Swans beat Blues as young gun Gulden fires

A slick Sydney outfit have crushed Carlton by 43 points as an electrifying Errol Gulden lit up their AFL practice match.

The Swans set up Friday night's comprehensive 15.7 (97) to 7.12 (54) victory with a scintillating start and were too polished for the Blues during much of their clash at Blacktown International Sportspark.

Gulden kicked the first and last goals of the game, but had even more of an impact with sharp kicking around the field and when picking out forward targets.

The third-year Swan has impressed in his 43 AFL matches, but showed enough signs to suggest he could increase his influence while gathering 26 disposals and 584 metres gained to halftime.

Gulden finished with game highs for touches (45), clearances (nine) and goals (three), while fellow young gun Chad Warner (24) and Swans co-captain Luke Parker (27) also made their mark around the stoppages.

"It's probably as good a game as you'll ever see, 45 touches, three goals, but he led our

pressure acts as well," Swans assistant coach Jarrad McVeigh said.

"We know he can play forward, wing and midfield, but tonight it was probably more midfield for him. He came through with flying colours.

"It's really pleasing for him and hopefully his trajectory as a player can keep going upward."

Last year's ruck recruit Peter Ladhams looked ready to put a frustrating first season with the Swans behind him, getting the better of the Blues' Marc Pittonet and Tom De Koning.

Sydney's big man collected 17 disposals with five clearances to brush aside an early concern when he copped a knock to the head in a tackle during the first term and had to be assessed in the change room.

Lance Franklin, Sam Reid, Harry McLean and Harry Cunningham booted two goals for the Swans as they tuned up for the opening round without the likes of Callum Mills, Tom Papley and Tom Hickey.

The Blues were more competitive after halftime as Sam Docherty led the way with 34 disposals, while off-season recruit Blake Acres (20) and prized draftee Oliver Hollands (17) showed promise with their outside run.

"For the last two weeks they (Acres and Hollands) have played on both wings for the majority of the game," Blues assistant coach Ashley Hansen said.

"(Oli) is learning, he's very coachable so we think he's got a bright future, and he's taking steps every week.

"That midfield is really competitive on how we line up in round one but he's doing anything he can at the moment."

Former Swan George Hewett (25 disposals) and onballer Matthew Kennedy (23) also battled hard for the Blues in the absence of skipper Patrick Cripps.

Charlie Curnow slotted two goals but would have hoped for more as Carlton regularly targeted their 2022 Coleman medallist with fellow key forward Harry McKay missing.

The Blues will look to make a fast start in the season opener against Richmond, while Sydney travel to face Gold Coast later in round one.