LOOKING AHEAD: SWANS HAVE PLENTY TO BUILD ON

LOOKING AHEAD: SWANS HAVE PLENTY TO BUILD ON

0929 - ROBBIE SCARALLO

Robbie Scarallo in action for the St. Petersburg Swans in Saturday’s MLF Championship Final in St. Pete. PHOTO: KATE MATSON

Although the last-minute loss to Starfish FC in Saturday’s Major League Footy 2018 Summer Championship Final is sure to sting a bit longer, all indications see the Swans on an definitively upward trajectory going forward.

As the club has seen a dramatic infusion of new talent – both homegrown Americans and Aussie imports – the 2018 Summer Premiership Season has been nothing short of a success, despite the results the last time out.

With an offense that generated over 3 points per minute, the side has acquired confidence exclusively playing an export version of Aussie Rules, with players adjusting to the specifics of the 7-a-side, rectangular field format.

JASON BLACKBOURN

One off-season task for Swans coaches Greg Bray and Matt Elliott will be identifying a candidate to work under the tutelage of stalwart Jason Blackbourn. PHOTO: KATE MATSON

The results after a season of 26 consecutive weeks of competitive football have been encouraging across the board, although there’s surely room for improvement.

One of the challenges coaches Greg Bray and Matt Elliott will look to address over the winter will be containing the impact of the opposition’s talls in the tight confines of 7-a-side footy.

Although St. Petersburg was able to eke out a 2-1 mark against a Miami Saints side that features several big players, including the circuit’s #2 scorer in Neil Cohen, the Swans typically had difficulty countering the Saints’ attack.

While the presence of the Swans’ veteran ruck Jason Blacbourn countered the Saints’ talls led to the two wins against Miami, his absence over large parts of the summer exacerbated the issue.

Other options in the ruck would appear to be stalwart Jake Keglor, who’s typically been deployed at full forward, with occasional duty in the back.

His performance on taps in last Saturday’s Championship Final stabilized the Swans’ midfield, while Curtis Speller also demonstrated a growing ability to handle the task.

With only four weeks to brood over their season-ender, the St. Petersburg Swans are in good position to get the shock result out of their collective system ahead of a rematch with Starfish FC on October 27.

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