Ames sees big prospects for Swans
Ames sees big prospects for Swans

Swan Districts full-back Tallan Ames is a singular man.

No WAFL player is louder on the field, no one wears his passion for his club more proudly and no one matches his capacity for bold public statements.

As he prepares to play his 200th match in the top-of-the-table clash with Subiaco this afternoon, becoming the 18th Swans player to reach the milestone, Ames made perhaps his boldest prediction - that Swan Districts were now genuine contenders to win this year's premiership.

"It comes down to self-belief and right now we have the belief that anything is possible," he said.

"We are a very positive team. We have come up against sides that the tipsters predicted would belt us by 100 points but having beaten them, it has given us real confidence."

Written off as likely wooden spooners after the loss of a large cohort of experienced players, Swans have won their past four matches to sit one win behind Subiaco on the ladder.

Victory over the Lions at Medibank Stadium this afternoon would not only provide an ideal way to mark Ames' landmark, and the 100th appearance of his teammate Ryan Davis, but signal that Swans could live up to their captain's prediction.

Ames was part of the most remarkable grand final win of the modern era, the 2010 epic when Swans beat hot favourites Claremont by a point, and has identified similar traits in their current line-up.

Swans have a group of talented youngsters such as Aidan Anderson, Ricky Cary and Blaine Boekhorst, whose energy mirrors the 2010 team which boasted teenagers Stephen Coniglio, Michael Walters and Clancee Pearce, who have since carved out AFL careers.

Much of Swans' rise can be attributed to Ames' passionate leadership and his refusal to be beaten in any contest.

"Everything I do I do to exhaustion," he said. "I have a mental enthusiasm for the game, the body is in good nick and my passion for the game has been fired even more by the way we are going.

"As captain I have to set an example and that is a very strong driving force."

Ames has few regrets about his career - including a pre-season with Hawthorn a decade ago - and in his early days at Swans he was used primarily in the ruck and on a wing before settling into the key defensive position.

He knew his fate as a defender was settled the day he came up against the classy Mark Seaby in the ruck and then he was switched to a wing where he had to stay with the league's hardest gut runner, Callum Chambers.

Subiaco full-forward Brad Smith proved his toughest opponent while a trio of rugged centremen, Shane Beros, David Snow and Josh Roberts, were his most respected teammates.

The West Australian

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