Sydney’s Isaac Heeney is fast getting back to his best and believes the Swans are still a big chance of playing finals footy despite their slow start to the AFL season.
The Swans have won four of their past five after starting the season 0-6.
Heeney missed the the first four rounds with glandular fever but has played the past seven.
He logged a personal season-high 31 touches in Thursday’s 46-point home win over the Western Bulldogs, in which Sydney’s relentless trademark pressure was evident after it went missing earlier in the campaign.
“All the focus is on next week with the Tigers, but I think the boys are confident that if we can bring the pressure and the hardness that we provided last night, we can get into the finals,” Heeney said.
“l think it’s such a level playing field at the moment that we’re definitely still a chance if we can play that style of footy consistently.”
Heeney is averaging a career-best 22 disposals a game this year, despite his delayed start.
“I don’t think I’m quite back to 100 per cent, but I’m not far off,” Heeney said.
“I’m able to run games out now without cramping, so that’s a positive.”
Heeney said he was getting plenty of extra sleep and paying attention to his diet after getting tips from teammates Heath Grundy and Kieren Jack, both of who also suffered from glandular fever.
“They just said diet and sleep is really all you can do, there’s no medication for it,” Heeney said.
Heeney has popped up all over the field this year, describing his role as “a bit all over the place”.
He has licence to switch his position in mid-match without waiting for instructions from coach John Longmire.
“I think you’ve got to trust yourself and you’ve got to have confidence in yourself,” Heeney said.
“If I’m in the midfield, Horse backs me to go forward and try and take marks and kick a few goals as well.”
Heeney backed dropped ruckman Kurt Tippett to fight his way back, though Sam Naismith and Callum Sinclair dominated against the Bulldogs.
“The big boys played really well last night, but I think Tippo is just not playing as well as he would like to play at the moment,” Heeney said.
“He’ll go back to the NEAFL and just get confidence back; but I’m sure he’ll be back in the team soon.”