Matt?s life in the fast lane
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
A RETURN to the flock at Coffs Swans this season for rover Matt Lane has already got tongues wagging among the AFL community.
Lane won the competition's best and fairest award in 2001 and his return to the club has lifted spirits that a return to the finals for the Swans in 2006 is a distinct possibility.
The chance to return to Coffs Harbour where the majority of his family live was too good to pass up as was the opportunity to work in older brother Kelly's landscape gardening business.
"It was a good chance to catch up with family and live with family," he said.
The return also means that Lane can enjoy playing football alongside his brother although Kelly's new found fashion sense has the younger brother questioning whether his return to football is the wisest of choices.
"It's always good to play with family even though he's wearing white boots this year," he joked.
Prior to this season the speedy midfielder last played for the club in the 2002 finals and has been living in Melbourne since then but he admits that in the three years that he lived there he never laced up a boot.
This weekend, Lane and his Swan teammates again get to lock horns with their cross-town enemy North Coffs.
The Swans haven't beaten the Kangaroos since 2001 but Lane believes that the foundation for success is being laid and that his team are a ealistic chance of overcoming their rivals at Fitzroy Oval today.
"We're looking to be competitive, it's early stages in the season at the moment but we're getting there," the 26 year-old said.
"There's a few new guys at the club and a few under 18s coming through, as well as a couple of guys who haven't played in a while so I think we'll get better as we go along."
The Swans strong win over Port Macquarie last week has built up morale and hopes around the club.
Lane refuses to talk his team's chances too much though.
"North Coffs have been in the grand final a few years in a row now," he said.
"But any game of football is a difficult to win for any team."