SYDNEY might be a team on the rise but defender Nick Blakey believes the Swans still have much to prove to be serious premiership contenders.
The Swans will host Gold Coast at the SCG on Saturday, six days after being convincingly beaten by flag fancy Brisbane at the same venue.
The Suns have been somewhat of a bogey team for Sydney in recent times, beating the Swans in round six last year and pulling off one of the biggest upsets in modern AFL history against them at the SCG in 2018.
Blakey thinks the fifth-placed Swans (5-2) still have ground to make up on red-hot reigning premiers Melbourne and the Lions.
"I think we still have got a lot to prove to ourselves and to the other teams in the comp," Blakey said.
"We've had some good wins this year and it’s been a good change from a few years ago when I first got to the club and probably weren’t winning as many games as we would have liked.
"Internally, we don’t really think about where we sit amongst Melbourne and obviously everyone’s chasing them and Brisbane.
"I think if we go about out football in the right way we can become a good team like Melbourne in the years to come."
Sydney's key-position stocks will be boosted by the return of Logan McDonald and Paddy McCartin after missing the game against the Lions due to concussions.
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The feel-good story of the game is Gold Coast defender Rory Thompson, who will make his AFL comeback after almost four years on the sidelines.
It will be Thompson's first appearance in 1379 days after serious knee issues.