They’ve jettisoned over 700 games of AFL experience this week, but Sydney are adamant they have picked on form and aren’t taking Carlton lightly.
Sydney’s three oldest players Ted Richards (33), Jarrad McVeigh (31) and Ben McGlynn (30) won’t be facing the Blues at the SCG on Saturday.
Co-captain McVeigh tweaked his groin at training, while McGlynn and Richards were both dropped.
Among the inclusions were debutant Jordan Foote and Richards’ younger brother Xavier, who has played just two senior games.
Sydney will field nine players with fewer than 30 appearances and five with ten or less.
“If they (Carlton) have done their homework they will see that Xavier has kicked 20 goals in the last three or four (NEAFL) games and Jordan Foote had played hard all season,” Swans’ senior assistant coach Stuart Dew told AAP.
“If they take those guys lightly they will get a shock. We’ve picked a team that we feel is fit and in-form and we certainly haven’t disrespected Carlton in any way.
“We really went with form players regardless of their age.
After losing three of their last five games, including successive home matches Sydney have slipped back into the pack.
Sydney top the AFL’s contested possessions category and Carlton are bottom and while Sydney have had a distracted build-up with the arrest of injured defender Michael Talia, Dew is adamant the Swans won’t be off their game.
“He hasn’t really been mentioned this week because it’s been dealt with by the club really swiftly,” Dew said.
Carlton regain spearhead Levi Casboult from suspension, and Blaine Boekhorst returns for his first game since round three following hamstring and wrist problems.
While the Swans suggested they would try to keep a close rein or rising Blues star Patrick Cripps, Carlton coach Brendon Bolton remains adamant the young midfielder needs no protection from his more senior teammates.
“He’ll be up for the fight, there’s no doubt about that,” Bolton said.
“He’s a big boy. I don’t think he needs protection.
“Stoppages are going to be critical and we know they have got some real strong bodies in around there.
“It’s going to be a great contest for Gibbs, Curnow and Cripps, so we’re really looking forward to that challenge.”