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Sydney Swans mocked over paltry AFL crowd after cocky call about Collingwood

Swans president Andrew Pridham reckons they have more supporters than the Magpies.

Sydney Swans fans, pictured here during their game against Brisbane.
Sydney Swans fans didn't exactly back up the club president's claim. Image: Fox Footy/Getty

Collingwood fans are having a field day with the paltry crowd that turned out for the Swans' AFL pre-season clash with Brisbane on Thursday night in light of comments made by Sydney's president this week. Andrew Pridham boldly declared that the Swans have the most fans in Australian sport and said his club has more supporters than Collingwood.

"I think it's inevitable that the Sydney Swans will be the biggest sporting club in Australia for a whole lot of reasons," he said. "All the data suggests that's what is going to happen, and you can see it happening.

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" It's difficult to put timelines on things but I genuinely believe it. It depends on how you want to measure it, obviously. There are plenty of ways to measure these things but the Sydney Swans have two million fans.

"That's more than any other club in Australia - there's no NRL club, there's no AFL club with that many fans. We have got more fans than Collingwood. Collingwood only has 1.3 million and we have two million fans."

The Magpies are widely viewed as the biggest professional sporting club in Australia, so Pridham's comments weren't well received in Melbourne. And they were again a topic of discussion on Thursday night when only a smattering of fans rocked up to watch the Swans and Lions.

To be fair, it was only a pre-season game and it was played at Blacktown, and the temperature was still in the mid-30s when the game commenced. But it was still interesting to see the hill around the ground virtually empty throughout the game, while the grandstand was also nowhere near full.

A general view of the Sydney Swans' pre-season clash with Brisbane in Blacktown.
There was only a smattering of fans in attendance for the Swans' pre-season clash with Brisbane. Image: Fox Footy

It came in complete contrast to the decent crowd for Collingwood's game against Richmond at Princes Park earlier this week, despite the fact it was played at Carlton's home base. But Blacktown is a whole lot further from the SCG than Princes Park is from the MCG.

Nevertheless, the official Sportsbet account poked fun at the crowd on social media, while one Collingwood fan wrote sarcastically: "The swans have the largest fan base in the land, doesn’t matter when they’re on people will flock in their droves."

Taylor Adams injured in Sydney Swans loss

The Swans suffered a 25-point loss to last year's grand finalists, and will also be sweating on the fitness of off-season recruit Taylor Adams. The former Collingwood player grabbed his left knee after a tackle from Cam Rayner and was ruled out of the rest of the game with a mild medial ligament strain.

But Swans assistant coach Jarrad McVeigh said he was optimistic Adams would be right for opening round. "He got a knock to his knee so we played that conservatively," McVeigh said after the game. "He's still clearly a chance for next week."

Alarm bells for Gold Coast in big loss to GWS Giants

Elsewhere on Thursday night, Adam Kingsley took some early bragging rights over former coaching mentor Damien Hardwick, with the GWS Giants beating the Gold Coast Suns in Canberra. In Hardwick's final pre-season game before officially resuming his AFL coaching tenure, the Suns fell 65 points behind in the third quarter before rallying late and reducing the final scoreline to 15.15 (105) to 9.7 (61).

"We understand it's going to be a process and a journey for us, we're certainly not the finished product right here, right now," Suns assistant coach Shaun Grigg said. "It was just about implementing some of the things we've been working on in the summer and at stages we did see that.

"For the players to get a good understanding of what that looks like and what that feels like out on the field has been really good in the first couple of practice matches. We feel like there's some glimpses there of what we want to achieve."

with AAP

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