Academy dividend a boost for Swans coach

·2-min read

It hasn't come without cost so John Longmire couldn't be happier with the way Sydney's investment in the AFL club's academy program is starting to reap rewards.

The Swans started their 2021 season with a stunning upset win over premiership contenders Brisbane at the Gabba on Saturday, blowing away the Lions with a nine-goal third term on their way to a 31-point win.

Front and centre in the victory was debutant Errol Gulden, one of three draftees given a round-one start by Longmire.

The Swans academy product was in the running for best on ground honours as he kicked three goals, had a hand in three more, claimed 10 marks and 19 touches.

Fellow academy graduate Braeden Campbell also debuted in the win, while another academy product in Isaac Heeney kicked three goals and had four goal assists.

"It costs a lot of money and hopefully it is promoting the game the right way," Longmire said.

"It's great for the local kids in the local areas ... it's great to be able to see those kids come through and have our local boys playing footy.

"It's a competitive market, so it's been great to see those boys come through as local products and get on the list and play well."

The Suns' other debutant was West Australian draftee Logan McDonald.

The key forward scored the Swans' first goal of the night with a booming kick from the 50m arc and ended the game with three majors and five marks.

"He's been good through the pre-season. In the last practice game, about 10 minutes into the first quarter I thought we should have probably played him," Longmire said.

"We brought him on at half time and he made an instant impact. He works really hard, it's a common thread.

"They work really hard but, for all of them, it's just one game. It's a great game. Fantastic. Good start.

"Now we go back next week and people know who they are, how they're playing ... hopefully they've got some confidence and hopefully we continue to improve."