.
“Come round one this Saturday night, we could have anywhere up to 15 local juniors running out, that’s really exciting for the footy club.”
If Riverina League fans’ opinions are anything to go by, this weekend’s match could be a grand final preview.
Fairfax Media ran a poll on who would win the premiership in 2017 and as of Wednesday afternoon the Swans were on top with 17.35 per cent of the vote with Leeton-Whitton next with 15.98 per cent.