Hungry Swans plot dream run to finals
Greg Harding. Pic: WA News

Swan Districts are banking on a final-round bye to freshen up their young squad for finals, with the club preparing to throw everything at the next six-week block in a bid to lock away a top-two position.

The surprise packets of this year's competition will be virtually at full strength to tackle Claremont at the Showground tomorrow, with Travis Casserly expected to be available for selection after recovering from a quad injury.

The black-and-whites head into the final stretch of the home-and-away season perched in second spot knowing they need only two wins from their final six matches to be guaranteed finals action.

And coach Greg Harding said the club would not be holding back.

"We think we've got a great run-in now," Harding said.

"We've got a six-week block and then the bye leading into the first week of finals. You talk about getting the double chance and winning and how important that is, we actually think for our young squad that having a break leading into that finals series, if we do in fact make it, is going to be really important.

"We can go really hard at every opponent with our training knowing that we'll be able to freshen our boys up and get them feeling as close to 100 per cent and pain free as we can leading into that first week of the finals.

"That's really, really important, having a sound squad that are physically fit and injury free."

Casserly has not played since round nine after tearing a quad, but is now ready.

Harding said last weekend's club bye had been critical for Tony Notte, Blaine Boekhorst and Ryan Davis, who had played 15 games in succession to that point after representing WA in May.

Davis has been managing a knee problem for six weeks and benefited from the rest.

The 25-year-old is crucial to Swans' finals hopes, having already kicked 25 goals in the best season of his career.

Only six players from Swans' 2010 premiership remain at the club.

"At the start of the year, there was uncertainty about our performance," Harding said.

"But all of a sudden now our senior players and the boys that have been there before and know what's required see an amazing opportunity that's ahead of them."

The draft prospects of Boekhorst and promising midfielder Aidan Anderson will hinge on what impact they have in the rest of this season.

Teammate Connor Blakely should be drafted on the back of a strong under-18 championships where he was the only WA player to win All-Australian selection.

Meanwhile, Sandover medallist Luke Blackwell is expected to return for Claremont after being a late withdrawal against Peel last weekend with groin soreness. Captain Jake Murphy should also play his first league match since round nine on the back of building fitness from two reserves games.

"We think we've got a great run-in now. We've got a six-week block and then the bye …""Swan Districts coach *Greg Harding *

The West Australian

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