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Round one derby to 'change NSW football'

Highlights: Giants v Swans Greater Western Sydney and the Sydney Swans clash in the first round of the 2013 NAB Cup


KEVIN Sheedy could barely contain his excitement after his Greater Western Sydney side demonstrated its rapid improvement 12 months after first entering the AFL competition.

Carlton kicked the final three goals of the first NAB Cup game at Blacktown International Sportspark to pip the Giants by two points, before GWS comfortably knocked off the Sydney Swans by four goals.

GWS will meet the reigning premiers again in round one of the competition and Sheedy was unabashed in his enthusiasm about the steps his young side is making.

Malthouse reign off to winning start

"I think the Giants and the Swans are going to have a pretty good game at ANZ Stadium coming up," Sheedy said.

"It's a game that's actually going to change the state of football in NSW for sure because what our players are starting to feel is we're not that far away really from any of the sides.

"We've got a bit of a way to go, but the growth of this team over the summer has been enormous.

"I've been around football a long time and seen the great Richmond sides play and obviously coached the great Bombers sides.

"Get on early because this is going to be an absolutely magnificent team.

"We were very competitive tonight and we should've won the two games."

The only sour note for the Giants was a nasty looking injury to Matthew Buntine, who went to hospital after a crunching challenge from Carlton's Levi Casboult.

Blues' fierce forwards sink Swans

Casboult's knee connected heavily with Buntine's ribs and the Blue could find himself in a little hot water after a review from the Match Review Panel.

Sheedy's side faces the Brisbane Lions in Wagga next week and the veteran coach is hoping his side can make some noise in the NAB Cup.

"We're still in the competition and if we can work through and get into a finals series, we'll be really pleased," he said.

"I don't like running around and not competing in finals, it's really annoying for me and the team.

"They were very, very annoyed with themselves after Carlton.

"I know both of the teams were not obviously the full squads, but neither was ours, we've got some much better players we can bring in."

Toby Greene showed little signs of a second-season slump in a typically strong performance against the Swans (15 disposals), while the enigmatic Nathan Wilson also displayed his talent with 11 touches and a goal.

Devon Smith (11 disposals) was solid across the two games, while Jonathon Patton (two goals) backed up his earlier starring role against Carlton.

"To see a fit Jon Patton was important for us and you'd hope he's going to be a class player and looked fairly exciting tonight," Sheedy said.

"He's pretty slick and quick for a big fella."

It was a different story for Swans coach John Longmire, who found few positives as his side lost both matches.

The reigning premiers were on the wrong end of a 35-15 inside-50 count, continuing a trend established in their earlier game against the Blues.

Where Sheedy's men moved the ball quickly, the Swans lacked both overlap run and conviction in attack.

Luke Parker (11 touches) was the Swans' best, while 2012 draft pick Dean Towers added a late flash of brilliance, accelerating through congestion and finished on the run.

"Probably the only real positive to come out of it was to get some game time into some players," Longmire said.

"That was probably about it.

"There weren't really any players in good form and we lost a lot of key areas in both games that we wanted to put a better effort in."

What the coach said
"We were very competitive tonight and we should've wonthe two games. We should've beaten Carlton and that was a disappointment to all of us. When you come out first up in the NAB Cup against Carlton and the premiership side, we've been waiting a fair while to get to these two clubs, and we should've won both games." - Kevin Sheedy

AFL Fantasy snapshot

When a player enters his third season, you know the time has come for him to raise the bar. Highly-regarded Sydney Swans midfielder Luke Parker (MID, $343,600) is one of those players, and his strong showing against Greater Western Sydney sent a strong message to the rest of the competition. Parker's ferocity over the ball has always been a key strength, but he also demonstrated polish in his 11 possessions. He only chalked up the 27 fantasy points, but he's one of those players you can see making a big leap up the fantasy board.




SYDNEY SWANS                                   1.1.0     1.3.1     (28)   
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY        0.4.7    0.7.10    (52)          

SUPERGOALS
Sydney Swans:
White
Greater Western Sydney: Nil

GOALS
Sydney Swans:
Lamb, O'Keefe, Towers
Greater Western Sydney: Patton 2, Greene 2, Cameron, Whiley, Ugle

BEST:
Sydney Swans:
Parker, Grundy, Armstrong
Greater Western Sydney: Greene, Smith, Wilson, Whiley, Patton
 
INJURIES
Sydney Swans:
Nil
Greater Western Sydney: Nil

Umpires: Ryan, Mollison, Pawley
 
Reports: Nil
  
Official crowd: 4078 at Blacktown International Sportspark
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs