Swans put grand final loss to bed ahead of Blues clash

Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS

With an 18th AFL finals series in the last 21 years beginning for Sydney on Friday night, coach John Longmire is adamant his side have moved passed their nightmare grand final against Geelong.

More than 300 days since the 81-point thrashing by the Cats, the Swans will again make the September trip down south to the MCG for an elimination final.

"Last year was a story. This is a new chance for a new story," Longmire said on Tuesday.

"Fifty per cent of the teams that made it (to finals) last year, didn't make it this year in the final series, including last year's premiers.

"It can be underestimated how hard it is to make the finals every year and the whole competition is set up so that you don't do that.

"I'm really proud of the resilience of the footy club and the players to be able to just keep pushing along and keep working out what we need to do to get right every week.

"They've been able to do that ... now, it starts again."

It was just 11 weeks ago when the Swans and the Blues sat fifth-last and fourth-last on the ladder with only five wins to their names.

Now both teams enter the finals clash as two of the most in-form teams.

Carlton collected nine consecutive wins before losing to GWS in the final home-and-away round, while Sydney boasted a six-game winning streak.

The Swans face an enormous challenge against a hungry Blues, who will be looking to make the most of their first finals appearance since 2013.

"There'll be a fierce contest from the first bounce," Longmire said.

"Carlton haven't been in the finals for a few years. They'll be ready to go.

"There's no doubt there'll be a majority of Carlton supporters at the MCG.

"They'll be jumping out of the blocks. We've got to match that intensity and take it to the next level early on.

"We've got a really strong supporter base in Melbourne and hopefully, they're there in full voice."

Both clubs could potentially boast their strongest lineup, with Tom Papley and Justin McInerney possible ins for Sydney and Patrick Cripps and Blake Acres for Carlton.