Swans build on 'Cazaly squad'
Numbers is the name of the game at South Melbourne this year with the club deciding to dig deeply into its roots to find that success so vital to the Swans' future.
The club agreed last year that it would have to strengthen its under 19 team if was to be a force in VFL football.
For many years, the Swans' under 19s have languished near or on the
bottom of the ladder and the selectors
have had only around 30 to 35 players in the squad.
But this season things have changed dramatically with already almost 100 youngsters vying for positions in South Melbourne's under 19 team.
This situation has come about be- cause of several reasons. Firstly, the club has appointed its first full-time recruiting officer, Greg Miller.
Secondly, last October the Swans held a lightning premiership for junior players from its zones of Mornington, Riverina, Springvale, Oakleigh, Dan- denong, Newport and Williamstown.
Under the watchful eyes of Miller and under 19s coach Barry White,
South Melbourne selected a special "Cazaly squad" of young players.
The stronger under 19 squad should provide a badly needed impetus to both the reserves and senior teams.
With captain Ricky Quade and Mark Browning back in the side.
South Melbourne has an admirable
blend of youth and experience.
Veteran defender John Rantall is
preparing for another year of service. He has three more games only to play before he passes the record of 333 VFL games held by former Fitzroy champion Kevin Murray.
Former Collingwood player Robert Dean, ex-Essendon star Neville Fields and ex-Tiger Francis Jackson are others at South with plenty of games
Jackson joined Quade and Brown- ing with a severe knee injury midway through last season but he, too, has
trained hard over the summer.
South Melbourne has obtained some excellent service from ex-Rich- mond players in the past, including Graham Teasdale and Brian Roberts.
This year it has recruited full back Noel Jenkinson from the Tigers and
he should strengthen the Swans's de- fence with his pace and anticipation.
South is confident that former Fitzroy defender Rod Carter, who crossed to Port Melbourne in the VFA last season, will strip with the Swans in 1980.
The club is also negotiating a
clearance for talented South Aus- tralian utility player John Roberts who last season won Woodville's best and fairest award.
Roberts, 23, helped to lift Wood- ville into the finals last year for the first time in the club's history.