GOLD Coast coach Stuart Dew said David Swallow was “carrying the whole team on his back” in a first half dominated by the Crows at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night.
It was another impressive performance by the 25-year-old who’s evolving from a hard-nosed midfielder into a more damaging ball winner.
22 of his 31 possessions were uncontested and he kicked three goals.
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Dew said the evolution of Swallow wasn’t coach driven but instead inspired by a player looking to take their game to the next level.
“You’ve got to love the way Dave Swallow plays football,” Dew said.
“AFL has changed a little bit in the last three years and I think what he has done is adjust.
“I think he’s just got a real appetite to compete, so he does get from contest to contest and at times he is spreading on the outside.
“When you see him running like that it’s really impressive.”
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After a number of serious setbacks along the journey including a knee injury that ruined his 2016, a full pre-season and new-found confidence in his body has also helped his progress this year.
Unfortunately for Gold Coast, one Swallow doesn’t match a horde of Crows who shared the load.
Comeback midfielder Matt Crouch got off the chain in the first half with 21 disposals, with the match-up of Jarryd Lyons proving unsuccessful.
It took another shutdown role from the “super disciplined” Touk Miller to quell his influence.
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“I guess when you come up against Adelaide, if you put all your eggs in (one basket), someone else will get you,” Dew said.
“Did we not go early enough (with Miller)? I don’t think it was the difference, I think a lot of their mids were getting all the ball.”
The Suns take on the Western Bulldogs in round seven, with Callum Ah Chee and Aaron Hall in selection contention.