Swallow finding his best after injury curse
NAME a cliche that coaches roll out and David Swallow lives up to it.
Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew has a couple of mantras, the first is he wants fans of the club to know what they are going to get every week and secondly he values effort over talent.
Consistency of effort is one thing the Suns have never achieved but inconsistency is the one thing Swallow could never be accused of.
Swallow's talent is undeniable, but his skills are not elite, his ability stems from explosiveness and balance and is supported by work rate, physicality and courage.
Dew demonstrated some rare emotion after the 48-point loss to the Crows in Adelaide on Saturday night.
The Suns were terrible in the first half, they looked either tired or disinterested except for Swallow who the coach said "carried" the side until they found their appetite for the contest in the second half and matched the Crows from that point on.
"You've got to love the way Dave Swallow plays football," he said.
Dew also refuses to make excuses - so you won't hear any talk of the club's tough travel schedule which has seen them yet to play at home this season.
Swallow, a new father to son Charlie, takes it one step further saying he's actually enjoying the one or two decent night's sleep a week he gets in a hotel room.
The reason coach and player have clicked so well is they value the same things, Swallow prefers the blue collar to the white even though both fit as comfortably.
"It's humbling to hear that from the coach, I just try to bring that effort every week, it is what I want to base my game,'' he said.
Suns insiders are starting to wonder just where Swallow would rank among the game's best midfielders had he not lost two years to serious knee injuries that will remain an issue for the rest of his career.
He is starting to add a damaging outside aspect to his game to become a more complete midfielder than the battering ram he was in his first two or three years.
He was clearly the Suns' best with 31 disposals on Saturday.
"I felt like before I got injured I started to make a few inroads there, obviously in my first couple of years that was the biggest area I needed to improve on, then I was injured for a couple of years,'' he said.
"So I think I'm just carrying on that growth.''
He also booted three goals on the weekend and while two were snaps, the other came from a mark which is something he is working hard on with assistant coach Dean Solomon.
"It is something the big stars like Fyfe and Dangerfield can do,'' he said.
"It is something I've been working on with Dean Solomon, that one-on-one marking, there's still a ways to go on that.''
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