2014 Australian of the Year Adam Goodes.
2014 Australian of the Year Adam Goodes. Bruce Thomas

Swans simply too Goodes

THE outstanding pre-season form of dual Brownlow medallist Adam Goodes has continued in Coffs Harbour.

Goodes kicked four goals roaming the forward line as the Swans overcame a lacklustre St Kilda 12.12 (84) to 8.5 (53) in Saturday night’s NAB Challenge match at BCU International Stadium.

The comfortable victory will give the Swans plenty of confidence its key-position players can propel them towards September action.

Despite his captain kicking 10 goals in the past two matches, new coach John Longmire said it was impossible for him to lock a player of Goodes’ versatility into only one position.

“Adam has shown the ability to play well anywhere,” Longmire said.

“Be that midfield or forward he’ll continue to be able to play really variable teams with him because he’s able to adapt so quickly.

“He’s obviously a quality forward and can kick goals when he’s close to our forward line but we know he’s a quality midfielder as well so he’ll play in a number of different roles.”

Goodes combined well with Jesse White as they took turns alternating between the goal square and high half-forward.

Aside from the luxury of being able to use a quality player in dangerous positions, Longmire was able to see a defensive unit missing the likes of Craig Bolton, Lewis Roberts-Thomson, Tadgh Kennelly and Nick Malceski restrict an attack that has reached the past two AFL grand finals to only eight goals.

Heath Grundy curtailed the influence of Saints’ skipper Nick Riewoldt, who kicked only one goal from limited opportunities, but the victorious coach said the task was made easier by help offered further afield.

“It’s always about every player that you’ve got on the ground, it’s not just about your back six,” Longmire said.

“That six played well but there was some really good pressure all over the ground.

“It’s not just about our back six fighting for it, it’s making sure everyone puts pressure on and they had some great support from the other players up the ground who put enormous pressure on and that’s what we want.”

Aside from a period in the second quarter when the Saints drew to within three points, it was generally a performance that lacked the intensity the club has become renowned for under Ross Lyon’s stewardship.

“We need to improve on that,” was Lyon’s succinct summation of his team’s display.

The Swans kicked five of the first six goals after the main break to seal the 31-point win.

“After half-time we struggled to match the intensity and the run,” Lyon admitted.

“That’s probably reflective that through circumstance we’re six weeks behind some of those teams, which is a little bit of a worry because through circumstance we’re not ideally positioned but against those constraints we’re working hard.”

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