VIEWED by some as a tired group overly burdened by injuries, the Sydney Swans are confident they will have the legs to stay with Fremantle right up to the final siren of Saturday's preliminary final.
The Swans have shown signs of fatigue in recent weeks, in part due to a midfield that has carried the load while a number of other key personnel have been sidelined.
Kieren Jack, Jarrad McVeigh, Josh Kennedy, Ryan O'Keefe and Luke Parker have played every game this season, while Dan Hannebery missed only the round 23 clash against Hawthorn with bone bruising.
Defenders Ted Richards, Heath Grundy and Nick Malceski, plus ruckman Mike Pyke, have also played all 24 Swans games this season.
In contrast only Ryan Crowley, Tendai Mzungu, Danyle Pearce and Matt de Boer have featured in every match for a Fremantle side that had last week off while the Swans were battling Carlton in their semi-final.
But Swans co-captain McVeigh is confident his side will be able to keep up with the Dockers on the wide open spaces of Patersons Stadium.
"We rate our fitness, we rate our mids, the way we run and we've got full faith that we can get over the line," he said.
"Yeah they'll be fresh, but we feel great after the (Carlton) game, we've recovered pretty well.
"Obviously we got a couple of injuries, but we'll have Ben McGlynn and someone else to come in that are fit and ready to go and hungry.
Those injuries were Kurt Tippett (knee) and Tom Mitchell (ankle), robbing the Swans of two of their better performers over the second half of the season.
Yet Fremantle coach Ross Lyon also won’t buy into any suggestion the undermanned Swans are there for the taking.
McVeigh is coming off a stunning career-best 42 disposals against the Blues, including a record 20 in the second quarter alone.
Lyon worked closely with McVeigh when he was an assistant coach at the Swans from 2004-06 and knows just how damaging he can be.
The Dockers' mentor is imploring his troops to fight from start to finish if they are to reach a first Grand Final in club history.
"They've been there before," Lyon said of the Swans.
"Jarrad McVeigh has led them to a premiership, he's led them through prelims, so if we back off for one minute on the weekend, he and the Swans will come over the top of us.
"We're setting ourselves to go right to the end, for Matthew (Pavlich) and our leadership group to be unrelenting, not back off and go to the wire.
"That's what it's about."
One of the more self-deprecating people in football, McVeigh has no interest in personal milestones and is driven only by team success.
He admits he was "proud and very humbled" to be named an All Australian on Monday, but immediately switched his focus back to Saturday's game.
The 28-year-old also wasn't taking any credit for his record number of touches in a quarter against the Blues.
"I wasn't aware of that at all," he said. "The ball falls your way sometimes.
"I pushed back at the end there and got a few cheap stats.
"It's not about how much of the ball you get, for me it's about how good those touches are going to my teammates."