SYDNEY'S pre-season campaign is set for a major shake-up this year following the announcement of a major upgrade to the club's training ground Lakeside Oval.
The Swans use the ground, located directly outside the SCG, to train on over summer while cricket season commands control of their home deck, but they'll be using two other local ovals while a multimillion-dollar development is carried out over the next few months.
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Lakeside Oval has provided the Swans with some challenges in recent seasons, with the construction of a light rail project on Anzac Parade decreasing the area of usable playing surfaces.
The new development will see the size of Lakeside Oval increased to match that of Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, while the playing surface will also be improved in standard.
Work on the changes will kick off next week, meaning Sydney will train at Bat and Ball Oval in Moore Park, and Henson Park in Marrickville, both public spaces, until just before the 2019 home and away season begins.
Bat and Ball Oval's surface has improved dramatically in recent years, while the Swans will also pump money into Henson Park, the ground they've used for pre-season matches in for the past few years.
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Sydney will get to spend limited time on the SCG while the upgrade is complete.
Due to the demolition of Allianz Stadium next door to the SCG, rival codes will share the ground with the Swans next season, with John Longmire's men set to only get access to train there once during the week of a home game.
Despite the challenges for the playing group, incoming Swans chief executive Tom Harley said the Lakeside Oval development is a significant move for the club.
"This is a really important announcement and one that will enable the team to train on an AFL-appropriate oval – a huge improvement from the narrow training ground it's been in the past," he said.
"With the increase in games at the SCG next season due to the Allianz Stadium redevelopment, this will also provide us with an appropriate training ground that will allow us to move some training sessions there during the home and away season.
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"Lakeside Oval is also the training base and home of the QBE Sydney Swans Academy and the club's community programs, so the improvement will go a long way to developing the next generation of male and female footballers."
Footy fans travelling to Swans games will also be benefitted by the Lakeside Oval works, with the bus interchange in between the oval and the SCG to be improved and relocated closer to Anzac Parade and the new light rail project.
Construction on the project is due to be completed in May 2019.