George Hewett of the Swans.
George Hewett of the Swans. JULIAN SMITH

Key Swans leading from the front

YOUNG forward George Hewett feels lucky to have such a strong leadership group to look up to at Sydney, in good times and bad.

The 21-year-old South Australian says the club's form reversal in the past two months can be attributed to the likes of skipper Josh Kennedy, his predecessors Jarrad McVeigh and Kieren Jack, and vice-captains Dan Hannebery, Luke Parker and Dane Rampe dragging them back from the brink.

"We were in a bit of strife early, after the first six games," Hewett said of the 0-6 start to the season for the competition heavyweight.

"But with the leaders we've got ... I don't want to pump them up too much, but we've probably got one of the best (leadership groups) in the competition.

"We wouldn't want to have anyone else.

"When they're all playing and playing well it helps for sure."

Through injury, McVeigh missed 11 games, Rampe seven and Jack five to unsettle last year's runners-up.

Now close to full-strength, the Swans have won seven of their past eight - two wins more than the next best in that period.

"When we were losing, losing those close ones, as a group we probably just lost a bit of confidence and trust in each other," Hewett said.

"When you're down in confidence 10%, whoever you play, especially this year, any team will make you pay."

From sitting last after round six, the Swans have suddenly risen to $7 third favourite for the flag in most betting markets.

Hewett, however, echoed the club sentiment that far more work was to be done.

With eight games left, the Swans remain outside the top eight on percentage.

"We can't afford to get too far ahead of ourselves with the position we put ourselves in early," he said.

They'll be following the old adage of taking it one week at a time - starting with Gold Coast tomorrow in the twilight game at the SCG.

The Suns (6-8) are yet to beat the Swans but are coming off a strong win over North Melbourne.

"They've got some pretty handy players - one in particular, Gary Ablett," Hewett said.

Hewett enjoyed one of his best games in the win over a previously red-hot Melbourne last week, gathering career-best hauls of 29 touches and 10 marks on the wing and across half-forward alongside Lance Franklin.

He's hoping for a better display tomorrow than in his last appearance against the Suns.

"I played about five minutes last year and injured myself," he said.

"I feel like I've had a consistent enough year. Had a few average games. But I'm just trying to improve."

Sydney was expecting Callum Mills to be passed fit to play after being knocked unconscious by Demon Tomas Bugg.

"He's progressed really well since Saturday and has felt okay during the week," coach John Longmire said.

"That's all we can go on at the moment, but the doctor always has the final say."

News Corp Australia


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