GRIFFITH coach Adrian Pavese is confident the Swans are better placed for this year’s finals series than they were last year.
The Swans made their first finals appearance in a decade last year, when they were on the receiving end of a 69-point thrashing from Collingullie-Glenfield Park in the elimination final.
Fast forward 12 months, and the Swans will again feature in the elimination final, this time against Coolamon at Robertson Oval on Sunday.
“We’re definitely playing better footy this year, compared to last year,” Pavese said.
“We’ve had a great two months, we’ve only lost two out of our last nine and we’re pretty much injury free compared to last year when we were on our knees going into the Gullie game.
“I think that will hold us in good stead.”
The only injury concerns for Griffith are Ash Verhagen (hamstring) and Luke Shannon (knee).
Neither player finished the game and Pavese labelled Verhagen more likely to come up than Shannon. Both must get through training on Friday night.
Not only are the Swans aiming to land their first finals win in more than a decade, there is the added incentive of a home final next week should they get through.
The first semi-final is at Exies Oval next Sunday and the winner of Sunday’s game will take on the loser of the qualifying final between Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes and Leeton-Whitton.
Pavese said the home final is definitely an extra carrot for the Swans.
“Absolutely, obviously we take it week by week but that carrot at the end of it is massive for us,” he said.
“We have to knock over Coolamon and get that job done first but if we can it could open us doors for us.”
Pavese understands Coolamon will present a massive challenge first.
“They’re a good, tough team and they have improved massively,” he said.
“Obviously with Chambo and Matt Hard moving on at the end of the year, that adds to their incentive as well.
“We’re under no illusions it will be a hard game, but it’s something we’re looking forward to.”
Griffith belted Coolamon at Exies Oval in July beating them by 72 points. They also beat the Hoppers at Kindra Park by 24 points in April.
It will be Griffith captain James Toscan’s 150th game on Sunday, while it will also be Ben King’s 50th.
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