SYDNEY SWANS co-captain Jarrad McVeigh believes his side can cover the shock loss of superstar forward Lance Franklin and win their way through to a preliminary final when they take on Fremantle at Domain Stadium on Saturday.
Franklin is taking time away from footy to be treated for an ongoing mental health condition.
With co-captain Kieren Jack and star midfielder Luke Parker already missing, the Swans' chances of beating the Dockers in Perth are now even tougher, but McVeigh loves the prospect of heading into Freo territory with the odds stacked against his team.
Match preview: First Qualifying Final, Dockers v Swans
"We know everyone's going to say why we can't win this game of footy, but we're pretty confident in our ability and the way we go about things that our footy will stand up," McVeigh said.
"We've dealt with a few things throughout the year but we're strong enough mentally and a strong enough group to be able to cope with these things.
"There's a preliminary final on the cards if you get up, so no matter what happened this week, there's always a huge spike in intensity and hardness and pressure around the ball.
"We've been waiting for another opportunity for 12 months and we can't wait."
Coach John Longmire said the trip west to play Fremantle is never easy and was never going to be, even if he had a full list to choose from.
"We play the team this week that finished on top of the ladder, and deservedly so - they've had a sensational year," Longmire said.
"They're well coached, they're a terrific team and they're playing on their home deck.
"We understand the environment we're going to walk into, but our players are aware of that.
"We know we have to be at our best, but we know what this time of year is about and we've got some experienced players that'll look forward to the challenge."
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Longmire confirmed that McVeigh would return to the side from a tight calf, with Ben McGlynn also in the mix after playing the past two weeks in the NEAFL.
Defender Nick Smith (hamstring) has already been ruled out.
Anyone seeking counselling or help with mental health issues can contact www.beyondblue.org.au or call 1300 22 4636