Sydney co-captain Kieren Jack intends putting family issues and a significant career milestone to one side in pursuit of a vital victory for his AFL club.
The Swans haven’t lost successive matches this season, but are coming off a last-gasp four-point home defeat by the Western Bulldogs.
Fourth-placed Sydney have been camped in the top four this season, but an away loss to Geelong on Friday could drop them to as low as seventh.
Midfielder Jack will chalk up AFL game 200 when the Swans play at Simonds Stadium.
While his well-publicised family feud was the major topic at his media conference on Wednesday followed by questions about his impending milestone, Jack was only concerned about getting Sydney back in the winners’ circle.
“It’s less about me playing 200 games, I think that’s been highlighted throughout the week,” Jack said.
“There’s more important things in life and it’s a big game for this football club.
“We need to bounce back and that is my priority, getting on that field and making sure we get a win this week for the club.
“We believe we can win the game. We’re going to implement a strategy that we think can do that.”
Jack stressed Sydney would need to do more than just nullify the Cats celebrated midfields duo of Joel Selwood and Patrick Dangerfield.
“It will be a combination of our midfIeld versus them, just as their midfield probably isn’t reliant on two players, ours isn’t reliant on two,” Jack said.
“They both bat pretty deep and I’m sure we’ll be changing and swapping between each other fairly regularly.”
Now in his tenth season, Jack’s imminent landmark is a reward for persistence.
He played just two games in his first season and admitted that back then he wouldn’t have thought of reaching the 200 mark.
“It’s been an amazing achievement from where I started off and probably the criticism that I had in my game early,” Jack said.
“I was very much a development player, a back pocket in the reserves.
“But through learning and work rate and learning off some senior players and really buying into the processes of this club, it’s really taught me a lot of things.”
Jack graduated from a tagger to a more rounded player, whose pace and reliable left-foot kicking has earned him club best and fairest, All-Australian and International Rules honours.