No short cuts for Swans AFL veteran

Jarrad McVeigh isn't looking for any short cuts as he enters his 17th AFL season with Sydney.
Jarrad McVeigh isn't looking for any short cuts as he enters his 17th AFL season with Sydney.

Sydney AFL veteran Jarrad McVeigh won't be taking any short cuts or seeking a lighter training workload as he embarks on his 17th season with the Swans.

McVeigh, who will turn 34 in just over two weeks, has logged 320 games, the fourth most of any current AFL player and the third highest for any Swan.

Going into Saturday's season opener against the Western Bulldogs, McVeigh is five behind former teammate Jude Bolton and coming off one of his best pre-seasons in a while after battling injuries in the lead-up to other recent campaigns.

Asked if he expected to be managed through the season, McVeigh said "I love to do everything.

"For me, getting out there and training is what works for me. When I don't train or you try and take days off, I don't think that works for me.

While runners are only allowed on the ground between goals, half-back McVeigh has confidence the Swans can make decisions on the fly.

"We've got a good bunch of leaders who know how to do that and we'll back ourselves in,"' he said.

The Swans have only missed the finals once in McVeigh's lengthy career, which has included a premiership win in 2012 and three other grand final appearances.

External expectations of Sydney seem lower this year with several pundits tipping them to miss the finals for the first time in 10 seasons.

"We think we've got a good mix to really push the top teams," McVeigh said.

He expects the crop of blossoming youngsters blooded in the past three seasons to assert themselves more this year.

"They've played in big games, they know what's required and we've got good youth coming through," McVeigh said.

"The draftees that come through this year look pretty good and I'm sure we'll see them this year and then we've got those older players blend in as well, so we're really comfortable with where we sit."

While this season will likely be his last, McVeigh isn't looking that far ahead.

Australian Associated Press