Coffs Swan Jay Guthrie hopes for success in the semi-final.
Coffs Swan Jay Guthrie hopes for success in the semi-final.

Jay to fly like an eagle

By BRAD GREENSHIELDS

IF THE Coffs Swans are going win this afternoon's AFL North Coast 2nd Semi Final against Port Macquarie at the International Stadium, gun recruit Jay Guthrie says there's one important part of their game that needs to be fixed. "Obviously we've been slow off the mark, just trying to ease into it," the 22 year-old said. "We've come back well and it's been tight at the end but we just let them go at the start so the first five to ten minutes is the crucial part." Guthrie moved to the Swans three months ago from Ballarat club Sebastopol and already his hard running and love of a goal have been a vital part of the Swans' resurgence in 2006. It's been seven long years since the red and white's last tasted premiership success and even longer for Guthrie. There's a feeling among the Swans' veterans that this may be the year the drought ends but Guthrie says that the players don't want to talk about it off the field. They'd prefer to make sure the job gets done on it. "A few of the guys who've been under the radar for the last two or three years have really lifted up, the guys like 'Sticks' (Wade Hickey) and 'Big Leigh' (Leigh Maher)," the left-footer explained. "We don't want to let it all out too early but they're talking about not letting the chance go because they don't come around every day." Aside from loving his new football club, the one thing that Guthrie can't get over as a former Ballarat boy is the weather on the Coffs Coast. "The weather's the best, it's about minus four degrees in Ballarat at the moment," the Essendon supporter said excitedly. "I haven't been out surfing on a board yet but I've already done a bit of bodysurfing." Guthrie is hoping to make a splash of a different kind this afternoon. A berth in the grand final and a week's rest awaits the victor of today's clash and the Swans midfielder believes that his team has got the right stuff to collect the rewards on offer today. "We can do it, it's just if we match-up properly on game day, that's what it is" he said. "It's whoever wants it more but I suppose that's the same with every game."



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