HE USUALLY generates an SCG roar that few in his team can match by dashing off half-back.

Legs pumping, Sherrin bouncing, that famous mane of hair springing off his shoulders.

But, last week against Adelaide it was a Nick Blakey tackle that sent the Swans faithful into raptures.

A desperate bit of last-ditch defending to deny Adelaide's Ned McHenry a certain goal that would have brought the margin back to just 15 points and given the Crows serious belief of causing an upset.

Nick Blakey runs with the ball during the clash between Sydney and Gold Coast in round eight, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

That Blakey intervention completely changed the momentum as the Swans recovered to win by 33 points for their third straight triumph.

It was a win inspired by Blakey, who spoke to AFL.com.au ahead of the 24th Sydney Derby at the SCG on Saturday, a critical clash for the Swans and their top-four pursuit.

"It's nice to be able to defend like that and I pride my game on defending well," Blakey said.

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"Usually when I defend well my offence works well too. I was disappointed with how I went the week before defensively (against Fremantle), so I went into the Adelaide game with a clear focus on defending well."

Blakey has got that balance right often this season in what's been an outstanding campaign.

Nick Blakey takes a mark during Sydney's clash with Adelaide in round 19, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

He's 11th in the competition for rebound 50s and fifth in the League for bounces in a clear sign that he's one of the best attacking players off half-back in the competition.

And with the defensive side of his game constantly improving, the 22-year-old is of the opinion that his form this season – his fourth in the AFL – has been his best.

"No doubt this has been the best football I've played. Over this year it's been the best since starting my career. It's my first full year playing in defence and hopefully I've got a fair few more to go," Blakey said.

"I've always been an offensive type of player. My natural football was purely offensive so I'm moving into a backline where I have to switch that up and focus on defence.

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Blakey glides past and makes this cracker look easy

Nick Blakey demands the footy and strolls in for an eye-catching goal from distance

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"When I don't get it right of course the coaches address it but it's something I've been able to do reasonably well over the course of the year."

The daring attacking nature of Blakey's game is still his greatest asset and it's only a bit of brilliance from Lance Franklin or Tom Papley that can rival the man they call 'the Lizard' for an energy provider for fans and teammates inside the SCG.

"That's a part of my role, I guess. I'm there to defend well but to bring my strengths as well and run off half-back and get some attacking chains going. If it gives the boys energy that's just a bonus," he said.


"It's a nice feeling. I grew up watching the boys at the SCG. To be playing at the Swans it's just a dream come true and when the SCG's rocking there's no place like it."

The main reason Blakey spent so much of his youth watching the Swans up close was due to his father, John, taking up a coaching role at Sydney from 2007 through until the end of 2020, when he moved back to North Melbourne where played 224 games.

John and Nick Blakey at Sydney training on June 16, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

But when it comes to connecting with his son, the coaching hat is clearly removed from Blakey senior.

"He's got his own boys that he's looking after there but me and Dad are really close," Nick said.

"He's one of my best mates and we chat all the time. We don't dissect my games, we just chat about footy and life in general. It's just like any other father and son it just happens that he works at North Melbourne."