Kieren Jack: Derby a boost for AFL

March 30, 2012, 4:23 am

HOMETOWN DERBY A HUGE BOOST FOR THE GAME

Last nweekend's derby between the Swans and the Giants was a watershed moment nfor the AFL - something I never anticipated seeing in Sydney during my ncareer.

The media focus on both clubs was intense and helped to nbuild up anticipation for the game. Long may that continue - on a nweekend which collided with a flood of rugby league games in western nSydney, it was quite amazing to see the AFL get such a good run!

Lookingn back at the game, I think a lot of people were surprised at how ncompetitive the Giants were, but that is something we were expecting. nWith so many kids in their team, most of them AFL debutants, we knew it nwould be a contest.

What did surprise me was the hardness some of ntheir players showed, which I think will hold them in good stead for then remainder of the season as they continue to develop.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT

We left ANZ Stadium on Saturday night pleased with the result, but knowing there is a huge amount of work to do.

In thought we played well in patches, but our structure in general play nduring match-ups, interchanges and rotations needs improvement.

One big positive was the midfield cohesion between myself, Luke Parker and Josh Kennedy.

Joshn was outstanding on the night and Luke showed tremendous courage after nplaying through a big knock early on which cracked his jaw. He is a nyoung, hard bloke and someone I am really looking forward to playing nwith for years to come.

Personally, kicking a goal so early in then game me a lot of confidence, especially coming off a fairly ninjury-interrupted year in 2011.

Most importantly, I felt strong nrunning through all four quarters, which is a healthy indicator that ourn pre-season work was on point over the past few months.

OFF-FIELD ACTIVITIES

Withn no game this weekend, our week was split between a couple of long nsessions and some promotional work, which is always a great way to have nsome fun with the boys.

Twenty-six of us were treated to a day outn at Eastern Creek Raceway, courtesy of our major sponsor Volkswagen, nwhich included some advanced driving, slaloms, wet-weather navigation nand fast laps in their GTI and R Series cars.

Our second new experience was a session of Zumba, which just happened to be shown on morning television the following day!

An few of the boys fancy themselves as dancers - namely Tony Armstrong andn Adam Goodes - who surprised no one by placing themselves front and ncentre for the cameras.

Then there was Craig Bird and Andrejs nEveritt, who played the young, cool kids up the back and showed nenthusiasm for the Latin inspired fitness.

Never a dull moment at the Swans!

Until next week, Kizza